The Dutch National Agenda on Quantum Technology is presented to State Secretary Mona Keijzer this afternoon by physicist Robbert Dijkgraaf. The Agenda provides propositions to further develop the Netherlands as an international centre for quantum technology.
The Netherlands is currently one of the leading players in quantum technology, which is developing rapidly worldwide. With quantum computers and networks, applications that are unreachable for ordinary computers and today’s internet will come into view and a whole new high-tech industry may emerge. Yet this strong position for the future is not a foregone conclusion. At the request of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, knowledge institutes and high-tech companies have identified what is needed in the coming years to maintain and strengthen the pioneering role of the Netherlands.
Ambitious, concrete and realistic
Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director and Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton: "After decades of research, we are now ready for the breakthrough of quantum technology, based on the fundamental laws of nature. This will radically change the high-tech industry and improve our lives in dramatic and unforeseen ways. The Netherlands is really at the forefront in this area. We are punching far above our weight, as Americans would say. This agenda is ambitious, concrete and realistic, and is supported by all relevant parties. The Netherlands has a unique opportunity to become a world leader now, and I advise the government to proceed with this as a matter of priority."
World leader in quantum technology
Mona Keijzer, Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy: "The Netherlands is a world leader in quantum technology. With the National Quantum Technology Agenda, there is a strong strategy to remain at the forefront in the following phase as well. In the near future, the government will explore how this strategy can be implemented. I am convinced that quantum is one of the key technologies for our future, one that will contribute to a healthy economy and a better world."
Taking advantage of opportunties
“I am extremely pleased that the agenda is now in place", says Kareljan Schoutens, co-director of QuSoft, the Dutch research center for quantum software. "There are many opportunities for the development of quantum technology and software. To take advantage of these opportunities, CWI, UvA and VU are contributing via QuSoft and the Quantum Application and Software Hub Amsterdam (QASHA), which is being developed together with partners from the region. The focus is on the development of algorithms and software that enable new applications for the quantum computer. Amsterdam is also contributing to the development of quantum-safe cryptography and quantum sensors.”
The promises of quantum
Quantum computers, simulators, communication systems and sensors can help to solve societal challenges and provide opportunities for all sectors of the economy. Quantum computers, for example, can perform many operations simultaneously. As a result, they are able to solve difficult problems much faster than conventional computers will ever be able to. A quantum computer that can simulate the precise behaviour of molecules, for instance, could allow us to develop new medicines, better batteries, more powerful fertilisers or healthier nutrition. We therefore find ourselves at the start of a technological revolution that is expected to make a major contribution to solving societal challenges in the fields of energy, food, care and beyond.
Quantum Delta NL
The National Agenda on Quantum Technology aims to position the Netherlands as a leading international centre and hub for quantum technology: Quantum Delta NL. The country’s starting position is excellent. Dutch universities and knowledge institutes are leaders in the field of qubits, quantum internet, quantum algorithms and post-quantum cryptography, serving as a magnet for global business investments and talent. The Netherlands are also strong when it comes to systems engineering and in combining technologies into working systems, which is crucial for innovation. The country aims to maintain and further strengthen this position as a front runner and pioneer.
Early in 2019, at the instigation of the State Secretary and the top sectors HTSM and ICT, Dutch knowledge institutes and companies mapped out what needs to be done to realise their ambition with regard to quantum technology. TNO, QuTech, QuSoft, NWO, QT/e and the Lorentz Institute, together with AMS-IX, StartupDelta and Microsoft developed the agenda, in close consultation with a large number of other key players.
The Agenda is available in Dutch and English.