The European Commission has proposed to invest one billion euros in a Quantum Flagship, a large-scale European research program for quantum technology. Within the Quantum Flagship, researchers from various fields will further knowledge on quantum mechanics and bring new applications to the market. This proposal is part of the ‘Technology Package’, a large set of measures aimed at strengthening Europe’s digital economy. This was announced by the European Commission this week. The member states will decide on this matter in the Competitiveness Council on 26 May.
Harry Buhrman, researcher at CWI and executive director of research centre QuSoft for quantum software, is one of the Dutch initiators of this proposal. “The Quantum Flagship shows that the European Commission wants Europe to be at the forefront of the development of the quantum computer, and believes that it is a valuable addition to our knowledge economy. I am also glad that this proposal includes quantum software. It is essential that we do not only invest in the development of the quantum computer, but also in quantum algorithms and software. At the moment, nobody really understands how to apply the spectacular possibilities of quantum hardware. Large-scale research is necessary, and the Quantum Flagship enables this.”
Research centre QuSoft was launched in 2015 by CWI, UvA and VU. Its mission is to develop new protocols, algorithms and applications that can be run on small and medium-sized prototypes of a quantum computer. The main focus of QuSoft is on the development of quantum software, which requires fundamentally different techniques and approaches from conventional software.