European quantum ambitions: the actors call for a rally

It is difficult to introduce a new technology to a known market or to bring a known technology to a new market. So, a new technology in a new market, as in quantum, is twice as complicated. ”, asserts Niels Hersoug, CEO of Sparrow Quantum. The Danish start-up is developing photonic quantum processors, one of the many technologies in a thriving European quantum ecosystem. Alongside several other leaders of start-ups in the field, Niels Hersoug came to support the need for collaborative work during the conference on Europe’s quantum ambitions, organized on February 22 as part of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Quantum technology, a very rich field

Indeed, to achieve its objective, announced by the Commission in its “digital compass 2030” presented in March 2021, to have its first quantum computer by 2025 “which will pave the way for a Europe at the forefront of capabilities“, Europe there is no shortage of innovative projects or players.

An observation that extends to France: the CEA is exploring two ways of quantum computing, superconducting qubits, robust, and those in silicon, easily exploitable on a large scale. Antoine Petit, President of the CNRS, is delighted with “hundreds of teams working on quantum, from hard to soft, without forgetting enabling technologies” and “numerous gold medalists in the quantum field. » Inria is exploring quantum algorithms and software. More than thirty deeptech start-ups are launching disruptive technologies, such as Pasqal, Muquans or Quandela. However, the old continent is struggling to impose itself against the United States and China.

Unifying projects

We need a combined market” launches Jan Goetz, CEO and co-founder of IQM. A perspective that attempts to provide initiatives such as HPCQS, announced in 2021. This project, integrated into the European Joint Undertaking for High Performance Computing (EuroHPC) aims to integrate two quantum accelerators of 100 qubits within two supercomputers : that of GENCI and that of the Jülich Supercomputing Center (JSC).

In parallel, the EuroQCI initiative, launched in 2019, is trying to build a secure quantum communication infrastructure that would cover the entire European Union. “We need to standardize our methodologies, explains Christoph Marquardt of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light. Otherwise we will continue to have difficulty growing this network.

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