New roadmap to position Europe as the ‘Quantum Valley’ of the world

Quantum Flagship unveils new roadmap with calls to end reliance on outside nations for developing essential components and hardware and position Europe as the world’s first ‘Quantum Valley’.

Quantum experts met policymakers and representatives at the European Commission in Brussels today to present the new Strategic Research and Industry Agenda SRIA 2030: Roadmap and Quantum Ambitions over this Decade.

The new strategy published by the Quantum Flagship shows Europe is building an autonomous ecosystem for scientific and industrial applications in the quantum space, with thousands of researchers, a thriving workforce and the highest level of public funding for quantum technologies in the world.

Strong themes in the roadmap include economic and technological sovereignty, with calls to strengthen the EU’s role as a global player in this transformative field.

The roadmap seeks to position the European Union with its innovation hubs, research centres, startups, ready workforce, and multi-billion Euro investments as the quantum equivalent to Silicon Valley – or the world’s first ‘quantum valley’. This call follows the recent European Declaration on Quantum Technologies in December 2023, with the ultimate aim of making Europe the leading global region for quantum excellence and innovation.

Salvatore Cinà, coordinator of the SRIA, said, “This new strategic research agenda recognises quantum technologies as an emerging global strategic domain with immense potential for tackling societal challenges. By consolidating our research efforts and forging strong links between academia and industry, we are poised to lead in quantum technologies globally. With contributions from more than 300 experts, the SRIA defines the strategy and the roadmap for Europe in Quantum Technologies.”

Coordinated by the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA) within the European Coordination and Support Action ‘QUCATS’, the new roadmap, supported by specific recommendations for future programs, seeks to merge numerous quantum agendas from research, industrialisation, computing, and communication, which co-exist today into a single coherent strategy. This streamlined roadmap will allow the European Commission to optimise all quantum investments in the future.

Quantum Computers, Simulators, Communications and the Quantum Internet

If the recommendations in the roadmap are met, Europe could be at the forefront of this competitive global race to improve the performance and maturity of quantum technologies by 2030.

The SRIA provides a clear strategy and recommendations to develop quantum computing and simulator devices that outperform or accelerate existing classical computers to solve specific problems relevant to industry, science, and technologies.

It also discusses the strategy to establish quantum communication. The agenda provides short-term plans and recommendations to enhance the network with advanced quantum cryptography protocols, with security based on the laws of quantum physics.

Such a network would also share and distribute quantum resources like superposition and entanglement. The long-term goal is to realise the quantum internet – a network connecting different quantum devices, from computers and simulators to sensors – at a European scale.

Expanding the Quantum Community

The Strategic Agenda seeks to bolster Europe’s quantum workforce by broadening and strengthening the quantum community. The roadmap recommends actively championing equality, diversity, and inclusion to ensure a wide range of skilled professionals can enter Europe’s quantum workforce.

Beyond the quantum community, the SRIA suggests embracing other industrial and academic sectors looking to integrate quantum technologies into their products and services.

In particular, the high-performance computing (HPC) industry is poised to harness quantum hardware as a powerful accelerator within its infrastructures. This collaboration will improve computational power and capabilities to address fundamental problems for society, like drug discovery, new materials for energy generation and storage, and optimise logistics and transport.

The communications industry is also gearing up to enhance the security and capabilities of future networks by leveraging quantum technologies.

Meanwhile, the semiconductor industry is integrating quantum technologies into its roadmap to address the needs of pilot and production lines dedicated to quantum chips, as well as the enabling technologies, such as classical chips for quantum.

Collaboration and Investments

The SRIA stresses the need to continue building joint efforts and financial support at the EU level beyond individual EU Member States’ capabilities.

A wave of quantum initiatives has already seen EU27 countries channelling substantial resources via the national quantum initiatives. The collective investment in these endeavours has now exceeded €5.7 billion over the past five years. The SRIA integrates and aligns all these initiatives within a coherent strategy for Europe.

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