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Joint Initiative for European Quantum Computer

Kick-off conference in Vienna to launch European research initiative Quantum Flagship

Jülich/Vienna, 29 October 2018 – Taking quantum technologies in Europe from the research lab to everyday applications: this is the aim of the Quantum Flagship research initiative, which is being officially launched today at a kick-off event in Vienna. With a budget of € 1 billion and a project duration of 10 years, this is one of the EU’s most ambitious research initiatives. It brings together research establishments, universities, companies, and political figures, while also supporting large-scale, long-term research projects. According to the initiative’s plans, Forschungszentrum Jülich will become the home of a future quantum computer, which will be developed together with partners from science and industry.

The field of quantum research is developing worldwide at a rapid pace. Moving away from simply understanding fundamentals, there is an increasing shift towards technological applications. The Quantum Flagship research initiative aims to propel Europe to the forefront of quantum technology. More than 5,000 researchers from science and industry are involved in the initiative. During its first phase, it will provide funding to 20 research projects. Forschungszentrum Jülich will contribute its expertise to three projects.

A European quantum computer

Ten partners from science and industry are involved in the OpenSuperQ project. Over the next three years, they will develop and build a European quantum computer – the first at this level and a world leader among comparable systems. In particular, the quantum computer will speed up the simulation of processes in the fields of chemistry and materials science as well as machine learning, a sub-area of artificial intelligence.

As part of the initiative, a research lab will be established at Forschungszentrum Jülich, to which scientists from across the world will have open access via the cloud. Prof. David DiVincenzo, a pioneer in the field of quantum information and director at the Peter Grünberg Institute – Theoretical Nanoelectronics, and Prof. Kristel Michielsen, head of the Quantum Information Processing research group at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre, are heavily involved in the project.

The project is being coordinated by Prof. Frank Wilhelm-Mauch from the University of the Saarland. Alongside Forschungszentrum Jülich, ETH Zurich is one of the project partners.

Quantum sensors and quantum simulation

Jülich scientists are also involved in two other projects:

The ASTERIQs project aims to use crystallographic defects in diamonds to develop high-performance quantum sensors, such as for the electric vehicle industry or for lab-on-a-chip nuclear magnetic resonance for the early diagnosis of diseases.

The PASQuanS project, meanwhile, strives to find new approaches to simulations in order to solve issues in the fields of statistical physics and materials research, for example.

Coordination of the initiative

To maximize the potential of the Quantum Flagship project right from the start, it will be controlled and coordinated by the Quantum Support Action (QSA) initiative during the early stages. Prof. Tommaso Calarco, who has been a director at Jülich’s Peter Grünberg Institute – Quantum Control since September, will head the QSA, which will lay the foundation for the flagship’s future coordination and support measures.

Calarco is also Chair of the Quantum Community Network, a network of high-profile members of the quantum technology community. The network will support appropriate integration of the large number of European interest groups.
You can read an interview with Prof. Tommaso Calarco here.

Further information:

Quantum Flagship website


Prof. Tommaso Calarco
Director at the Peter Grünberg Institute - Quantum Control (PGI-8)
Tel.: +49 2461 61-9365

Prof. David DiVincenzo
Director at the Peter Grünberg Institute - Theoretical Nanoelectronics (PGI-2)
Tel.: +49 2461 61-9069

Prof. Kristel Michielsen
Group leader "Quantum Information Processing", Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC)
Tel.: +49 2461 61-2524

Press contact:

Dr. Regine Panknin
Corporate Communications
Tel.: +49 2461 61-9054