Europe’s Quantum Flagship off to a promising start

Paul van Gerven
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Europe’s quantum technology ecosystem is “showing strong signs of growth,” according to a study published by the European Commission. Called “Taking the lead in the quantum revolution,” the report looks at the initial 2018-2021 ‘ramp-up phase’ of the Quantum Flagship – the European Union’s 1-billion-euro, ten-year research and innovation program for all facets of quantum technology.

With a 150-million-euro investment over the four years, the Commission supported 24 consortia of research institutions and companies. Europe’s 1,500 quantum scientists across 236 organizations filed 105 patents (with 64 already granted) and published 1,313 scientific papers (with a further 223 under review). An additional 89 million euros were used to support 25 startup and spinoff companies, which are working on communication, computation, simulation, sensing and metrology solutions.

The Flagship ramp-up phase has also sparked major national quantum initiatives, with Germany investing 2 billion euros, France 1.8 billion euros and the Netherlands 670 million euros. The authors note that coordinating research at national and European levels is more critical than ever, given that no single country can carry out the complex endeavors required to develop quantum technologies by itself.

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