The report describes how research in quantum information sciences and quantum technologies currently involves an estimated workforce of 7,000 researchers around the world and a yearly budget of 1.5billion Euro. Europe accounts for 35% of these researchers and has invested significantly in this domain over the last decade, obtaining excellent results at the scientific level, including Nobel prizes.
Quantum technologies, such as quantum sensing, quantum cryptography and quantum computation, have a very high strategic interest for both states and industry. Furthermore, this domain holds the promise of a wide range of applications, with the potential for technological leaps in sectors as diverse as energy, security and healthcare, amongst others. And – despite the very strong scientific expertise established in Europe – the USA, Canada, China, South Korea and Singapore are taking leadership positions in the research, development and innovation in quantum technologies. There are now several very large initiatives in Europe promoting the industrialisation of quantum technologies, namely in the UK and in the Netherlands, but an EU-wide common strategy and plan are lacking.
This participatory workshop concluded with the proposal and discussion of the following key action plan for the development of a quantum technologies industry and market in Europe:
- Improve the dissemination about the potential benefits of quantum technologies.
- Expand exploratory research on quantum technologies and extend it to supportresearch aiming at higher technology readiness levels.
- Improve the coordination between different existing research programmes on quantum technologies.
- Mobilise European industrial players and have a policy paper on quantum technologies produced by industry, endorsed at CEO or board level.
- Develop a programme for training in quantum technologies.
- Develop standards for quantum technologies.
These actions will need the proactive and collaborative intervention of the European Commission, Member States, academia and the industrial sector, and their corresponding leaders. Together with the unique assets of the EU, namely a strong culture and mechanisms for collaborative research, development and innovation, as well as a very strong expertise in quantum information sciences in particular, and in fundamental science in general, these measures can lead to the development and establishment of a quantum technology industry and market in Europe, with very strong expected economical and societal impacts, and making the EU a world leader in this promising new domain.