Quantum News

German Federal ministry launches projects to boost Quantum Computing and Quantum Communication

January 9, 2021

The German federal government has proposed a relief package to combat the economical crisis in Germany due to COVID-19. The package will cover future technologies. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is currently preparing to invest in Quantum communication and Quantum Computing.

‘Quantum technologies have excellent potential for the economy and society. As Germany is a country of innovation, we want to continue investing and working on these future technologies. The international competition is very strong, but we must take steps to contribute to independence from these competitors and thus achieve more technological sovereignty. This is why the federal government will start providing substantial funds over the next five years for the development of quantum technologies.

Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek

The first wave of €120 million will be the start of the economic stimulus package, used to start the first projects. The funds will boost current projects on quantum communication and quantum computing. We will initiate preparation, activation, and networking in the economy and scientific communities immediately as well. This is also an important element for the federal government’s activities.

The federal government is working with scientists and members of the industry to develop a quantum computing roadmap to strategise on future decisions. This will ensure that quantum applications developed for use in business and society can arrive quickly. These recommendations were presented as part of the federal government’s innovation dialogue. The roadmap is significant as it signifies that business, science, and politics are important for quantum computing. We will take steps to ensure coordination and cooperation across departments in the next quarter as part of the BMBF’s first measures. This way, the roadmap’s processes can be implemented quickly.’

Background

The funding announcements on the initiation of research on quantum processors for use in future quantum computers and quantum information science provides the BMBF an impulse for a strong German quantum computing scene ‘made in Germany’.

These measures are a continuation of those from a few years ago when the federal government increase funding for quantum technologies. In 2018, a federal program called ‘Quantum Technologies-From the Basics to the Market’ was launched. Its goal was to advance German quantum technologies. The BMBF is already funding research initiatives on basic quantum technologies, including quantum sensing, quantum computing, and secure quantum communication.

QuNET is a BMBF project in IT security research in which quantum communication is used to secure information and it will be explored and tested in different scenarios. To ensure the transmitted data is secure, all aspects of a secure communication architecture are taken into account. Work on QuNET will be undertaken by three major research companies working closely with an advisory board from the communications and IT security industry. Technologies developed in QuNET communication should not only be for public institutions and important infrastructures but also to help the industry and make the future safe for citizens. Future partners will be actively involved in implementing these solutions to contribute and form the basis of the long-term success of the quantum communication industry in Germany.

At the beginning of 2020, the Federal Minister of Research also started an initiative to develop quantum computing hardware. This will help with the development of software and applications as well. The BMBF will also be able to implement the roadmap quickly for the benefit of European technology and to achieve technological sovereignty.