Are quantum computers ready for consumers

Karliczek: Big steps towards the quantum computer "Made in Germany"

Two billion euros are available in the federal government's economic and future package for the development of quantum technologies and, in particular, for quantum computing. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is now starting implementation and announcing specific funding measures. Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek explains:

“Quantum technologies are one of the decisive key technologies of the future. They will allow us to make our communication absolutely secure, to make leaps in medical technology using highly sensitive sensors, or to use quantum computing to cope with previously unsolvable problems in logistics or materials research. I want the development and application of quantum technologies in Germany and Europe to increase our prosperity, strengthen our technological sovereignty and help high technology 'Made in Germany' to take a real leap. I am therefore very pleased that we are now starting the implementation of the quantum technology promotion agreed in the economic and future package with initial measures. Around 1.1 billion euros are available for research and development through the Federal Ministry of Research up to and including 2025. One focus of this funding is on quantum computing.

In particular, our goal is to build a competitive quantum computer in Germany within the next five years and to create an associated ecosystem with potential users. The foundations for this have already been laid since 2018 in various research projects that we have funded in the framework program 'Quantum Technologies - From Basics to the Market'. With the funds that are available to us through the federal government's future and economic stimulus package, the next big step towards the applicability of quantum computers now follows. We want to become one of the leading countries in quantum technologies. We are investing around 1.1 billion euros. Today we start the quantum computer mission 'Made in Germany'. And now: We are ready for takeoff. Our journey begins. "


In order to tailor the specific funding measures precisely to the needs, 16 experts from business and science have developed a "Quantum Computing Roadmap" over the past few months, which outlines the necessary steps on the way to a competitive quantum computer and contains key recommendations for action. On this basis, an overall concept for implementation has now been developed. In addition to the BMBF, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) and the Federal Chancellery (BKAmt) are also involved. The departments are pooling their strengths and competencies in order to jointly advance the important future topic of quantum computing and to use synergies.

As a first concrete implementation step, the BMBF has now published two extensive funding guidelines:

The measure "quantum computer demonstration structures" promotes the construction of demonstration quantum computers in Germany. Such demonstrators are important in order to identify advantages and disadvantages, system-specific sources of error and technical features of different technological approaches for quantum computing at an early stage with extensive tests. Structurally, the measure lays the foundation for the development of hubs, i.e. alliances of different actors in which the most important competencies are bundled.

The funding measure “Application Network for Quantum Computing” aims to enable users from industry and basic research to assess the potential of quantum computers for use in different subject areas. The background is that the enormous advantage of quantum computers over classical computers has been proven in theory for individual questions, but it is still unclear for which specific problems the quantum computers available in the short and medium term in particular will provide practical advantages.

Associations can submit project outlines for both funding guidelines from now until mid-June. Further measures will follow shortly as the next steps on the way to the quantum computer “Made in Germany”.

Other current measures that are to be promoted with funds from the economic stimulus package and are now starting:

The funding measure "Quantum Future Education" drives the training and further education of the skilled workers who can advance quantum technologies in Germany. A coordination project ensures networking activities and public relations.

The funding measure "Quantum Future Young Investigators Groups" is aimed at young scientists who are supported in setting up their first junior research group in the field of quantum technologies.

The funding measure "Quantum Technologies - Funding of Research Work at Universities and Research Institutions on the Basis of Innovative Laboratory Setups" is intended to broadly support research institutions and universities in strengthening their research profile in the field of quantum technologies in a national and international comparison. Strategic investments are intended to increase the attractiveness for sustainable cooperation - especially with industry.

The funding measure "Lighthouses of quantum sensors" deals with applications of quantum sensors, which have enormous social potential and broad visibility. They should make the transfer of quantum technologies and their potential for positive social change visible and cover a huge range of applications from medical technology to prospecting methods and modern process technology.

With the funding measure "QuNet" The integration of quantum communication into the general IT security and network architecture for an authority network secured by quantum communication is already being tested. Further measures include the development of quantum memories to enable secure authentication in quantum networks and measures to develop the networking of quantum elements in local networks.

In the sense of a holistic ecosystem with a broad base, the aim is also to build a Research factory the technological infrastructure for system integration should be strengthened in order to provide industrial connectivity and to enable easy access for science and economy to high-tech research.