(NextGov) United States National Quantum Coordination Office Director Charles Tahan joined officials from France, Germany and the Netherlands on a virtual stage at the Inside Quantum Technology even last week to discuss how countries intend to drive innovation in the on-the-rise field, particularly in a post-coronavirus world.
A recent report from the Canadian-based global research firm CIFAR provides a comprehensive look into ongoing national programs. It counts 12 countries that “have significant government-funded or-endorsed initiatives.” Further, 17 nations have implemented some form of national initiative or strategy to support quantum technology research and development, it notes. The panelists’ home countries are listed among those—as were China, Russia and others that weren’t explicitly mentioned during the IQT event.
The Germany government committed 2 billion euros last year to support quantum technology research in a program targeting COVID-19 recovery.
Neil Abroug, the national coordinator of France’s quantum strategy, spoke to his own country’s recent, heavy investments and ongoing development work. Co-Founder and Director of Quantum Delta Netherlands Freeke Heijman highlighted the country’s fresh funding of a broad agenda that she said is “focused on scaling the ecosystem, in general.”
Ulrich Mans, the strategic partnerships lead at Quantum Delta Netherlands who moderated the panel, noted that while the Netherlands national quantum program emerged in 2019, funding for the program—and Germany’s and France’s—came more recently.
The panelists also briefly discussed the legal, social and ethical aspects of the QIS realm. Tahan said he’s thinking through specific elements of QIS that need to be thought about in a unique way and aren’t covered by existing frameworks, such as those around cryptography and artificial intelligence. He added that elements of funding are tied to components around ethical concerns.
The panel broadly agreed that even though the United Kingdom exited the European Union, the quantum-relevant cooperation between Europe, the U.S. and the U.K. will carry on in some shape or form.