(ZDNet) Claire Cramer, from the US Department of Energy, said recently in London, “There is a lot of promise in quantum, but we don’t have a transformative solution yet. In reality, we don’t know what impact the technology will have.”
Cramer explained, “Look at laser technology, for example,” she said. “Seventy years ago, people didn’t think lasers could even exist, and now you wouldn’t think twice about holding a laser pointer in your hand. It’s the same thing with quantum. We can’t imagine what the transformative applications will be yet; so we need to maintain a culture of discovery.”
Research teams are not leaping into the unknown: there are already a few potential applications of quantum technology that have been put forward, ranging from enhancing security with quantum cryptography to improving the accuracy of GPS.
Pharmaceuticals and drug discovery have been identified as fields that could hugely benefit from the new technology as well. Last year, for example, neuroscience firm Biogen partnered with quantum computing research firm 1QBit to better tackle diseases like Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.
There is only one secret to achieve a successful “culture of discovery”, she continued: research, research, and more research. In the US, for example, the Department of Commerce recently created the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QEDC). Its objectives? To “identify technology solutions” and “highlight use cases and grand challenges to accelerate development efforts”.