(ScienceBusiness) Valeria Bartsch is the senior R&D manager in the industrial mathematics research group at the Fraunhofer Competence Centre for High Performance Computing in Kaiserslautern. Bartsch is involved in a high-profile German-led effort to help Europe catch up with the US, China and others in quantum computing.
In terms of funding, Germany stands out as Europe’s greatest advocate for quantum computing. In July research minister Anja Karliczek announced €2 billion of the country’s COVID-19 recovery fund will be spent on quantum technology research, with the goal of building an experimental quantum computer by 2021. This federal funding is in addition to a 2018 decision to allocate €650 million up to 2022.
In July the German government announced a €2 billion quantum effort, supplementing EU plans for €1 billion in investment through 2028. In addition, nineteen EU countries have signed on to develop a joint quantum communication infrastructure across the continent. There is some significant ground to cover. Between 1991 and early 2017 the US and Japan filed around 500 and 200 quantum patents respectively, according to the EU’s Joint Research Centre. The whole of the EU, with Switzerland, filed just over 100 patents during the same period.
In terms of funding, Germany stands out as Europe’s greatest advocate for quantum computing. In July research minister Anja Karliczek announced €2 billion of the country’s COVID-19 recovery fund will be spent on quantum technology research, with the goal of building an experimental quantum computer by 2021. This federal funding is in addition to a 2018 decision to allocate €650 million up to 2022.
The research has a geopolitical edge in Germany, which has become one of the most vocal proponents of technological sovereignty, putting European self-reliance at the heart of its current presidency of the EU Council.
In March Fraunhofer announced the signing of an agreement with IBM to advance quantum computing in Germany. The collaboration will gives companies and research institutions access to IBM quantum computers in Germany and the US, under the umbrella of a nationwide Fraunhofer competence network. The aim is to research the technology and its possible applications, whilst building the skills base needed to support its use in industry.
As part of the collaboration, an IBM Q System One quantum computer will be installed in an IBM computer centre near Stuttgart. The system, scheduled to go into operation in early 2021, will be the first of its kind in Europe.

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