(Science.Business) Tommaso Calarco is one of the leading forces behind the EU’s €1 billion Quantum Technologies Flagship that aims, among other objectives, to develop quantum computers that are exponentially more powerful than today’s supercomputers. That programme finally got off the ground last October.
Calarco was co-author in 2016 of the ‘Quantum Manifesto’, which was the early impetus behind the EU flagship. Now he is proposing a plan to officials in Brussels for additional hundreds of millions of euro investment into quantum infrastructure. “We’re throwing the idea out there,” he said. “It could be wishful thinking or it could become more concrete.”
Now, a recent onrush of public investment in quantum research in Europe indicates evidence that an ecosystem is starting to take shape. “Start-ups are beginning to sprout like mushrooms,” said Calarco, who is a theoretical physicist at the Helmholtz Centre in Jülich, Germany.
“A year ago, it would have been difficult to pick out the promising companies,” said Calarco. “There was this concern that Europe was falling behind everyone else; that we would miss the global rush. But now, hope is strengthened. It’s no longer a flagship that’s emerging, but a quantum fleet.”

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