Quantum Delta NL, a research programme in which Leiden University participates, has been awarded 615 million euros from the National Growth Fund to help develop the Netherlands into a top player in quantum technology. This has been announced at the presentation of the honoured proposals in The Hague.
Quantum technology is a new key technology that makes use of quantum mechanics for fundamentally new applications in information technology, communication, navigation, measurement and computer simulations. Quantum computers can model molecules and materials with an accuracy that would cost ordinary computers millions of years of calculation.
Quantum Delta NL is a cooperation of companies and research institutes in which the research has been organised in five hubs at the universities of Delft, Leiden, Amsterdam, Twente and Eindhoven.
The research group Applied Quantum Algorithms (aQa) at the Leiden institutes for physics and computer science develops quantum algorithms for chemical and material science applications, in cooperation with Google, Shell, Volkswagen and Total.
‘Research into quantum computing has been going on for twenty years, bringing real world application ever closer’, says Carlo Beenakker, professor in Theoretical Physics and Deputy Chair of Quantum Delta NL. ‘I see great enthusiasm in my students to apply abstract concepts from quantum physics to the solution of practical problems. This is the revolutionary technology of their generation.’
‘The goal of aQa is to make quantum algorithms practically applicable, pertaining to questions of societal and economical relevance. We cooperate narrowly with our industrial partners to render these large investments as useful as possible’, says computer science researcher Vedran Dunjko. Recently, he published in the journal Nature about artificial intelligence implemented through quantum computers.
Quantum Delta NL’s ambition is to position the Netherlands as a Silicon Valley for quantum technology in Europe during the coming seven years. The programme provides for the further development of the quantum computer and the quantum internet, which will be open for end users in business and societal sectors, including education.
It aims for a flourishing ecosystem where talent is fostered at all levels, and where cooperation happens over institutional borders to develop a new European high-tech industry.