The quantum computer is on its way, but is society ready for it? Quantum computers have a reputation of being difficult to grasp because of their complexity. This limits society’s ability to envision future applications creating a gap between society and quantum computers. A consortium of 14 knowledge institutes, including Leiden University, received 4.5 million euros from the annual funding round for Research along Routes by Consortia (NWA-ORC) to bridge this gap and bring quantum computing closer to its future users.
Quantum Inspire – the Dutch Quantum Computer in the cloud
The ultimate platform to connect quantum computers to society is the internet. Online access to quantum technology allows society and industry to come to grips with the counterintuitive aspects of quantum mechanics and to explore the potential of quantum algorithms. In the Netherlands, QuTech, a joint initiative by Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and the Netherlands Organisation of Applied Scientific Research (TNO), has taken first steps to develop the first European quantum computer in the cloud, named ‘Quantum Inspire’.
Quantum Inspire will cover all aspects of quantum computers: from the basic hardware to control quantum bits, to high‐level languages, quantum algorithms and interfaces to program quantum bits. The full system will be made available in the cloud, meaning that users can run and program the system 24/7. Leiden University contributes to the project with ‘Quantum Rules!‘ and ‘Applied Quantum Algorithms (aQa)‘. Quantum Rules! will bring the quantum world to pupils and their teachers of the pre-university high-school level. The aQa initiative will explore how a quantum computer can enhance artificial intelligence in the context of ‘quantum machine learning’.
Exceptional computational power
Quantum technology has exceptional computational power, with a high potential of becoming a game changer in solving societal challenges concerning energy, food supply, security and health care. It is expected that online access to this new architecture will propel academic research, engage the public, enable schools to educate quantum science to new generations, and stimulate industry to develop and strengthen the Dutch value chain on quantum technology.
This is a joined project from a consortium of 14 knowledge institutes: Delft University of Technology, Leiden University, Radboud University, HAS University of Applied Sciences, Qutech, TNO, Waag, Ministry of Defence, Malmberg, Zurich Instruments, Education Network South-Holland (ONZ) and Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching (ICLON).