135 million euros for development of quantum computers

1 June 2015

Together with knowledge institutions, the Dutch government will invest 135 million euros over the next ten years in the development of supercomputers with exponential computer power, the so-called quantum computers. With this investment the Dutch government wants to further strengthen the leading position of the Dutch institute for quantum technology, QuTech. That will allow Dutch companies and scientists to rapidly benefit from the opportunities that this technology offers. Minister Henk Kamp (Economic Affairs) and Minister Jet Bussemaker (Education, Culture and Science) signed an agreement for this today with representatives from Delft University of Technology, TNO, NWO and the Top Sector HTSM. On behalf of NWO, FOM and STW, NWO chair Jos Engelen was present to sign this agreement.

Quantum computerQuantum computer

Thanks to the financial backing from the government it will be possible for QuTech to attract extra private investors to invest in laboratories and in the appointment of talented scientists. At present 100 scientists are working at QuTech in Delft under the leadership of scientist Leo Kouwenhoven. Over the next five years that number will double to more than 200 scientists. They will work on the further evolution of the technology and on practice-oriented applications such as improved data security. The information that these computers exchange with each other is virtually impossible to intercept. The technology also provides exponentially more computer power as a result of which it will be possible to develop new medicines faster, for example. Research has revealed that the global market for applications based on quantum technology will grow to 2 billion euros per year in 2020.

Scientific race

Worldwide a scientific race is taking place to achieve further breakthroughs in quantum technology. More than 7000 scientists are working on the development. Large technology companies such as Google, Microsoft and Thales are investing tens of millions of euros in quantum technology. As one of the leading institutes QuTech has, for example, received financial support from Microsoft for fundamental research since 2010.

QuTech has been named as one of the four National Icons by the Dutch government. These are innovations that will ensure future welfare and contribute to the solution of global issues. The National Icons receive tailored support. On behalf of the government, ministers Kamp and Bussemaker are ambassadors for QuTech and support the institute in acquiring contacts within the Netherlands and abroad.

Partners QuTech

QuTech started as an initiative of Delft University of Technology and TNO in early 2013 with support from NWO/FOM/STW. In 2014 QuTech acquired the status of 'National Icon' in a competition organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. NWO/FOM/STW pledged a financial contribution in December 2013. Part of this contribution will be used for an Industrial Partnership Programme (IPP) with Microsoft.


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Source: NWO