The Netherlands as the capital city of quantum technology?

17 April 2019

As a leading country, the Netherlands has a superb starting position to monetise the opportunities that quantum technology offers. It wants to maintain and strengthen this position. The actors in the Dutch quantum ecosystem, including NWO, therefore held a meeting on 16 April. Together, they expressed their ambition to convert the Netherlands into the world's capital in the area of quantum technology. This seamlessly fits within the Dutch innovation and top sectors policy. A first step is the joint writing of a Dutch National Agenda Quantum Technology.

Strengthening the global position

Dutch universities and knowledge institutions have a leading position in the worldwide development of quantum hardware and software and the associated algorithms and applications. Quantum technology holds a huge promise for society, industry and science. The Dutch National Agenda Quantum Technology will be drawn up to realise that promise. Its publication is expected mid-2019. This agenda will describe how the Netherlands can further strengthen its global top position in the coming years, and it will seek to realise the following goals:

  • Connecting parties in the Netherlands and collaborating on joint goals and challenges;
  • Accelerating the economic impact of quantum technology for the Netherlands;
  • Contributing to the societal challenges faced by the government;
  • Positioning the Netherlands as an international knowledge and innovation hub for quantum technology.

The quantum promise 

Quantum computers, communication systems and sensors could help to solve societal challenges and provide opportunities for all sectors of the economy. For example, quantum computers can perform many calculations simultaneously. Difficult optimisation problems can therefore be solved far faster than with traditional computers - if traditional computers could even solve these. A quantum computer that can simulate the exact behaviour of molecules could, for example, create possibilities for developing new medicines, better batteries, more powerful fertiliser or healthier food.

As a result of improved models, it will be possible to intervene more specifically in complex phenomena such as climate change, the progression of a disease in the human body or worldwide logistics flows, by means of quantum simulation. Safer communication via quantum Internet encourages the application of new digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud computing. And with quantum sensors, it is possible to perform highly sensitive measurements on a very small scale in ways that are impossible with "normal" sensors.

Prince Constantijn at the meeting in Utrecht

Source: NWO

Contact

Mw. dr. ir. A. (Arina) Schrier (Beleidsmedewerker) Mw. dr. ir. A. (Arina) Schrier (Beleidsmedewerker) +31 (0)30 6001293 a.schrier@nwo.nl