A quantum computer that outperforms conventional computers, tap-proof communication methods and fundamental elements of quantum technology are among the goals that scientists will pursue in Munich Quantum Valley. Bavarian Minister President Markus Söder, Ministers Hubert Aiwanger and Bernd Sibler as well as the President of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Thomas O. Höllmann, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Bernd Huber, President of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Martin Stratmann and President of the Technical University of Munich, Thomas F. Hofmann gave the starting signal for the research initiative with a declaration of intent signed this month.
With Munich Quantum Valley as the central element of the Bavarian quantum initiative, the partner organizations aim to advance the development of quantum science and technology at both the national and international level over the next 10 years. Subject to the approval of the Landtag, the Free State of Bavaria will provide €300 million for this endeavour; €120 million of this will be released in 2021 and 2022. Munich Quantum Valley will also apply for funding from the federal government, which is supporting the development of quantum technologies with €2 billion as part of the stimulus package for the future.
A three-point plan for research, development, and education and training
The Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft and the Technical University of Munich have formulated a three-point plan to intensify research, development, and education and training in quantum science and technology. For example, they will establish a Centre for Quantum Computing and Quantum Technologies (ZQQ) as well as a quantum technology park and increasingly train and educate junior scientists as well as specialists from industry.
In the ZQQ, industry and science will prioritize research and development in quantum science and technology and coordinate funding for outstanding projects in this area. Scientists at Bavarian research locations outside of Munich could thus be funded for work on quantum simulators in the search for new materials, methods of quantum metrology for particularly precise measurements of electric or magnetic fields, or for methods of tap-proof quantum cryptography – to name just a few examples. The ZQQ is also preparing to construct a quantum computer for calculations that are not possible with conventional supercomputers. In the longer term, commercially usable quantum computers will be developed on this basis; the computing capacities of these will then be made available via cloud access. Software for quantum computers and interfaces to conventional computers are also being designed at the ZQQ.
Conditions for turning research results into innovative products
In the Quantum Technology Park, the Quantum Valley partners will create the high-tech infrastructure that research facilities, start-ups and established technology companies need in order to advance quantum science and technology at an internationally competitive level. Well-equipped clean rooms with facilities for nano- and thin-film production as well as corresponding development and test laboratories will be set up in the technology park. In these facilities, researchers could, for example, rent laboratory space from start-up companies and award service contracts to the infrastructure operators. This will create the ideal conditions for turning research results into innovative products – an area in which other countries (e.g. the US) are well ahead of Europe.
However, Munich Quantum Valley can succeed only with excellently trained scientists and appropriately qualified specialists from industry. With its universities and non-university institutions, Munich and Bavaria are among the world’s leading locations for the education and training of the next generation in quantum science and technology. These activities will be further strengthened in the third pillar of Quantum Valley. The focus will be on training in the handling of intellectual property, quantum technology modules for combined training in technology and management, programmes for company founders and the further training of industry professionals. Munich Quantum Valley will create optimal research conditions and thus make the region even more attractive for top professionals in quantum science and technology.