Quantum technology is expected to become increasingly important in the future. QuTech is an institute for advanced research in the field of quantum computing and quantum internet. This partnership between Delft University of Technology and TNO focuses, in collaboration with industrial partners, on scientific challenges and technological problems.
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The second quantum revolution
We find ourselves in a ‘second quantum revolution’: we are now able to make use of previously untapped quantum effects. Although significant challenges remain, quantum science has reached the point where it is ready for technological applications. Quantum technology is in a transitional phase between university research and applied technology.
QuTech and its initiators, TNO and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), are convinced that the developments in this area offer opportunities for Dutch business. The goal of QuTech is to develop new theories and methods to overcome the many challenges of realising quantum technologies and to develop useful applications, such as the first scalable quantum computer and safe quantum internet.
JOINT KNOWLEDGE CENTRE
TU Delft and TNO founded QuTech in 2014. QuTech now employs around 230 people, including 30 from TNO who can also bring in the expertise of 100 other employees. QuTech takes on both scientific challenges and technical problems in a joint knowledge centre with industrial partners. QuTech has the most advanced hardware platform and the best theoretical tools, but the biggest advantage is the excellent team. QuTech is a leader in quantum technology research and the only knowledge centre in the world that combines all of the necessary expertise.
DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING
QuTech’s research is organised into three mission-driven roadmaps. These scientific and application-oriented roadmaps work towards the primary objectives of QuTech: the development of prototypes of quantum computers and quantum internet. There is also a roadmap for collaboration and techniques (Shared Development), led by TNO.
- Fault-Tolerant Quantum – building scalable quantum computers and preventing/automatically correcting errors in qubits;
- Quantum Internet and Networked Computing – realising quantum internet and combining it with quantum computers for data-safe calculations;
- Topological Quantum Computing – the development of a special type of (topological) qubit, which is better protected against errors due to its shape;
- Shared Development (SD) – helping to develop the technology towards higher ‘Technology Readiness’, integrating the systems into demonstrators and prototypes and supervising the marketing of the knowledge.
TNO + TU DELFT = MORE THAN 2
TNO is active in all QuTech roadmaps. For QuTech’s three application-oriented roadmaps, TNO employees support and manage the technological development towards higher ‘Technology Readiness Levels’. In addition, TNO employees play a major role in the integration of technological developments into demonstrators for Quantum Computing and Quantum Internet.
In this way, TNO facilitates the marketing of quantum technology and gives QuTech demonstrator access to external parties who want to receive the most advanced quantum technology. Many of these activities are concentrated in the SD roadmap. In addition to directing SD, TNO contributes to all roadmaps by providing technical support and production and management support and by developing and realising generic technological solutions and pre-prototypes.
MICROSOFT QUANTUM LAB & Q-CAMPUS
There are high expectations for the quantum computer and quantum internet. Fulfilling that promise requires investments in terms of money, time and effort. “The development of the quantum computer requires a joint effort on the part of science, the government, applied knowledge institutions and business,” says Ronald Hanson, Scientific Director of QuTech. Collaboration with business is essential in this respect.
Microsoft is one of the most important companies that works closely with QuTech, and TU Delft and TNO are therefore pleased with the setting up of the Microsoft Quantum Lab at the Quantum-Campus (Q-Campus) in Delft in early 2019. Other major players also see merit in the Delft knowledge centre. For example, Intel, the world’s largest chip manufacturer, has been investing heavily in QuTech’s quantum research since 2015. An increasing number of international players and spin-offs of the institute are establishing themselves on the Q-Campus that grew up around QuTech.