L’Europe veut devenir la « vallée quantique » du monde


The joint declaration on quantum technologies signed by eleven EU member states aims to support security and competition within the European Union. By investing in quantum technologies and developing national strategies, Europe aims to stand up to the United States and China in particular.

Quantum technologies are seen as a key driver of the economic future and offer major benefits across various industrial sectors. But it is still necessary “support risk-taking which is not sufficiently present in European culture”, reminded a little over a year ago Herbert Zeisel, Deputy Director General for Research for Technological Sovereignty and Innovation at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Research alone will not make Europe a major player in quantum. “The more we go back and forth between academic excellence and industrial needs, the more we will advance and the more we will strengthen European capacity”insisted François Jacq, general administrator of the CEA, at the same time.

Today, Europe is taking a new step with this declaration which aims to harmonize research efforts in the field of quantum technologies. The objective? Position it as a world leader in this field. No more no less !

A competitive advantage

The old continent dreams of being the “quantum valley” of the world. By becoming the leading global region for excellence and l’innovation quantum, the EU could attract investment and talent, even though more than 5,000 scientists work on quantum in Europe. France already has some great gems like Pasqal, the start-up co-founded by the Nobel Prize winner in physics Alain Aspect, Siquance[1] or When[2].

Of course, these quantum computers are still far from being able to take over from classical machines. But they should play an essential role in the future industrial competitiveness. Their potential impact on the economy and society is considerable. For example, these technologies could speed up medical diagnosis by making it possible to observe the inside of cells more quickly. In addition, they could offer encryption solutions tamper-proof to secure sensitive information.

Being able to develop and adopt these technologies first will provide a significant competitive advantage to countries and companies that succeed in this area. EU countries that invest in quantum technologies and develop national strategies in this regard are preparing to seize these opportunities. National initiatives, such as those of Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland, show a strong commitment to the development of quantum technologies. Last year, France launched its national quantum research and development strategy, with a budget of 150 million euros over five years, until 2027.

“Europe is chasing new technologies which are not mature, which are very integrated into an ideological discourse. As a result, they benefit from significant financing plans, without us knowing precisely what we could do with them”warns Ophélie Coelho, researcher specializing in digital geopolitics and member of the Scientific Council of the Rousseau Institute.

[1] Siquance, specialized in intensive computing, became Quobly, still located in Grenoble

[2] Quandela specializes in quantum photonics


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