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Digital Economy & Society

Quantum Technologies in Europe: perspectives from a pioneering SME in Quantum Sensing

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Europe is launching a €1 billion flagship initiative to spur the emergence of Quantum Technologies and bring them to the marketplace, with the objective to tackle some of the most urging challenges that our societies will face in terms of Energy, Environment, Security, and Health.

This is a guest blog post written by Bruno Desruelle, CEO Muquans

In this frame, Quantum Sensing and Metrology do promise disruptive technologies and several proves of concept have already been demonstrated in laboratories, thanks to the crucial work carried by academic research. In parallel, the first commercial Quantum Sensors are now being deployed outside of the laboratories in Europe. As a result, the current agenda set up by Europe to boost Quantum Technologies is very right, and will surely help to make more of such technologies come true. Europe is on track, and this is good news as concrete and focused actions will be needed to broaden the use of Quantum Technologies for our own good.

Understanding the quantum laws governing Nature at the atomic scale has already enabled us to come up with technologies that we could not avoid today, such as the transistor or the laser. Today,we are again at the doorstep of a second wave of innovation.

Thanks to leading research in academic laboratories – most of which being conducted in Europe – Quantum Sciences are now mature enough to be turned into Quantum Technologies, unleashing the full potential of Quantum Physics applied for the benefit of European Societies.

Quantum Sensing seems to be one of the most advanced and application-driven fields, promising outstanding benefits for the end-user, not only in terms of performances, but also as far as operation and costs are concerned. Particularly, Quantum Sensing proposes several valuable techniques and methods to monitor, detect, study our environment in order to gather improved information and thus to make more reliable decisions. In this field, Muquans is a leading industrial player that has chosen from the very beginning to explore these possibilities and make them real.

In order to stimulate this emerging trend, our company is really glad to see that Europe is taking action and is launching an ambitious flagship. The preparation of this initiative culminated at the Quantum Europe conference (17-18 May 2016), organised by the Dutch presidency of the EU, the European Commission and the QuTech center in Delft. This remarkable conference succeeded in gathering leading scientists from all the fields of Quantum Technologies all across Europe, leading politicians, and key decision makers. Indeed, the sound emergence of Quantum Technologies requires a coherent and well thought out organization between all the stakeholders.

The Quantum Europe 2016 conference was a great opportunity for Muquans to show Commissioner Oettinger, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Kamp, and the whole European quantum community the first industrial matter-wave gravity sensor in the world. With this instrument, we demonstrated that a first generation of quantum sensors, offering a strong competitive advantage, is commercially available and is ready be deployed for an operational utilization.

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Muquans

Muquans was particularly active during the session on Quantum Sensing and Metrology. Along with our colleagues from different countries, we presented our innovative solutions in front of an outstanding panel of European experts in the field. All the presentations allowed to draw a clear picture of where Europe stands, and several highly interesting discussions were engaged.

Muquans was also glad to participate to the first meeting of the Industry Leadership group with very fruitful discussions to elaborate a common and coherent industrial strategy for the dissemination of Quantum Technologies within Europe and beyond.

After this once-in-a-decade event, we summarize the main conclusions and calls for action:

  • Importance of financing the R&D of second generation of sensors while the first sales are taking place.
  • Make financing solution available for production of higher volumes and commercial ramp-up
  • Stimulate the education of new types of “quantum engineers”, and education of the public and other industrials
  • Confirm the strong support to academic research to bring new ideas and improve Quantum Products
  • Allow and finance application-driven research endeavor jointly supported by academia and industry to conduct feasibility studies, use case studies for early applications of Quantum Technologies benefiting to other areas of research and on the way to addressing societal challenges.

Following these fruitful discussions, we now impatiently expect the first Strategic Research Agenda to be proposed by the High Level Steering Committee appointed by the Commission to see how these conclusions will be implemented.

Bruno Desruelle's picture
Published in DSM blog