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Friday, March 13, 2020

Fraunhofer and IBM with Quantum in Europe

Notably bringing in the IBM Q quantum computer for exploration.

Milestone for quantum computing research and development in Europe
IBM and Fraunhofer bring Quantum Computing to Germany
Research News / 13.3.2020

Stuttgart, Munich, Berlin – The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe's leading organization for applied research, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today the signing of the agreement aimed at advancing quantum computing in Germany. The collaboration gives companies and research institutions access to IBM quantum computers in Germany and the USA under the umbrella of a nationwide Fraunhofer competence network. The aim is to research the technology, application scenarios and algorithms while generating competence development and competitive advantages for the local economy and science.

In 2021, an IBM Q System One quantum computer will be installed in a IBM computer center near Stuttgart.

As part of the collaboration, an IBM Q System One quantum computer will be installed in a IBM computer center near Stuttgart. The system is scheduled to go into operation in early 2021 and will be the first of its kind in Europe. Fraunhofer plans to bring together established partners from research and industry under the umbrella of a research infrastructure of Fraunhofer institutes, which will work together in a centrally coordinated national Fraunhofer competence network for quantum computing.

This network has set itself the goal of further developing and transferring application-oriented quantum computing strategies under complete data sovereignty of European law and will initially be represented by competence centers in expected six German states – Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Bavaria, Rhineland-Palatinate, Berlin, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia. Currently, more than ten Fraunhofer Institutes are already working on various fields of quantum technology.

As early as April 1, 2020, interested companies and research institutions will have access to the world's largest group of quantum computers in the US-based IBM Quantum Computation Center under the umbrella of the nationwide Fraunhofer competence network. The IBM Quantum Computation Center currently comprises 15 systems and is located in the US state of New York. Under the terms of the agreement, IBM will offer Fraunhofer technical support and assistance in using the IBM Quantum systems.

Pioneering initiative on applied quantum computing
The signing of the cooperation follows the joint announcement of September 2019, a pioneering initiative on applied quantum computing for Germany’s research institutions and companies. The cooperation partners support the German Federal Government's goal of investing almost one billion Euros over the next two years in order to develop quantum technology from basic research to marketable applications. This is to be made possible by the development of a research infrastructure that strategically promotes the further development and dissemination of quantum computing in Germany. The participating federal states Baden-W├╝rttemberg and Bavaria contribute the largest financial share.

"A central research question is which concrete application scenarios are suitable for calculation with a quantum computer, how algorithms for this can be developed and translated into simple applications. Quantum computing has the potential to analyze the complex systems in business and industry, to unravel molecular and chemical interactions, to solve complicated optimization problems and to make artificial intelligence significantly more powerful," explains Fraunhofer President Prof. Reimund Neugebauer. "Such advances could open the door to new scientific knowledge and enormous improvements, for example in supply chains, logistics and the modelling of financial data, as well as problems from the classical engineering sciences.”

"This agreement opens up another opportunity for Europe to become a pioneer in the further development of a promising technology with Germany playing a leading role as we grow the scientific, academic, public and private ecosystem which seeks to solve complex problems, such as climate change and healthcare issues. A memorable milestone for our region”, says Martin Jetter, Senior Vice President & Chairman IBM Europe..... "

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