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The Race Towards Quantum Computation

CORDIS News (11/27/14)

At the recent Innovation Summit, European quantum computing experts touted the European Union’s (EU) achievements in the field and called for further EU investments in quantum computing research and development. The Delft University of Technology’s Lieven Vandersypen predicted future Nobel Prizes would be awarded to Europeans for achievements in quantum computing research. Vandersypen and University College London’s John Morton said quantum computing will unlock tremendous potential for developing new medicines and complex materials, new diagnostic tools, and energy technologies. However, both said the EU is in danger of falling behind other nations. Morton noted the EU leads all other regions in terms of academic output regarding quantum technologies, but is falling behind in patenting quantum technologies; for example, China patented five times more quantum technologies than the EU between 2009 and 2012. Morton suggested the EU create an advisory board for quantum technology with at least 50-percent representation from the information technology industry to help guide the development and commercialization of quantum technologies. Vandersypen called for a “large-scale EU-wide effort” similar in scale to the Human Brain Project, which is pushing forward brain science.

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