In order to kick-start a European industry in quantum computers, breakthroughs in miniaturization and scalability of quantum computing devices are needed, in particular for producing high-quality qubits that can be efficiently interconnected or scaled towards thousands of qubits, compatible with the fabrication techniques of the semiconductor industry. Moreover, Europe needs quantum software environments for quantum computers in order to address concrete industrial and scientific applications with expected quantum advantage.
Proposals are expected to address a mix of quantum technology challenges integrating different aspects like physics, engineering, computer science, theory, algorithms, software, manufacturing, control, infrastructures, benchmarking and verification etc. Each activity should clearly move the technology up the TRL scale. Proposals can integrate various activities covering the whole value chain, from fundamental to applied research, and with other types of activity, including demonstrators, etc., as appropriate.
Hardware proposals are expected to develop a miniaturised qubit platform mass-manufacturable, and compatible with semiconductor processing, integrating quantum processors (>10qubits) of good-quality qubits. Work should address the verification and validation of the quantum computation, fault-tolerance, demonstrating high-fidelity (>99%) single and two-qubit gates. Proposals should demonstrate fast and efficient, high-fidelity (>99%) qubits operations including read, write, data transfer, etc…, and address the scalability towards large systems.
Work should include investigations into the industrial design, engineering and manufacturing processes necessary for mass-manufacturing the qubit platform and provide first experimental production lines. Proposals should aim at the development of open quantum computer experimental systems, and work on the reduction of their form factor. Proposed platforms should build on qubit technologies complementing the approaches of the running projects of the Quantum Technologies Flagship.
Software proposals should target the development of quantum applications and the development of industrial use cases for the quantum computers of the Quantum Technologies Flagship. Furthermore, proposals should target the development of quantum software stacks, libraries, etc., that facilitate the link from a high-level description of algorithms to a low-level implementation with quantum gates, for solving concrete problems and applications expected to demonstrate quantum advantage. The developed applications and software should be independent of the underlying qubit platform and their correct functioning should be tested on all the quantum computing platforms of the Quantum Technologies Flagship.
All proposals should be based on a close cooperation between academia and industry, define output and impact KPIs, include technology benchmarking against other approaches, and include user requirements. In addition, for the hardware proposals, they should include benchmarking against different technologies. Relevant benchmarks will be identified by the Coordination and Support Action of the Quantum Technologies Flagship.
The Commission considers that proposals for Research and Innovation Actions of a 4-year duration and requesting a contribution from the EU up to EUR 15 million for Hardware and up to EUR 4,70 million for Software, would allow the challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
As indicated in the grant conditions, all projects shall conclude a written collaboration agreement with the Quantum Technologies Flagship funded projects to actively participate in the common activities of the Quantum Technologies Flagship and in particular: Coordinate technical work with the other selected projects of the Flagship; and contribute to the activities of the Coordination and Support Action.
- Contribute to the strategic objectives of the Flagship;
- Expand European leadership and excellence in quantum computing technologies;
- Kick-start a competitive European quantum hardware and software industry;
- Achieving practical quantum computing systems for relevant applications.
KPI = Key Performance Indicator.
Illustration Photo: The D-Wave Two 512 qubit Vesuvius chip in the package, ready for cooling to near-absolute zero. (credits: Steve Jurvetson / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))