- Germany will invest a total of 3 billion euros in the development of a universal quantum computer by 2026.
- Officials say that quantum technology is essential to Germany’s technological sovereignty.
- Quantum computers are expected to house around 100 qubits by 2026 — eventually reaching 500 qubits in the near future.
Germany’s action plan for quantum technology is set to invest a total of 3 billion euros in the development of a universal quantum computer by 2026, according to the federal government’s “concept of action for quantum technology”, according to German media.
The goal is for Germany to catch up with international developments in the US and China. Of the 3 billion euros, the main research ministry will receive 1.37 billion euros, with an additional 800 million euros in the budget of state-financed research institutions. The cabinet is expected to roll out the concept by the end of April.
Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger said that quantum technology is very important for Germany’s technological sovereignty. The goal is the development of quantum computers to trigger further investment in the industry.
“With the action plan, we in Germany want to secure our place at the top of the world in quantum technology and our technological sovereignty,” said Stark-Watzinger.
Germany’s planned quantum computer should have a capacity of at least 100 qubits by 2026 and expand to 500 qubits “in the medium term”. This is a smaller capacity compared to, for example, IBM in 2022. However, with a total funding of around three billion euros, the German technology reporter stated that Germany is positioning itself at the top spot in the European comparison.
More than a Quantum Computer
This initiative is more than Germany’s ability to build a quantum computer, it is also a commitment to building a quantum ecosystem and a quantum industry. The plan lists five goals:
- To secure and expand Germany’s innovative power and technological sovereignty in quantum technology.
- To work towards the development and production of marketable products.
- Contribute to addressing societal challenges in climate, energy, health, mobility and security research with quantum technology.
- To educate and attract skilled workers and develop Germany as an attractive job site for quantum technologies.
- To introduce people to quantum technology, present opportunities and demonstrate their impact.
- To ensure a coordinated joint approach by the federal government.
Quantum computers are considered a key technology of the future because they can perform calculations in seconds, which would take many years of powerful conventional computers. While traditional computers transmit information in bits, quantum computers use qubits, which can take any value between zero and one, making them more powerful.
According to Stark-Watzinger, quantum computers could eventually help perform tasks that include the simulation of new drug compounds, secure communications, and innovative sensors to detect contaminated weaponry or navigation without the support of satellites.
The German economy will also benefit from software development, component construction and the use of quantum technologies, said Wilhelm-Mauch.
Action plan available — in German — Here.
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