What special technology does the government have

Significantly help shape the second quantum revolution

1 or 0, on or off: This is how easy it is to describe the states that today's computers need for arithmetic; and these states have a single value at any point in time. In principle, quantum computers work differently than such digital computers. The smallest arithmetic units of a quantum computer can assume several values ​​at the same time - this quantum effect is called entanglement. Machine commands affect all of these values ​​at the same time. In this way, the quantum computer could calculate much faster in the future. With the new program “Quantum Technologies - From the Basics to the Market”, the Federal Ministry of Research is promoting technologies that specifically exploit such quantum effects.

Quantum technologies will significantly outperform today's technical solutions

The potential of quantum technologies is enormous - whether for information transfer and processing, for high-precision measurement and imaging processes or for the simulation of complex systems. Scientists talk about making modern communication networks secure, measuring magnetic fields in the brain and better understanding diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's, optimizing the flow of traffic and avoiding traffic jams, or developing new materials and catalysts based solely on simulations. Quantum technologies create the basis for this and will clearly surpass today's technical solutions. At the moment, however, the field is still at the beginning of technological development.

650 million euros for research into quantum technologies

The aim of the federal government is for German institutes and companies to play a key role in shaping the so-called second quantum revolution and to play a leading role in its transfer to application and marketing. The federal government is therefore pooling its strengths under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to strategically advance the development of quantum technologies in Germany. The framework program “Quantum Technologies - From the Basics to the Market” defines the starting point and the goals and explains the specific measures up to 2022.

The focus is on the following measures:

  1. Expand the research landscape of quantum technologies
  2. Create research networks for new applications
  3. Establish lighthouse projects for industrial competitiveness
  4. Guarantee security and technological sovereignty
  5. Shaping international cooperation
  6. Take the people of our country with you

The federal government is providing a total of 650 million euros for research into quantum technologies in the current legislative period.

Research and development focus in Germany

Quantum computer

In contrast to the bits of digital computers, the smallest computing units of the quantum computer, the "quantum bits" (qubits), are able to connect with each other according to special laws of quantum mechanics and thus assume a much more complex overall condition. However, the implementation of quantum computers and simulators is associated with extraordinary challenges. Therefore, very different hardware platforms and architectures for quantum computers are currently being discussed.

Quantum communication

A central issue in quantum communication is the security of data transfer. In quantum cryptography or quantum key distribution, the key to secret information is generated on the basis of individual quantum states. In contrast to conventional cryptographic procedures, the security here is based on a physical law of nature and not on a mathematical principle. This makes communication connections possible for the first time, the security of which is physically based and not just calculated mathematically.

Quantum-based measurement technology

Quantum states are very fragile to environmental influences. This offers a high technical measurement sensitivity. With quantum systems, physical quantities such as pressure, temperature, position, time, speed, acceleration, electrical and magnetic fields or gravity can be measured extremely precisely. Atomic clocks based on atomic quantum states have been used for decades as a time reference for precision measurements, for example in the context of the European Galileo navigation system or the Global Positioning System (GPS) for navigation.

Basic technologies for quantum systems

In Germany, investments of around 100 to 150 million euros per year are currently being made for laboratory equipment in the field of quantum technologies. In recent years, a number of small and medium-sized companies have emerged in Germany, predominantly from university basic research, which are successfully active in this special international market, which is mostly geared towards highly specialized small series.