Technological sovereignty, digital resilience, and investment into next generation industry are undoubtedly high priorities for Europe in the coming years and decades. Geopolitical and geoeconomic competition, war in Europe, energy crisis and chip shortage have all emphasized on the one hand, the value, and on the other, the vulnerability, of our societies, industries, and critical infrastructure – and not the least their digital dimensions. Now is the time for European decision-makers to take leadership in the development of quantum technologies, and to rally around companies that are committed to building the solutions that Europe and the world will need tomorrow.
To seize the potential of the quantum industry, we must tackle challenges with scalability
Huge expectations are directed at quantum technologies. And for a good reason. Quantum industry holds huge potential, which to an extent, will only be revealed as we witness new technological solutions, disruptive applications, and commercially competitive products and services come out over the next years and decades. This will take time, resources, and ambition, but whether it can be done is no longer a scientific question.
For all of that to happen, however; we need to first overcome key challenges with the scalability, sustainability, and costs of quantum computers. The problem of scaling up quantum computers from a handful of qubits – or even a few hundred – to hundreds of thousands and then millions still requires technological breakthroughs. At SemiQon, we focus on developing one of the most promising modalities to do it. To us, building powerful, resilient, and cost-effective quantum processors goes beyond overcoming an engineering challenge. It is what needs to be done if we want to see the many promises of quantum computing realized. And it is a way to boost European manufacturing, build societal resilience, and support technological sovereignty.
Building powerful, resilient, and cost-effective quantum processors goes beyond overcoming an engineering challenge [...] it is a way to boost European manufacturing, build societal resilience, and support technological sovereignty.
There are efforts around the world to solve this problem in different ways, but we believe that SemiQon processors will be the most viable and cost-effective solution. In addition to having a technological edge over alternative methods, our semiconductor-based processors also mean that we are not starting from scratch but instead, building on existing semiconductor infrastructure and industry.
Europe needs a competitive edge as it moves forward with the Chips Act
The global chips shortage during the pandemic caught many by surprise, revealing vulnerabilities in the basic building blocks of our digital society. It was also a valuable lesson. When it comes to critical technologies, we cannot afford to fall behind, depend on others, or wait and see.
Recently, the European Union has taken crucial steps to course correct through regulation. The European Chips Act is designed to create conditions that will allow the European share of the global semiconductor market to rapidly double from 10 % to at least 20 % by 2030. Reaching this goal will require significant private and public investment, but also a strategic angle that will position Europe as a key player instead of merely playing catch up with East Asia and the United States.
When it comes to critical technologies, we cannot afford to fall behind, depend on others, or wait and see.
Europe needs a competitive edge. And this edge can come from the potential combination of semiconductor and quantum computing industries. Bringing together the existing knowhow and manufacturing infrastructure of semiconducting on the one hand and the possibilities of the growing quantum industry on the other, Europe can reach its goal of occupying a key position in developing the technologies needed for green and digital transformations both at home and on the global scale. By being a first mover in the domain with strategic public funding on the semiconductor-based quantum computing systems, Europe has the potential to lead the race.
Europe needs a competitive edge. And this edge can come from the potential combination of semiconductor and quantum computing industries.
Cooperation, regulation, and investments are needed to secure autonomy and advanced capabilities in strategically important technologies
To capture the advantages, this is not the time to take a back seat. The European Chips Act is the first step, but it is only the beginning.
Public investment and public-private partnerships should be encouraged in the quantum computing domain. Not only is it crucial for Europe to prioritize autonomy and advanced capabilities in strategically important technologies, but investments into these technologies, such as cryogenic CMOS, can have positive spillover effects for instance on the space industry, where Europe already has exceptional technological capabilities.
As companies in the industry, we need to actively seek out opportunities for cooperation in new and innovative ways and look for value in each other’s expertise.
As companies in the industry, we need to actively seek out opportunities for cooperation in new and innovative ways and look for value in each other’s expertise. Especially in the European market, where RDI isn’t primarily powered by big commercial players as it is in the United States or by far-reaching government involvement like in China, working together is key in renewing industry and securing Europe’s technological sovereignty.
For European decision-makers, it is important to view the “quantum race” as one we cannot afford to lose, and as one where there is a lot to be won. Realizing the promise of quantum requires commitment and resources but creates unlimited opportunities for European industry.