Quantum Computing Made in Bavaria – The Munich Quantum Valley
“If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics.” – Richard P. Feynman, Nobel Laureate for Physics, 1965.
This rather discouraging quote by Mr. Feynman probably no longer holds quite true in the light of the ongoing global race towards quantum computing. Bavaria for one is well out of the starting blocks with its flagship Munich Quantum Valley project.
The Munich Quantum Valley (MQV) project was officially announced in January this year. Backed by funding of EUR 300 million by the Bavarian State Government’s “Hightech Agenda Plus” program, MQV brings together Bavaria’s leading universities and non-university research institutions, namely the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (BAdW), Munich’s two universities of excellence, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) and Technische Universität München (TUM), as wellas the Fraunhofer and Max-Planck Societies, Germany’s main non-university research organizations.
MQV aims to advance quantum science and technology at a national and international level over the coming decade. The MQV initiative is centered on three key pillars, a Center for Quantum Computing and Technologies (ZQQ), a Quantum Technology Park, and a major and sustained program of Qualification & Training in Quantum Science and Technology (QST).
• The ZQQ is to provide the key interface between science and research community and industry, develop priorities in QST research, facilitate and support R&D of enabling technologies in QST through lighthouse projects, develop and operate quantum computers and transfer results and technology to industry
• The Quantum Technology Park is to provide the technical infrastructure for development and production of quantum devices and industrial applications for quantum technology, and make it accessible for start-ups in particular
• The qualification and training initiative is to qualify and train the next generation of quantum experts, including re-training and qualification of current industry experts; it will also include outreach initiatives to bring the QST revolution to the general public
On top of the Bavarian State Government’s funding, the MQV will of course also seek to tap Germany’s national funding programs for quantum technologies and computing, not least the recently announced EUR 2 billion scheme to develop a 100-qubit-quantum computer within the next five years. In addition, there is also the European Union’s EUR 1 billion Quantum Technologies Flagship program to support the MQV.
Although called the Munich Quantum Valley, quantum technology excellence in Bavaria is not confined to the Munich area alone and the initiative will encompass Bavaria at large. Major quantum technology clusters and centers of excellence at locations like Würzburg, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Regensburg and Augsburg will complement the MQV.
In addition, major industrial companies and quantum technology start-ups, such as BMW, Infineon, IQM, and kiutra have already shown keen interest to connect with MQV, as have a range of international quantum technology companies. The pull of the MQV for international players in the field can also be seen already through the number of enquiries and projects reaching Invest in Bavaria, the business promotion agency of the State of Bavaria, which naturally is providing guidance and support to companies that wish to set up here and engage with this exciting quantum technology ecosystem.
Perhaps within a few years, a state-of-the-art quantum computer will help us understand quantum mechanics after all.