© Pixabay
Author profile picture

On Monday, January 11, 2021, the “Munich Quantum Valley” was launched in Munich, Germany as a joint project of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Fraunhofer Society, the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the Max Planck Society. It is being funded by the Free State of Bavaria with a total of €300 million and also plans to apply for funding from the federal government, which is supporting the development of quantum technologies with two billion euros as part of the Future Package for Germany.

“Quantum Valley Munich builds on the outstanding achievements of Munich as the cradle of German quantum research and, in line with our ONE MUNICH strategy, bundles our diverse strengths across institutional boundaries,” said TUM President Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann. “Together, we are thus creating an ecosystem for quantum technologies that can compete with the best in the world and will bring international scientific talent to Bavaria.”

That is precisely the goal of the research initiative: to make Munich one of the world’s leading locations for quantum technology over the next ten years and to advance the development of quantum science and technology on both a national and international level. Developments will include “quantum computers that dwarf conventional computers, secure communication methods and fundamental elements of quantum technology.”

Research, development and training

In a center for quantum computing and quantum technologies (ZQQ) as well as a quantum technology park, the cooperation partners want to train and further educate both young scientists and industry specialists. It also plans to support scientists at other Bavarian research locations. This includes “for work on quantum simulators for the search for new materials, methods of quantum metrology for particularly precise measurements of electric or magnetic fields, for example, or for methods of secure quantum cryptography.”

At ZQQ, quantum computers will be built for calculations that would be too complex for conventional supercomputers. In the future, this will result in commercially usable quantum computers whose computing capacities can be accessed via the cloud. In addition, “software for quantum computers and interfaces to conventional computers” will be designed at ZQQ for the quantum computers.

Education and training of researchers and industrial specialists

But it is not only scientific institutions that are expected to benefit from the project in the long term. A high-tech infrastructure in the quantum technology park is also intended to provide start-ups and established technology companies with an environment in which to develop quantum technologies at an internationally competitive level. Clean rooms with facilities for nano- and thin-film production as well as modern development and test laboratories are to be created for this purpose. Researchers from start-ups, for example, could also use these “to translate research results into innovative products faster, together with the TUM Venture Lab Quantum that is currently being established.”

To ensure success in the long term, training will be offered on how to handle intellectual property, quantum technology modules for combined training in technology and management, programs for company founders and further training for industry specialists.