On 23 March, Quantum Application Lab (QAL) launched.
The Quantum Application Lab is partly funded by Quantum Delta NL as one of our so-called ‘fieldlabs’; bottom-up initiatives that come from the ecosystem and that we support through our programme’s Action Line 2: Building a Business Ecosystem.
Organizations that want to investigate how quantum computing can benefit their business are invited to connect to the knowledge and technical infrastructure offered by the Quantum Application Lab (QAL) now. QAL is a newly formed public-private R&D partnership that offers a unique team of scientists, researchers, engineers, application developers, software and hardware specialists in a leading platform to explore and bring to market the benefits of quantum computing. QAL will support companies to navigate this complex and changeable environment, in order to make the best possible choices for their development roadmap and their envisioned applications.
Quantum computing technology has attracted lots of attention in the last couple of years, because of its promise to deliver faster and better solutions to certain types of problems, compared to conventional binary (super) computers. This is because quantum bits are used, whose state can be a superposition of 1 and 0. This, along with other quantum mechanical effects such as interference and entanglement, will result in a fundamentally novel way of information processing.
The enormous potential in computation power that quantum computers will offer is going to solve problems that are currently extremely difficult or unsolvable for conventional computers. Examples of these are optimization problems (e.g. in risk management for banks and insurers), simulation of quantum mechanical systems (e.g. predicting the behaviour of new molecules and materials) and potentially the acceleration of machine learning tasks.
The Dutch government is making significant investments in quantum computing in order to increase the scale of innovation and development, as are other governments in Europe and elsewhere in the world.
Right now, technology development of quantum hardware is accelerating strongly, spreading from the academic realm to the high-tech industry supply chains that will produce the first prototypes, for the benefit of pioneering end-users. Companies and other organizations are starting to look at useful applications for quantum computing, but the availability of deep technical expertise and suitable hardware platforms can be a bottleneck. QAL will offer access to these services, and will collaborate closely with future end-users of quantum computers to develop solutions that will benefit people and societies.
QAL will focus on optimization, simulation, and machine learning applications initially. As such, it’s fully aligned with the roadmap of the Quantum Delta NL foundation (QDNL). QAL will evaluate and support its partners on their journeys towards ‘quantum value’ and ‘quantum advantage’ and help them to develop R&D strategies and make investment decisions.
The founding consortium partners of the Quantum Application Lab are the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI, the national research institute for mathematics and computer science), who are collaborating already through the QuSoft institute since 2015; the Netherlands Organization for applied scientific research (TNO); the Dutch collaborative ICT Organization for Dutch higher education and research (SURF); Technical University TU Delft (on behalf Quantum Inspire) and the Netherlands eScience Center. IBM Quantum will serve as a technology provider.