27 Oct 2021

The path forward for consolidating the commercialisation of Quantum Technologies in Europe

QuIC Executive Director, Dr. Thierry Botter writes about fostering collaboration in Europe alongside his presentation in techUK's International Collaboration Webinar. Part of techUK's Quantum Week. #QuantumFuture

Many companies are striving to develop quantum solutions capable of addressing existing and future problems that are impossible to solve using traditional means. Each has its own team of experts and business leaders, its own know-how and capabilities, and its own ambition to become a major force in the industry of tomorrow. But all share a common set of challenges that need to be overcome in order for this technology revolution to fully take hold.

Since the start of the Quantum Technology Flagship in 2018, more attention has been given at bridging the valley of death that separate the scientific research and the actual market. The support from this programme in combination with each national effort has allowed to move many of the potentially disruptive innovations up the Technologies Readiness Level scale. In spite of these, the level of commercialisation of QT in Europe is lacking in comparison to the US, and China. Indeed, the commercialisation of quantum technologies requires success on many fronts beyond the technologies themselves. Examples include a sustained demand for quantum solutions, a skilled and broad workforce, a reliable supply chain of parts and services, industry-wide standards, and a favourable environment to export and import quantum capabilities. Commercial success does not merely rest on the shoulders of each company pursuing quantum solutions. And yet it cannot be solely guided by the policy makers; it is a collective undertaking and the involvement of the companies that are fighting to bridge the commercialisation gap is essential, since no one better then them can identify the issues that need to be addressed. The European Quantum Industry Consortium (QuIC) unites these forces to achieve commercial success for the entire industry, by allowing the industry to identify the problem that hinder the commercialisation of QT.

QuIC is Europe’s largest and most influential non-profit association dedicated to establishing a thriving commercial quantum ecosystem. It brings together a large array of stakeholders, including large companies, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), startups, investors, research and technology organisations (RTOs), and others, to collaborate on topics of common interest. From a group of 14 founding members earlier this year, QuIC continues to grow and is today composed of more than 135 members from across the European continent, including Norway, the UK, Switzerland and Israel. Its members collectively span the broad landscape of quantum solutions – computing, communication, sensing and metrology, and enabling technologies – and have a combined public and private value in the trillions of euros.

QuIC, through its working groups (WG), aims at identifying the solutions needed to address the commercialisation problems that affect the European market. For instance, one of the first outputs with a direct impact on the status of the QT commercialisation will be the Strategic Industry Roadmap, which QuIC will share with the European Commission in the next months. This document will lay a clear path for the industry as a whole and will be crucial at identify all the current and future bottlenecks. Another working group focuses on the creation of a QT ecosystem with the aim of connecting start-ups and SMES to Venture capital. Also, the lack of standardisation could be a limiting factor for reacting the full potential of the European market: QuIC members define their needs and collaborate with standardisation bodies and policy makers.

There are of course other topics which are vital to the success of the QT, such as the creation of a quantum-aware workforce and an adequate IP protection, which are also addressed by QuIC working groups.

QuIC also works together with international associations and like-minded industry groups from other regions of the world to address common hurdles and create a favourable environment for these new commercial realisations to thrive and serve as a positive force for societies.

For quantum solutions to become a durable part of our technological future, achievements beyond the early demonstrations of ‘quantum advantage’ over classical means is necessary. An entirely new business environment needs to be established. QuIC serves as a collaborative hub to help create and mold such a fruitful quantum landscape.

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Laura Foster

Laura Foster

Programme Manager, Technology and Innovation, techUK

Laura is techUK’s Programme Manager for Technology and Innovation.

She supports the application and expansion of emerging technologies across business, including Geospatial Data, Quantum Computing, AR/VR/XR and Edge technologies.

Before joining techUK, Laura worked internationally in London, Singapore and across the United States as a conference researcher and producer covering enterprise adoption of emerging technologies. This included being part of the strategic team at London Tech Week.

Laura has a degree in History (BA Hons) from Durham University, focussing on regional social history. Outside of work she loves reading, travelling and supporting rugby team St. Helens, where she is from.

[email protected]

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Sue Daley

Sue Daley

Director, Technology and Innovation

Sue leads techUK's Technology and Innovation work.

This includes work programmes on cloud, data protection, data analytics, AI, digital ethics, Digital Identity and Internet of Things as well as emerging and transformative technologies and innovation policy. She has been recognised as one of the most influential people in UK tech by Computer Weekly's UKtech50 Longlist and in 2021 was inducted into the Computer Weekly Most Influential Women in UK Tech Hall of Fame. A key influencer in driving forward the data agenda in the UK Sue is co-chair of the UK government's National Data Strategy Forum. As well as being recognised in the UK's Big Data 100 and the Global Top 100 Data Visionaries for 2020 Sue has also been shortlisted for the Milton Keynes Women Leaders Awards and was a judge for the Loebner Prize in AI. In addition to being a regular industry speaker on issues including AI ethics, data protection and cyber security, Sue was recently a judge for the UK Tech 50 and is a regular judge of the annual UK Cloud Awards.

Prior to joining techUK in January 2015 Sue was responsible for Symantec's Government Relations in the UK and Ireland. She has spoken at events including the UK-China Internet Forum in Beijing, UN IGF and European RSA on issues ranging from data usage and privacy, cloud computing and online child safety. Before joining Symantec, Sue was senior policy advisor at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Sue has an BA degree on History and American Studies from Leeds University and a Masters Degree on International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Birmingham. Sue is a keen sportswoman and in 2016 achieved a lifelong ambition to swim the English Channel.

[email protected]
020 7331 2055

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Zoe Brockbank

Programme Coordinator, Policy, Tech and Innovation, techUK

Zoe is a Programme Assistant, supporting techUK's work across Policy, Technology and Innovation.

The team makes the tech case to government and policymakers in Westminster, Whitehall, Brussels and across the UK on the most pressing issues affecting this sector and supports the Technology and Innovation team in the application and expansion of emerging technologies across business, including Geospatial Data, Quantum Computing, AR/VR/XR and Edge technologies.

Before joining techUK, Zoe worked as a Business Development and Membership Coordinator at London First and prior to that Zoe worked in Partnerships at a number of Forex and CFD brokerage firms including Think Markets, ETX Capital and Central Markets.

Zoe has a degree (BA Hons) from the University of Westminster and in her spare time, Zoe enjoys travelling, painting, keeping fit and socialising with friends.

[email protected]
020 7331 2174

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