A new project aims to make quantum computers the next big thing to be “Made in Germany”

Germany is investing heavily in quantum computing with the foundation of the QSolid project, according to a report in The Register. The new project aims to build a complete quantum computer based on cutting-edge native technology.

QSolid consists of a consortium of 25 German companies and research institutions, the report says. The project has secured funding from the country’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which will invest €76.3m over the next five years.

Forschungszentrum Jülich will coordinate the German research project. This is one of the largest interdisciplinary research centers in Europe. The project aims to drive development of quantum systems by creating qubits of a high quality, aiming to deliver a demonstrator by mid-2024.

TIP: also read our story on the European Chips Act.

Joining the chase for setting standards and claiming IP rights

Quantum systems are still in the early stages of development, but promise breakthroughs in a number of areas. These include materials science and drug development. Developing a usable quantum computer comes with huge challenges, however. But QSolid scientists say it offers an opportunity to set industry standards and secure intellectual property rights from the outset.

“Our focus is on improving the quality of the quantum bits, a goal we are pursuing on all levels in QSolid,” said Professor Frank Wilhelm-Mauch from Forschungszentrum Jülich, who is the QSolid project coordinator.

The QSolid members aim to develop a system containing various quantum processors using superconducting circuits. This is the type of technology used by many other outfits developing quantum systems, such as IBM and Google. However, the current level of technology produces qubits that are of low quality. This means that they have a high error rate, which is where QSolid is focusing its research.

“The optimizations we have in mind start with next-generation superconducting circuits with a particularly low error rate, which we plan to achieve using high-precision manufacturing methods and new material systems,” said Prof Wilhelm-Mauch.

QSolid’s funding is less than the £93m that UK Research and Innovation found for quantum projects in 2020. It is also a mere fraction of the money made available for quantum research in the US.