Towards Quantum Technology

At the start of 2019, several Dutch organizations working on quantum technology have taken the initiative to build a National Agenda on Quantum Technologies, to be presented in Autumn 2019.

This week I had the pleasure to host a “town hall meeting” that brought together scientists, entrepreneurs, policymakers and decision makers in order to take the next step in realizing this ambitious agenda.

Jan de Boer (NWO), Jim Stolze, Carlo Beenakker (Leiden University) and Constantijn van Oranje (Startup Delta)

The meeting was visited by well over 100 people, of which about 30% from industry, 30% from universities, 30% from various research institutes and 10% from government and societal organizations.

Keynote speaker was Charles Marcus (Copenhagen University / Niels Bohr Institute) who used a very helpful metaphor borrowed from Gödel Escher Bach: The Eternal Golden Braid. After this keynote I chaired two panel sessions together with Constantijn van Oranje (Startup Delta) to discuss the impact of quantum on security (together with Jaya Baloo and Tanja Lange) and how the Netherlands can become a leader in this field (together with Jan de Boer and Carlo Beenakker).

The audience was then divided over 8 tables to engage in discussions about how Quantum Technology may impact the key innovation challenges and what this means for the National Agenda:

  • Energy & Sustainability, facilitated by Rolf Bossert, NWO & Garrelt Alberts, QuTech
  • Agriculture, Food & Water, facilitated by Michael Vos, Microsoft & Emanuele Uccelli, TNO
  • Health & Care, facilitated by Carlo Beenakker, Lorentz Institute & Hugo Gelevert, TNO
  • Security & Safety, facilitated by Kareljan Schoutens, QuSoft & Nadia Haider, TNO
  • ELSA aspects of Quantum, facilitated by Julia Cramer, Leiden University & Floor van de Pavert, QuSoft
  • Talent Development, facilitated by Ronald Hanson, QuTech & Victor Land, QT/e
  • Development of a ‘Quantum Ecosystem’, facilitated by Job Nijs, StartupDelta & Ingrid Romijn,
  • QuTech Development of a ‘Quantum Ecosystem’, facilitated by Rogier Verberk, TNO & Maran van Heesch, TNO

Cherry on the cake was a special video appearance of professor Robbert Dijkgraaf (our man in Princeton):