How Swedish research in quantum technology can be strengthened

Quantum technology will impact on the whole of society, and major investments are being made worldwide in this field. Swedish research in quantum technology is strong, but with better national coordination and prioritisation, we can maximise the benefit and the opportunities in the area. Now, several Swedish actors have joined forces and developed a Swedish quantum agenda.

Quantum technology is based on controlling and manipulating individual atoms and photons (light particles), for example. The technology is usually divided up into four subsidiary areas: quantum computers, quantum simulators, quantum communication and quantum sensors, and is expected to impact on and change several areas of society, such as information technology, health, energy systems, finance and defence.

Major investments in quantum technology are currently being made across the world. To strengthen Sweden’s opportunities for coordination and joint prioritisation in the area, the Swedish Research Council has joined forces with RISE, Swelife, Vinnova and the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT) to draw up a Swedish quantum agenda.

The agenda provides a picture of the field in Sweden today, and of what needs to be done to promote the development and strengthen Sweden’s position. With the exception of WACQT, much of the Swedish research in the area is carried out in relatively small projects, and competition for skilled personnel is very keen. The agenda also facilitates the assessment of the international initiatives that Sweden should engage in, and forms a basis for continued discussions about coordinated prioritisations for strong Swedish research in quantum technology. The aim is to move away from scattered specific initiatives to acting and investing strategically, so that the money invested is optimally used.

Nine priority areas for strengthening Sweden’s position in quantum technology

  • Develop a Swedish national goal and strategy for quantum technology.
  • Coordinate activities in quantum technology.
  • Increase support to education in quantum technology.
  • Increase support to research infrastructures in the field.
  • Safeguard long-term financial support to quantum research.
  • Strengthen the opportunities for quantum innovation.
  • Identify applications and collaboration with industry.
  • Develop quantum standards at international level.
  • Promote Nordic, European and international collaboration.

The joint quantum agenda was submitted to the Government on 22 March.

Read the news item and the report “En svensk kvantagenda” on Vinnova’s website External link.

Quantum technology can be divided up into four subsidiary areas

  • Quantum computers have the potential to carry out computations that a classic computer cannot, including solving difficult optimisation problems, for example in logistics, DNA sequencing and machine learning.
  • Quantum simulation of complex molecules can help us to develop new medicines or catalysts. It can also help us to design new materials.
  • Quantum communication uses entangled states to send messages that cannot be intercepted. In the longer perspective, a new internet built for quantum information, a quantum internet, is being discussed.
  • Quantum sensors can enable much more exact measurements. Better atomic clocks used in GPS are one example, sensors for medical diagnostics are another.

Source: Vinnova



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