The Second Quantum Revolution in Europe: A Report on the Quantum Europe Conference

17th -18th May 2016 Netherlands

In May the ID Quantique team attended Quantum Europe; the first conference of this scale in Europe intended to promote Quantum Technologies across the region.

Opened by Günther Oettinger (European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society) and Henk Kamp (Minister of Economic Affairs for the Netherlands), the conference welcomed luminaries from far and wide; including leading academics, Nobel prize winners and industry leaders from companies such as Google, Microsoft, Intel, Bosch and IBM.

As a leading European provider of quantum solutions, ID Quantique were active participants in a number of panels and plenary sessions on quantum communications. ID Quantique’s CEO Grégoire Ribordy had the opportunity to demonstrate our Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and Quantum RNG solutions to Messrs. Oettinger and Kemp.

Mr. Oettinger expressed both surprise and delight that QKD already exists and is being utilized in real-life installations. One such example is the quantum encrypted connection implemented by Dutch telecommunications operator KPN between data centres in The Hague and Rotterdam – a landmark project which we announced at the event.

During the event, Mr. Oettinger announced the launch of a €1 billion funding project to support European quantum technology and the quantum community ceremonially handed over a quantum manifesto; a document which presents the vision of the scientific and industrial community on the potential of quantum technologies.

Other interesting insights into what’s going on in the quantum world:

  • Google announced that within one year they will be able to run the first “quantum supremacy experiment” on a quantum processor with about 50 qubits. This will demonstrate results within seconds on a quantum processor, vs weeks on a supercomputer.
  • In the quantum communications panel, the Chinese announced that a Shanghai-Beijing quantum network of over 1,200 km will be launched before the end of 2016 and a quantum satellite launched before the summer.
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