On 29 October, the Austrian Presidency of the Council launched the Quantum Technologies Flagship during a high-level event in Vienna hosted by the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The initiative has a € 1 billion budget to fund research into quantum technologies in Europe. It will initially use €132 million from this pool to fund 20 projects, from October 2018 to September 2021. These first projects are focusing on quantum communication, quantum computing, quantum simulation and quantum metrology and sensing. One such project combines high technology and health objectives in the field of cardiovascular disease.
The budget for quantum technologies is set to be part of the Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programmes.
Quantum technologies use the properties of quantum effects – the interactions of molecules, atoms, and even smaller particles, known as quantum objects – to create practical applications in many different fields. Quantum technologies are bringing major technical advances in many different areas, including computing, sensors, simulations, cryptography and telecommunications.
Negotiations are ongoing between the European Parliament, Council and Commission to ensure that quantum research and development will be funded in the EU's multi-annual financial framework for 2021-2028.
The Quantum Technologies Flagship is currently supported by Horizon 2020 as part of the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme, which currently runs two other Flagships (The Graphene Flagship and the Human Brain Project Flagship). The FET programme promotes large-scale research initiatives to drive major scientific advances and turn them into tangible innovations creating benefits for the economy and society across Europe.
The Quantum Technologies Flagship is also a component of the Commission's European Cloud Initiative launched in April 2016, as part of a series of measures to support and link national initiatives for the digitisation of Europe's industry.