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A Brief Overview of Quantum Computing in France

Introduction

France has a solid background in developing and researching quantum computing and quantum tech. With world-class research institutes and government agencies, the country is one of the leaders on the European continent and on the world stage for quantum innovation.

The Quantum Insider must warn you, however, that as it says in the title, this is a “brief” outline of the quantum tech industry in France, and we have only covered a fraction of what is actually going on. If we missed anyone or anything, please don’t take it personally — we’re only human, after all.

Government Position

In early 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron announced his country intended to build a “quantum plan” for France worth about 1.8 billion euros over the following five years. Since then, the country has been busy. Only last December, Macron announced the sending of the “first diplomatic telegram encrypted using post-quantum cryptography” to the French embassy in Washington, a clear signal that France is serious about PQC and other areas of quantum tech.

In the same month, France agreed to deepen collaboration with the US on quantum information science, part of the earlier Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation the two countries signed in 2018 and the Joint Statement on Science and Technology Cooperation signed in 2021.

Research

The Institut Quantique (IQ), a joint research institute between the Université de Sherbrooke in Canada and the Université Grenoble Alpes in France, focuses on quantum computing, quantum communication and quantum materials.

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CEA-Leti, whose research institute is located in Grenoble, has a research program on quantum computing, including research on superconducting qubits and quantum simulation.

Others include the École Polytechnique — The Theoretical Physics Center (CPHT), based in Palaiseau, Loria — Classical and QUAntum MOdels of Computation (MOCQUA) and Sorbonne Université and its Quantum Information Center.

Private Sector

France has a thriving quantum private sector, with over a dozen startups in the space. Here is a sample:

Pasqal was founded in 2019 and is building a programmable quantum simulator using atomic arrays of neutral atoms.

Alice & Bob is a company working towards building an error-corrected, fault-tolerant quantum computer.

Quandela is yet another one. The Paris-based startup is developing high-performance devices for quantum optics applications.

On the financial side of things, venture capital firm Quantonation specializes in quantum technologies by investing in startups working on quantum computing, quantum communication and quantum sensing.

Although a publicly traded company, the French multinational Thales Group specializes in electronics and defence but now has a quantum research program that focuses on quantum cryptography and quantum sensing.

Key People

Here are a couple of the key people working to make the French quantum ecosystem one of the best in the world:

Alain Aspect is a physicist known for his experimental work on quantum entanglement. For this, he was awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with John Clauser and Anton Zeilinger, “for experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science”. Aspect is Augustin Fresnel Professor at Institut d’Optique Graduate School, France, Professor at Ecole Polytechnique, France, Senior Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies and adjunct professor at City University, Hong Kong, and Distinguished scientist.

Along with this, Aspect is also involved on the commercial side of things, as he is a co-founder and scientific advisor for Pasqal.

Another individual making quantum more accessible is Christophe Jurczak, founder and partner at Quantonation, Treasurer and a Director at The Unitary Fund — a non-profit helping create a quantum technology ecosystem that benefits the most people — as well as acting as a Mentor at Duality Accelerator, an accelerator supporting next-generation startups focused on quantum science and technology. Jurczak is also on the board at quantum startup, Welinq, which provides a high-performance quantum memory to deploy our hardware-agnostic and full-stack quantum links solution in order to interconnect multiple quantum processing units.

Conclusion

It’s clear France has a strong presence in global quantum computing. With top-class research institutes, a plentiful supply of startups, venture capital firms, and corporations all contributing to the development of quantum technology, the country is set to play an important role in the future.

For further reading on France’s quantum tech landscape, please check out our French National Quantum Update, published monthly and this detailed report here. Additionally, on June 13th the France Quantum conference takes place at Station F, Paris.

Quantum Intelligence Platform

This is only a basic overview of what is happening in France in the quantum tech industry. Want to find out more about the French quantum ecosystem? For a more in-depth look at the market there, look no further than The Quantum Insider’s very own Quantum Intelligence Platform, the leading provider of Quantum Computing market data, reports, analytics, and insights on QC companies, investors, funding, and more.

Based on our proprietary taxonomy and customizable metadata, the platform allows you to find robust funding commercial information that can be filtered by subsector and technology type while being effortlessly integrated into The Quantum Insider’s database of news and information on the Quantum Computing industry.

But that’s not all, recently we added our Data Graph Explorer, a tool that allows those interested to spot interesting relationships and connections in the quantum market and make decisions based on those relationships.

Featured image: Image by Walkerssk from Pixabay

For more market insights, check out our latest quantum computing news here.

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James Dargan

James Dargan is a writer and researcher at The Quantum Insider. His focus is on the QC startup ecosystem and he writes articles on the space that have a tone accessible to the average reader.

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