It’s been an eventful year for France’s quantum experts and enthusiasts. We have seen French scientists significantly advance research that is bringing the quantum era closer and closer. French entrepreneurs have built businesses that are in global leadership positions for quantum tech.
The French quantum community closed 2023 strongly with all elements of the ecosystem reporting new collaborations, cementing partnerships, progressing with research advances and preparing for success in the new year. The community also seemed resolved to take the steps necessary to strengthen their global standing in quantum science, while confronting the massive challenges of building a quantum industry.
Here we report on just a few of those success stories, as well as on news on how France is preparing to tackle the challenges of the quantum era.
The signatory Member States recognise the strategic importance of quantum technologies for the scientific and industrial competitiveness of the EU and commit to collaborating on the development of a world-class quantum technology ecosystem across Europe, with the ultimate aim of making Europe the ‘quantum valley’ of the world, the leading region globally for quantum excellence and innovation.
To date, 11 Member States have endorsed the Declaration: France, Belgium, Croatia, Greece, Finland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Malta, Estonia and Spain.
To meet the challenge of European (open) strategic autonomy in this technology area, and to create the basis for future European leaders in quantum, Guido Biessen, the Dutch Acting Director-General for Enterprise and Innovation, Bruno Bonnel, the French Secretary General for Investments and Ina Schieferdecker, the German Director General for Research for Technological Sovereignty and Innovation signed a Joint Statement On Cooperation in Quantum Technologies. Its aim: to increase the synergies between the Dutch, French and German ecosystems and achieve the critical mass needed to help develop European leaders and attract the best international talents.
(Macron) reminded the audience on Thursday that science and research, which allow to “build growth,” are “an essential issue of sovereignty.” He spoke of the “strange defeat” of France’s failure to produce a vaccine during the Covid-19 crisis, and referred to the “geopolitical competition” surrounding quantum technologies and artificial intelligence.
On Thursday 7 December 2023, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, announced the creation of a Presidential Scientific Advisory Committee, made up of twelve scientists. “The committee will bring together researchers working in a wide range of fields, who will advise the President on how best to place science at the heart of technical decisions and strategy,” said the Élysée Palace.
Alice & Bob, a leading hardware developer in the race to fault tolerant quantum computers, announced the tape out of a new chip expected to improve error rates with every qubit added, making it a prototype for the company’s first error-corrected, logical qubit.
Toulouse, France-based Airbus and the BMW Group launch a global Quantum Computing Challenge entitled “The Quantum Mobility Quest” to tackle the most pressing challenges in aviation and automotive that have remained insurmountable for classical computers. This challenge is the first-of-its-kind, bringing together two global industry leaders to harness quantum technologies for real-world industrial applications, unlocking the potential to forge more efficient, sustainable and safer solutions for the future of transportation.
QURIOSITY Seeks to Extend Quantum Information Science’s Application Horizon QURIOSITY is an Inria project-team, joint with Télécom Paris – Institut Polytechnique de Paris. The team is part of LTCI (Laboratoire de Traitement et Communication de l’Information) and is affiliated with the Inria Saclay Research Center. QURIOSITY’s ambition is to extend the application horizon of quantum information science by addressing novel questions positioned at the intersection between theoretical research in quantum information and quantum engineering. In particular, we intend to exploit the properties of complex high-dimensional quantum systems to achieve advantages in computational or communication tasks, taking advantage of digital information processing and quantum photonics technologies.
Cryptography Remediation Solutions And Accelerate International Expansion
CryptoNext Security announces it has secured €11 million funding for the industrialization of its Quantum Safe Remediation Solutions and its international expansion. The funding round is led by AVP (AXA Venture Partners) and Quantonation with participation from Auriga Cyber Ventures.
CryptoNext Security, founded in 2019 by Jean-Charles Faugère after over 20 years of leadership in post-quantum cryptography academic research and spin-off from Inria, CNRS and Sorbonne University prestigious laboratories, has its headquarters based in Paris, France.
Eviden, the Atos Group business leading in advanced computing, today held its 10th Quantum Advisory Board – a group of international experts, mathematicians and physicists, authorities in their fields, including winners of two Nobel Prizes – to assess the evolution of the market, and to discuss and advance on the Group’s quantum strategy.
Interdisciplinary work by CQT researchers and collaborators analyzes the balance of performance to resource costs of a full-stack quantum computer. Researchers anticipate that ‘quantum advantage’ in quantum computing can come in different flavours. As well as boosts to computing power, there may be opportunities to reduce energy costs. To study this possibility, researchers from CQT and the French National Centre for Scientific research (CNRS) have proposed a systematic methodology to tabulate the energy bill for quantum computers. Their paper was published in PRX Quantum on 30 October 2023.
Qubit Pharmaceuticals, a deeptech company specializing in the discovery of new drug candidates through molecular simulation and modeling accelerated by hybrid HPC and quantum computing, announces a major scientific breakthrough after achieving quantum computations simulating 40 qubits with its new Hyperion-1 emulator.
From Physics World: To Ben Lanyon and colleagues at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and the University of Paris-Saclay, France, for constructing a quantum repeater and using it to transfer quantum information over a distance of 50 km via standard telecommunications fibres, thereby demonstrating all the key functionalities of a long-distance quantum network in a single system
Education and Events
Plug & Play brought together experts from France and the United States to delve into the fascinating world of quantum. Guest speakers included Dr Charina Chou (COO at Google Quantum), David Rivas (CTO at Rigetti computing). French startups offered feedback on recent collaborations with experts, investors, founders… from both American and French quantum ecosystems.
In the early 1640s, Blaise Pascal, still a teenager, invented the first mechanical calculator. Popularly known as the Pascaline, this artifact kicked off a technological revolution of machines as helpers in solving math problems. Since PASQAL is a French quantum computing company, building the next generation of supercomputers, we bear his name in his honor.
The Japanese-French Quantum Information 2023 workshop was organised by the Japanese-French Laboratory for Informatics (JFLI), an International Research Laboratory (IRL 3527) formed by two French institutions (CNRS and Sorbonne University) and three Japanese institutions (NII, The University of Tokyo, and Keio University). This workshop is sponsored by the Embassy of France in Japan.
This workshop took place in Tokyo from Wednesday 13th to Friday 15th of December of 2023, and its main goal is to maintain and strengthen the collaboration between quantum information researchers based in Japan and France.