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French National Quantum Update — March 2024

French National Quantum Update

Executive Summary

This was a spotlight month for France’s quantum ecosystem. Q2B 2024 was held in Paris and French companies received a share of the limelight during the conference. Participants were both enthused by the rapid progress that quantum science was making, in general, as well as impressed by the critical role French entrepreneurs, policy makers and scientists were making in this transformation. France also launched PROQCIMA, a program that aims to have two prototypes of universal quantum computers of French design by 2030. It was also announced that five companies received up to €500 million to develop those prototypes. The development of infrastructure, particularly to foster hybrid quantum-classical supercomputer use, continues to provide more French researchers access to these high-performance systems.

Policy

France 2030: Progress Update Three Years After The Launch Of The National Quantum Technologies Strategy And The Launch Of The PROQCIMA Program

During a day that brought together the quantum ecosystem at the French National Library, Sébastien Lecornu, Minister of the Armed Forces, represented by the General Delegate for Armament, Sylvie Retailleau, Minister of Higher Education and Research, Franck Riester, Minister in charge of Foreign Trade, Attractiveness, Francophonie and French Nationals Abroad, and Marina Ferrari, Secretary of State for Digital Affairs with Bruno Bonnell, General Secretary for Investment, presented on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, the concrete results of the national quantum strategy, three years after its launch by President Emmanuel Macron. On this occasion, the launch of the PROQCIMA program was announced. PROQCIMA aims to have two prototypes of universal quantum computers of French design by 2030.

French Defense Agency to Award Startups €500 Million-plus to Build Universal Quantum Computers

France’s defense-procurement agency announced the awarding of contracts to five French computer-research startups, aimed at developing technology to create two universal quantum computer prototypes by 2032, according to C4ISNET. This initiative is an example of France’s ambition to harness quantum systems for defense applications, with a total investment of up to €500 million (or about US$545 million) set aside for the project, the media outlet reports.

Can France Pull Off a Quantum Leapfrog?

The French Quantum Strategy is backed by €1.8 billion to be invested over the four-year period from 2021 to the end of 2024. National public funding accounts for €1 billion of that total, including €650 million from the France 2030 plan. The remaining €800 million comes from private investors.

A key pillar of this strategy is the development of international partnerships. In November 2022, France, the Netherlands and Germany signed a trilateral agreement to encourage cooperation in academic research in quantum technology and to grow an international ecosystem of startups around the development of quantum computers. Also in November 2022, France and the U.S. signed a joint statement on quantum information science and technology to facilitate the connections and collaborations needed to take quantum technologies from lab to market.

Business

PASQAL Announces New Roadmap Focused On Business Utility And Scaling Beyond 1,000 Qubits Towards Fault Tolerance Era

PASQAL, a global leader in neutral atoms quantum computing, today announced its latest technology roadmap. Guided by PASQAL’s mission to deliver a useful product for industry, the roadmap emphasizes the devices the company will deliver to customers and their technologies progression as informed by commercial partners. In 2024, PASQAL is already delivering quantum computers to end users with over 100 qubits, allowing for the exploration of new use cases and spurring new software development.

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Post-quantum Cryptography: Six French Cyber Players Join Forces to Design The Secure Communication Networks of Tomorrow

The RESQUE consortium brings together six French companies and organisations with complementary roles in the cybersecurity field: technology leader Thales, the consortium’s coordinator; TheGreenBow, an SME dedicated to software development for secure communication systems; CryptoExperts, an SME specialising in cryptography; the start-up CryptoNext Security; the French information system security agency ANSSI; and Inria, the French national research institute for digital science and technology, which also represents six academic institutions, namely the University of Rennes, ENS (École Normale Supérieure) Rennes, the French national scientific research centre (CNRS), ENS Paris-Saclay, Université Paris-Saclay and Université Paris-Panthéon-Assas.

Computing’s Quantum Shift

At some point in the future, the medicines that people take for everything from a simple cold to a complex disease like Parkinson’s might result from a discovery made using quantum computers. These machines, which rely on the principles of quantum physics to outperform the fastest classical computers, are widely expected to spur the development of new drugs with the potential for major improvements in healthcare.

Encryption startup CyferAll plans capital increase, banks on military networks

Post-quantum encryption start-up CyferAll is planning a new round of fundraising, which it hopes will be facilitated by the appointment of a former French general to its advisory board.

The Banque de France has successfully experimented with Cryptonext Security post-quantum security technologies

The Banque de France has successfully concluded an experimental project to test the implementation of a communication security solution using so-called “post-quantum” algorithms, that are resistant to the computing power of future quantum computers which, within a few years, threaten to make it possible to break the keys used by today’s algorithms.

Quobly Partners With Nanoacademic Technologies, Inc. To Enhance Silicon Spin Qubits For Quantum Computing

Quobly, a leader in silicon spin qubit-based quantum computing, is proud to announce its partnership with Nanoacademic Technologies, a renowned provider of digital simulation and modeling tools for quantum technologies. This announcement marks a major milestone in the development of silicon spin qubit technologies for quantum computing.

Research

First Quantum Computer Installed in a European Cloud

Michel Paulin Sylvie Retailleau Marina Ferrari and Thomas Skordas inaugurate the installation of a quantum computer from Quandela in the data centers of OVHcloud An important milestone has been reached. European quantum industrialists have reached the necessary maturity to be credible with private customers.

OVH Launches Quantum Computer at French Data Center

OVHcloud has launched a quantum computer from a data center in Croix, France. The company this week inaugurated what it described as the first quantum computer available from a European Cloud service provider.

BACQ — Application-oriented Benchmarks for Quantum Computing

With the support of the national program on measurements, standards, and evaluation of quantum technologies MetriQs-France, a part of the French national quantum strategy, the BACQ project is dedicated to application-oriented benchmarks for quantum computing. The consortium gathering THALES, EVIDEN, an Atos business, CEA, CNRS, TERATEC, and LNE aims at establishing performance evaluation criteria of reference, meaningful for industry users.

Education and Events

Pasqal Signs MoU with National IT Academy

One week after signing an agreement with the University of Calgary in Canada, Wasiq Bokhari from Pasqal signs an MoU with Majed Al-Ghassab from National IT Academy (NITA) to support quantum computing education and training in Saudi Arabia

Q2B24 Held in Paris

Q2B, the premier conference on quantum technologies defining the roadmap to quantum value, was held Paris,, showcasing the progress of Europe’s quantum ecosystem.The conference brought together computing stakeholders from all over the world to share knowledge, assess technologies, identify business value, develop essential skill sets.

If you found this article to be informative, you can explore more current quantum news here, exclusives, interviews, and podcasts.

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Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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