Quantum technology: number of investments and studies increasing

Nearly a quarter (23%) of organizations worldwide are in or are planning to deploy quantum technology, expecting to realize at least one major commercial application in the next 3-5 years. In addition, 20% of organizations expect to increase investment in quantum technology in the coming year. This is according to new research from the Capgemini Research Institute (CRI). According to the report Quantum technologies: How to prepare your organization for a quantum advantage now, China (43%) and the Netherlands (42%) have the largest share of companies working on or planning to work on quantum technologies. This puts them well ahead of Germany and the UK (26% each) and the rest of the world (23% global average).

Julian van Velzen, CTIO and head of Capgemini’s Quantum Lab, explains why the Netherlands has such a large share of companies working on or planning to work on quantum technologies: “Quantum technology is deeply rooted in science. Countries with strong quantum physics- groups benefit from this through the available knowledge and spin-off startups.The Netherlands and China have world-leading quantum institutes.”

The vast majority of organizations already working on quantum started more than two years ago. A smaller proportion (28%) of organizations working with quantum say they have only done so within the past two years. In general, quantum technologies are starting to shift from the research environment to real-world applications: of organizations working on quantum, nearly 20% have reached the implementation stage (experiments or proofs of concepts). Another 23% have identified relevant use cases and are preparing for implementation.

These companies plan to deploy the technology in a number of ways; from improving the sustainability of operations, discovering new materials for battery production, to securing information, medical sensors and reducing harmful industrial gases. Financial services firms are using quantum technologies to more accurately price risky assets, optimize portfolios for better returns, and detect fraud. In addition, pharmaceutical companies are trying to shorten the drug development cycle by using quantum technology.

The CRI conducted in-depth interviews with more than 30 industry experts worldwide to find out how the frontrunners are already using quantum technologies. The report highlights that quantum technologies have reached different levels of maturity in terms of expected applications:

Quantum computing has the highest potential of all quantum domains, but it is also the least mature. The pace of development has accelerated, driven by investor interest, increasing uses and technological breakthroughs. On average, a majority of organizations working on quantum think that the first commercial quantum computing applications will be available in five years’ time;

Quantum communications can respond to the new demands of information security, especially to secure information exchange with external parties, protect critical infrastructure (IoT and cloud-based technologies) within the organization or secure cloud data centers. Quantum cryptographic solutions are already being implemented. 58% of organizations working on quantum wait for standards to emerge before prioritizing quantum secure security;

Quantum sensors are more niche, but also more mature. As they become smaller, more energy efficient and cheaper, sensors can play a transformative role in all sectors. Quantum sensors can accelerate measurement precision, especially in the healthcare/diagnostics, defense, automotive, civil engineering, construction, oil/gas, aerospace and telecommunications sectors.

Seven in ten organizations working on quantum agree that because of the long product development cycles in their companies, they now need to invest time in building a foundation (the right skills, identifying problems, use cases, executing lab experiments or partnerships) and integrating quantum technologies into their processes. More than half (58%) of organizations working on quantum said they had received executive support for quantum initiatives in the past year.

While large-scale commercial applications are still a few years away, the report advises organizations to prepare now for the quantum advantage – the ability to deliver significantly higher performance than is possible with the current state of technology. Once the use case is established, organizations can begin experimenting with a small team of experts. Furthermore, it is critical to translate the most powerful use cases into small-scale quantum experiments, establish long-term partnerships with technology vendors, and develop a long-term strategy to scale quantum talent.

To read the full report, click here.

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