European Commission DG Roberto Viola Visits Quantum Delta NL and QuTech
"Investing in quantum is investing in the future"
On September 22nd, we were pleased to welcome Roberto Viola, Director General (DG) of the European Commission’s (EC) Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, to the Netherlands. Viola, along with colleagues and representation of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, visited the House of Quantum and QuTech.
Starting off with a round table at House of Quantum, the group discussed the tremendous progress the Netherlands is making with its comprehensive approach to ecosystem development, making the country one of the leading national programmes in quantum tech globally. The House of Quantum buildings are an integral part of the Dutch programme serving as incubators for quantum companies, offering office spaces and access to lab facilities among others. Viola continued his visit with a tour of the so-called community labs and pitches by Orange Quantum Systems, Qblox, Qphox, and QuantWare, followed by a visit to the nearby facilities of research institute and supplier of numerous spin-off companies QuTech, where they were demonstrated the latest technological advancements.
A central focus of the discussions revolved around the imperative of European support to expedite quantum tech transfer and bolster Europe's position in the early quantum economy. Nurturing these young quantum companies requires a highly specialized ecosystem, significant scientific knowledge, as well as access to substantial financial resources. As Viola discussed with startup representatives; talent, knowledge, and funding need to be connected seamlessly. Where Quantum Delta NL provides all the necessary networks and additional support to help scientists and entrepreneurs take their innovations from laboratories and workshops to market, EC-level support and collaboration on a European level are also essential. Mr. Viola stated: “Investing in quantum is investing in the future”, he referred to the ultimate vision for policy providing the example of how quantum sensing applications can add tremendous value in finding solutions for challenges like shortages in water supply.
As a globally recognized leader in classical network technology and a pioneer in emerging work into quantum networking, the Netherlands is at the forefront of building highly secure quantum networks, the excellent research performed at QuTech and other Dutch institutes being at the core of these developments. These pioneering results feed into the National Quantum Network project (QCINed), connecting EU networks within the context of EuroQCI and the Quantum Flagship. Another important European initiative in this regard is the Quantum Internet Alliance (QIA), holding office at QuTech, in which leading institutes join forces in building a global quantum internet.
Reflecting on the visit, Mr. Viola remarked, “The quantum ecosystem in Delft is positioning Europe well for the global race on quantum technologies. If we want to compete and remain strategically autonomous in this world it is absolutely essential to advance in quantum technologies. Our national and European investments should continue to reflect this, which is why President Von der Leyen announced the new Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP) in her State of the Union last week. It prioritizes investments in critical technologies for Europe’s technology sovereignty.” The EIC grants that some startups are already receiving are showing a significant impact in enabling scaling up and enhancing European competitiveness.
Investing in quantum is investing in the future
Jesse Robbers, Director of Industry and Digital Infrastructure at QDNL: “We've experienced the meeting with Mr. Viola as a tremendous acknowledgment of the acceleration we've been able to achieve for the ecosystem in the Netherlands. Furthermore, we were delighted to have such a productive discussion around enhancing collaboration across the EU27 to further expedite the development of Quantum technology.”
Quantum Delta NL thanks Mr. Viola and colleagues for their time, interest, and dedication to our joint European quantum mission.