Our Economic Security Approach
The geopolitical landscape impacts the way the quantum ecosystem will grow. We see a growing concern among policy-makers about the role of deep tech for the future of our economies. The emergence of a number of new industrial policy initiatives reflects this zeitgeist - not only in Europe. In this dynamic landscape, we feel that quantum technology has the responsibility to think ahead and tackle potential problems such as foreign interference or supply chain bottlenecks well in advance.
For the young quantum economy in Europe to grow in a sustainable way, we need to increase the number of investors who are committed to shape Europe’s deep tech landscape. With its in-house Infinity brand, QDNL has a dedicated investment team with the task to curate the right type of investors. This is not one-size-fits-all. Infinity brings tailor-made coaching to a whole new level. This includes a carefully curated global network of investors with a growing share from Europe. The team works closely with start-ups in our ecosystem and ensures that each potential investor is screened before real conversations can take place.
Global Supply Chains
It is too early to speak about supply chains in the classical sense. Even though R&D labs from around the world need equipment from a large number of different high-end suppliers, there is very little reliable data on what is being shipped across the globe. As the quantum economy grows, it is important to have a monitoring system in place to anticipate future developments - and to signal potential dependencies early on. QDNL invests in making this monitoring scheme available to its partners who are shaping the investment and policy landscape. The more we know about the various dependencies, the better we can develop investment strategies that help support the growth of Europe’s quantum ecosystem.
Quantum technology has the potential to disrupt many of today’s industries. Experts in the field have the responsibility to reduce the risk of unwanted foreign interference. Europe’s R&D efforts are worth protecting from theft and they should not be used in violation of human rights. QDNL has an action plan (see below for download) in place to safeguard ‘knowledge security’ across its academic and entrepreneurial partners. QDNL invests in support measures that align with existing national and EU guidelines.
Without a proactive IP policy in place, quantum research will unlikely lead to establishing successful companies. In collaboration with academic institutions and research centres, QDNL has established a joint IP pool and corresponding deal terms that are applied to contracts between universities and start-ups as R&D moves “from lab to fab”. This way, tech transfer is not a prolonged individual negotiation about legal arrangements, but a standard process that saves time and resources for all partners involved.
Quantum technology - as many other high tech sectors - can be used both for civilian and military purposes. Export controls are in place for this kind of dual use technologies, with international treaties like the Wassenaar arrangement in place to allow for exports across national borders between member countries. Various segments of quantum technology are set to have a dual use status, and QDNL is committed to supporting the policy experts in change with timely and relevant information from the quantum community. At the same time, QDNL invests in studies on ‘the future of export control in a digital age’ in order to anticipate future developments in the regulatory landscape.
Every emerging industry needs agreements on interoperability and technical standards. In the quantum field, these conversations are happening through different channels, in different regions, with different mandates. QDNL invests in supporting the creation of an interconnected network of experts who can drive the conversation as the technology matures. QDNL also invests in a better understanding of the geopolitical dynamics that come with standardisation processes - and what can be learnt from previous technology sectors.