Ioanna is a writer at TNW. She covers the full spectrum of the European tech ecosystem, with a particular interest in startups, sustainabili Ioanna is a writer at TNW. She covers the full spectrum of the European tech ecosystem, with a particular interest in startups, sustainability, green tech, AI, and EU policy. With a background in the humanities, she has a soft spot for social impact-enabling technologies.
A new EU-backed project aims to help quantum tech startups and SMEs move faster to hardware production, enter this very competitive field early, and remain within the union’s borders.
Dubbed Qu-Pilot, the €19m project aspires to solve a pressing challenge of the European industry: transitioning innovation from lab to market. The ultimate goal is to accelerate the time-to-market of the bloc’s industrial innovation in quantum technology and help establish a trusted supply chain.
Qu-Pilot will remove a significant barrier for companies, namely piloting, which requires considerable cost, infrastructure, and time investments.
The project will leverage existing piloting infrastructure, primarily spread across European research and technology organisations (RTOs). It will also facilitate product development loops in collaboration with the union’s hardware sector. This will result in the first federated European production capabilities for quantum technologies, which will contribute to setting standards in the field and be accessible to startups and SMEs.
These federated pilot lines will focus on four technology platforms: superconducting, photonics, semiconducting, and diamond technologies, enabling applications in quantum computing, communication, and sensing.
Qu-Pilot consists of 21 partners from nine different countries, including the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), Belgium’s Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC), and Fraunhofer Society in Germany. The project started this month and will run for 3.5 years.
Alongside the Quantum Technologies Flagship, the newly-launched Qu-Pilot is part of the EU’s strategic plan to boost quantum development in the bloc, convert research into commercial applications, and secure its technological sovereignty in the field.
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