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25 million euros of funding for quantum computing research

25 million euros of funding for quantum computing research

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Leibniz University Hannover holds a leading position in quantum technology research and is an essential partner within the initiative “Quantum Valley Lower Saxony”

The alliance "Quantum Valley Lower Saxony" (QVLS) has been awarded 25 million euros of funding provided by the state of Lower Saxony and "Niedersächsisches Vorab", an initiative of the Volkswagen Foundation. Today, the foundation''s board of trustees announced their decision following a recommendation of the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony. The initiative aims to combine the potential of all partners in order to develop a quantum computer based on ion trap technology while bringing together excellent research projects as well as the expertise available across various locations in Lower Saxony.

The QVLS initiative has been awarded nine million euros of funding for research activities taking place over the next year; eight million euros per annum will be provided in 2022 and 2023. Moreover, the initiative intends to acquire further funds from national and European funding bodies. Members include Leibniz University Hannover, TU Braunschweig and PTB in Braunschweig.

The ion trap technology is currently considered one of the most promising approaches for developing scalable quantum computers. Compared to other projects conducted around the world, bringing together the required expertise under one roof - including experts focusing on nanotechnology, quantum algorithms or the production of ion trap chips - presents a unique situation. Quantum technologies could be applied in numerous contexts, achieving an unmatched level of precision and efficiency.

Björn Thümler, Minister of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony and chairperson of the board of trustees: "Lower Saxony has been investing in quantum technology for more than ten years. Therefore, the infrastructure and expertise available within the initiative Quantum Valley Lower Saxony provides excellent conditions for building and advancing an ion trap quantum computer in Germany."

Prof. Dr. Volker Epping, President of Leibniz University Hannover: "For many years, quantum optics and gravitational physics have been internationally visible key research areas of Leibniz University Hannover. Our university employs some of the world''s leading experts in these fields, who will contribute their outstanding expertise within the scope of the QVLS alliance. Building a quantum computer in such a short period of time is an ambitious project. However, I am confident that we will succeed with the help of our partners."

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mlynek, in charge of the formation of the QVLS initiative and chairperson of the LUH University Council: "Today''s decision will enable us to put our demanding plans into action. Due to the great number of participating institutions and outstanding researchers, QVLS is perfectly positioned to provide internationally relevant findings on quantum computing within a few years."

Background information: Quantum computers and the ion trap technology

Just like bits as basic units of information in conventional computers, qubits in quantum computers can represent the values 0 or 1. In contrast to normal computers, qubits can also cover all intermediate stages. For this reason, the amount of information that can be stored and processed by a quantum computer increases exponentially with the number of qubits. The ion trap technology utilises ions ‒ charged atoms ‒ as the computer''s basic unit of information, one ion stands for one qubit. These ions are trapped using electric fields and subsequently controlled via radio waves and laser beams. This technology is considered one of the most promising approaches for realising a quantum computer with significant computing power.


Note to editors

For further information, please contact Mechtild Freiin v. Münchhausen, spokesperson of Leibniz University Hannover and head of Communications and Marketing (Tel. +49 511 762 5342, Email: vonMuenchhausen@zuv.uni-hannover.de).