CERN unveils roadmap for quantum technology

4 November 2021
Quantum Technology Initiative

Launched one year ago, the CERN Quantum Technology Initiative (QTI) will see high-energy physicists and others play their part in a global effort to bring about the next “quantum revolution”, whereby phenomena such as superposition and entanglement are exploited to build novel computing, communication, sensing and simulation devices (CERN Courier September/October 2020 p47). 

On 14 October, the CERN QTI coordination team announced a strategy and roadmap to establish joint research, educational and training activities, set up a supporting resource infrastructure, and provide dedicated mechanisms for exchange of knowledge and technology. Oversight for the CERN QTI will be provided by a newly established advisory board composed of international experts nominated by CERN’s 23 Member States.

As an international, open and neutral platform, describes the roadmap document, CERN is uniquely positioned to act as an “honest broker” to facilitate cross-disciplinary discussions between CERN Member States and to foster innovative ideas in high-energy physics and beyond. This is underpinned by several R&D projects that are already under way at CERN across four main areas: quantum computing and algorithms; quantum theory and simulation; quantum sensing, metrology and materials; and quantum communication and networks. These projects target applications such as quantum-graph neural networks for track reconstruction, quantum support vector machines for particle classification, and quantum generative adversarial networks for physics simulation, as well as new sensors and materials for future detectors, and quantum-key-distribution protocols for distributed data analysis.

Education and training are also at the core of the CERN QTI. Building on the success of its first online course on quantum computing, the initiative plans to extend its academia–industry training programme to build competencies across different R&D and engineering activities for the new generation of scientists, from high-school students to senior researchers. 

Co-chairs of the CERN QTI advisory board, Kerstin Borras and Yasser Omar, stated: “The road map builds on high-quality research projects already ongoing at CERN, with top-level collaborations, to advance a vision and concrete steps to explore the potential of quantum information science and technologies for high-energy physics”.

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