Netherlands awards €615m to quantum growth project

Netherlands awards €615m to quantum growth project

23 April 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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The government of the Netherlands has awarded €615 million from its national growth fund to accelerate the country’s work in quantum technology.

The money goes to Quantum Delta NL, which has five major quantum hubs — in Amsterdam, Delft, Eindhoven, Leiden and Twente — as well as several universities and research centres, which are all connected.

Mona Keijzer (pictured), state secretary of economic affairs and climate policy for the Netherlands, said: “The government must also actively provide large-scale public funding to further develop research, innovation and technology, to allow start-ups to grow, to attract talent, to keep innovation in the Netherlands and thus to strengthen our international position.”

The hubs are collaborating on innovation by bringing together top-quality scientists, engineers, students and entrepreneurs, working together on the frontier of quantum technology.

Ronald Hanson, chairman of the supervisory board of Quantum Delta NL, said: “There is no doubt that quantum technologies will have a profound impact on the world, transforming information and communication technology systems to deliver benefits for all of society. This investment in Quantum Delta NL’s ambitious program signifies the Netherlands’ long-term commitment to advancing the technology.”

The funds will be used to train 2,000 researchers and engineers, to scale 100 start-ups and to host three corporate R&D labs in the Netherlands by 2027.

Quantum Delta NL is a public-private foundation, launched in 2020 with the mandate to coordinate and execute the Netherlands’ national agenda for quantum technology (NAQT).

The programme is organised around four pillars: R&D, talent development, market creation, and societal impact, said Quantum Delta NL. The quantum industry in the Netherlands projects it will create 30,000 high-tech jobs and have a cumulative economic impact of €5 billion to €7 billion.

Freeke Heijman, who started her career at KPN’s research division and is now a director of Quantum Delta NL, said: “An ecosystem approach was activated where the academic, public, private and government sectors work symbiotically to drive the initiative forward. While the Netherlands has already matured from strategy to the execution phase of the NAQT, this critical funding is needed to scale the ecosystem in all its facets: people, facilities and capital.”

Keijzer said: “I see great opportunities for the collaborating companies, knowledge institutions and governments involved in this, such as at Quantum Delta NL, to start capitalising on these challenges.”