Statewide alliance of top researchers
Six million euros for quantum technology network

Ulm University

Quantum technology is one of the most crucial key technologies of the 21st century. Leading research facilities and institutes have now joined together to form a statewide network in order to improve Baden-Württemberg’s strategic position as a leading region for research in this future-oriented field. The aim of the “Quantum Technology – Baden-Württemberg” (QTBW) network is to increase the state of Baden-Württemberg’s visiblity in international competition. The Baden-Württemberg Foundation is providing five million euros in funding for cross-location research projects within the network. QTBW is receiving an additional one million euros from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts (Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst, MWK) to finance their activities. The network partners include seven state universities as well as one Fraunhofer Institute and one Max Planck Institute.

“Our aim with this platform is to bundle basic and application-oriented research in the field of quantum technologies across locations and to promote exchange with the high-tech companies in the region”, explains Professor Joachim Ankerhold. The director of the Institute for Complex Quantum Systems is one of two coordinators of the quantum network. Professor Tilman Pfau, director of the 5th Institute of Physics at the University of Stuttgart, is the second coordinator. “We are working towards developing a collective actor from the somewhat competitive relationships among the various sites. Together, with combined efforts, we can be much more competitive at an international level”, says Pfau about their joint mission. One of the most important tasks of the statewide network is to establish an international guest and visitor programme. (Post)doctoral students will also have the opportunity to research and collaborate with network partners over an extended period of time. What makes this network exchange programme for young researchers so unique is that it also includes local industrial partners. Regular network meetings and status workshops will also serve to promote communication between the different sites and explore possibilities for further joint projects. An office is being set up to take care of day-to-day business. The office is located within the Center for Integrated Quantum Science and Technology (IQST), one of the leading research centres in Germany in the field of quantum sciences. IQST is a cooperative research centre run by Ulm University and the University of Stuttgart.

Partners of the “Quantum Technology Baden-Württemberg” (QTBW) network include the universities of Freiburg, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Constance, Stuttgart, Tübingen and Ulm. Other partners are the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics in Freiburg and the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart.

Baden-Württemberg hopes to expand its position as a global player

The central mission of the quantum network is to promote the research, development and application of quantum technologies. “We need an overarching umbrella strategy to develop the full potential of this future technology. The numerous spin-offs in the USA, but also in Europe, attest to the dynamic nature of this field, which is also very important for the high-tech state of Baden-Württemberg”, Pfau and Ankerhold agree.

The network’s main areas of focus include five central themes: quantum sensor technology, quantum optics, quantum control, quantum materials and quantum simulation. Scientists expect that concrete applications will already be possible in the next few years in the area of quantum sensor technology, for instance in the areas of medical imaging and materials sciences. Research institutes from Baden-Württemberg are already among the international leaders in this field. Network partners have also demonstrated outstanding international expertise in other fields of quantum research as well. “The conditions are ideal for Baden-Württemberg to secure its position as a global player in the field of quantum technology and to continue to expand”, the physicists related.

Media contact: Andrea Weber-Tuckermann

Quantum optical structure
Quantum research is one of the key technologies of the future. The picture shows a quantum optical structure from Ulm University (Photo: Heiko Grandel)
Prof Joachim Ankerhold (Ulm University) and Prof Tilman Pfau (University of Stuttgart)
Coordinators of the Quantum Technology Baden-Württemberg network (from left): Prof Joachim Ankerhold (Ulm University) and Prof Tilman Pfau (University of Stuttgart)