QuantumBW: State launches innovation offensive
Ulm University provides spokesperson and plays an important role with its groundbreaking research in quantum science

Ulm University

The aims of the new state initiative, which was presented at Stuttgart University on Friday, 21 April, is to advance research in the area of quantum technology and to provide a networking opportunity for players from the fields of science and industry in Baden-Württemberg. The innovation offensive was presented by Minister President Winfried Kretschmann, Science Minister Petra Olschowski and Economic Minister Dr Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut. Professor Joachim Ankerhold, director of the Institute for Complex Quantum Systems at Ulm University, is one of the two spokespersons for QuantumBW.

Quantum technology, such as that used in highly sensitive sensors and extremely fast quantum computers, is one of the key technologies for the future of humankind. And at Ulm University, it is a focus of interdisciplinary research. Here, scientists conduct theoretical and experimental research on quantum physical phenomena. Researchers from Ulm University, Stuttgart University and the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research have been collaborating since 2014 at the Centre for Integrated Quantum Science and Technology (IQST), the only alliance of its kind in Germany. “We are delighted that Baden-Württemberg will become even more visible on the quantum community map, and that Ulm University will have a big role in that”, says Professor Michael Weber, president of Ulm University.

With the innovation offensive QuantumBW, the state of Baden-Württemberg is bringing universities, research institutes and companies closer together – with the hope that it will thus become an even more attractive region for skilled workers. All of the related research activities and initiatives in the state are bundled together in this umbrella structure. Minister President Winfried Kretschmann said at the presentation in Stuttgart on Friday that the alliance is expected to lead to products, applications and added value for the region within three to five years. From 2023 to 2027, the state is providing 31.1 million euros for QuantumBW. In the future, there will be an office that will serve as the central point of contact.

QuantumBW has two spokespersons: Professor Joachim Ankerhold, director of the Institute for Complex Quantum Systems and vice president for research at Ulm University (scientific advisor), as well as Dr Volkmar Denner, former director of the board at Bosch (business advisor). “Based on an already internationally unique research landscape in quantum science, we aim to take the final leap into the technology of the future with QuantumBW, initially for quantum sensor technology, but then also for quantum computing”, said Ankerhold. “Despite the fact that quantum computing still requires significantly more foundational development work, it has the potential, for example, to revolutionise materials research or logistics”. Dr Volkmar Denner added, “Quantum technologies have great disruptive potential, but they require high upfront investments and long-term staying power”.

The first network partners include Ulm University, the universities of Stuttgart, Freiburg, Tübingen, Heidelberg and Constance, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Germany Aerospace Centre, the Fraunhofer Society, the Max Planck Society, Carl Zeiss AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, the Mercedes-Benz Group and IBM Deutschland.

Translation: Kate Gaugler

Quantum research
Quantum technologies are being researched at Ulm University (Symbolic photo: Heiko Grandel)
Professor Joachim Ankerhold
Prof Joachim Ankerhold is one of the two spokespersons for QuantumBW (Photo: Elvira Eberhardt)