The future of quantum technologies: MQV at the Festival of the Future 2023

From July 6 to 8, Munich Quantum Valley was part of the Festival of the Future on the Museum Island in Munich. At the booth, on panels and in workshops, MQV together with MCQST, PhotonLab and QL3 informed the diverse audience about quantum technologies.

At this year's Festival of the Future, which took place from July 6 to 8 in the Forum of the Future on the Museum Island in Munich, MQV informed the visitors about the potentials of quantum technology and especially quantum computing. For the second time, the organizers 1E9 and Deutsches Museum invited representatives from science, business, politics and art to discuss new technologies and ideas for a better future.

On all three days, the diverse audience showed keen interest in the booth in the exhibition area, where MQV together with the Cluster of Excellence Munich Center for Quantum Science and Technology, the partner project QL3 and the student lab PhotonLab provided insights into quantum technology.

At the booth, visitors could learn about basic principles of quantum physics such as wave-particle duality.

Diverse audience, diverse questions

The visitors from very different backgrounds – natural sciences, IT, finance, design or communications, to name a few – shared fascination for new technologies. At the MQV booth, the audience, some of whom were coming into contact with the field of quantum technology for the first time, was infected by the enthusiasm for this field of technology. The questions were as varied as the audience: while some were primarily interested in the basic principles of quantum physics and learned about wave-particle duality from the quantum eraser experiment, others inspected chips with superconducting qubits, visited a research lab for ultracold atoms with VR glasses and wanted to know details about the different technological approaches to realizing quantum computing hardware. Still others were primarily interested in potential applications and socially as well as economically relevant aspects of quantum computing. On the first day, the Bavarian Minister of Science, Markus Blume, also visited the exhibition. Furthermore, students took the opportunity to get information about PhD and career opportunities within MQV and MCQST.

MQV was also present in two panel discussions. The panel "Beyond NISQ: How to harness the potential of quantum computers," persued the question of what further steps in research and development are necessary to move from error-prone quantum computers with a limited number of qubits to error-corrected, scalable devices. Robert Wille, Professor for Design Automation and member of the MQV consortia Q-DESSI and QACI, brought his perspective as a software expert to the table. Tatjana Wilk, General Manger of MCQST and spokesperson of the QST-EB consortium, and Christopher Trummer, spokesperson of QTPE, contributed to the panel "Building an Industry: How to create a quantum valley" with their experience in the field of appropriate education and training offers and the promotion of spin-offs.

Silke Stähler-Schöpf, head of the PhotonLab, during the workshop on quantum crytography.

Getting to know Quantum in hands-on workshops

On Saturday, the festival program was free for everyone and also aimed at families with children. PhotonLab presented its second episode of "Alice im Quantenland", an audio drama series for young and old to learn about fundamental principles of quantum physics. The student lab further gave two workshops on quantum cryptography, showing the participants how the laws of quantum physics can be used to securely encrypt messages. The QL3 workshop was also very popular. At the “Quantenkoffer” – a compact optical "experimental set" that enables experiments with single photons even outside a laboratory – the participants were allowed to get hands-on. From elementary school children to retiree, every age was part of it.