As part of the Bavarian High Tech Agenda, the Munich Quantum Valley (MQV) project aims to establish quantum computation and quantum technologies in Bavaria, with the explicit goal to create and provide a corresponding quantum ecosystem as the basis for future education, research, development and applications of quantum science.
Near the end of 2021, after almost a year of intense discussions, consortia formation, and proposal formulation, the MQV project was granted, and the joint work was launched. In January 2022, the founding partners of MQV, the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BAdW), the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (FhG), the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Ludwig- Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), the Max Planck Society (MPG), and the Technical University of Munich (TUM), formally signed the founding document of the registered association Munich Quantum Valley e.V.. While some activities already started during the last quarter of 2021, the actual scientific work of the consortia kicked off in January 2022.
Throughout the year, the work of the MQV consortia was accompanied by numerous education and outreach activities, contributing significantly to the fast growing visibility of MQV, both in Germany and internationally. The consortia working on the holistic implementation of a full-stack quantum-computer model embarked on an intense and highly interdisciplinary exchange to determine the detailed specifications and handshaking options for the intended work packages and development lines, while simultaneously procuring new equipment. The latter turned out to be much more difficult than anticipated due to delivery problems caused by the pandemic and the, rather unforeseen and unfortunate, war in the Ukraine. Throughout the year, major efforts by all consortia were devoted to attracting additional bright minds to join the project. This year has seen an enormous boost of quantum technologies worldwide with a corresponding demand for qualified personnel. That caused substantial problems in hiring young researchers, especially at the postdoctoral level. Despite these challenging conditions, MQV managed to almost double the available personnel, compared to the about 200 researches and technicians MQV counted in January – a recognition of the attractiveness of the quantum ecosystem in and around MQV, and a motivation to continue to advance recruitment efforts.
The work of the consortia has already made significant progress in the first year. The first experimental platforms are currently prepared and will be assembled or procured in spring 2023. Theory work is well underway and paves the way for the successful implementation of quantum procedures and algorithms. The MQV Office and their scientific managers conducted several site visits to establish joint work, formulate common problems and seek joint solutions. They collected and compiled periodic reports, which allow for a smooth and continuous monitoring process. The first year has seen the commencing work of the consortia. Most importantly, the consortia have begun to establish common communication channels and protocols and to identify points of contact for the respective tasks that connect the lines of development outlined in the proposal. In short, the joint work of MQV has started and advances as intended. The success of the first year’s work was clearly visible during the first review meeting in October 2022, where nearly 200 MQV scientists gathered and reported on their respective progress. In particular, this first meeting was very well received and served to establish or further deepen the networking among the various groups. Joint interdisciplinary meetings of small sub-groups emerged and new technical exchange meetings were agreed upon.
In addition to the MQV-financed activities, several consortia have acquired grants for the realization of quantum-computer demonstrators or quantum software applications, supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) or the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). These activities involve numerous companies as well as other academic partners to enrich the development of quantum technologies with industrial resources and background knowledge. This allows for a synergistic and comprehensive development of the platforms as well as the applications. In turn, there is continued and increasing interest in MQV activities from companies and other academic institutions in Bavaria and beyond for future collaboration. In fact, there is also an increasing interest by international research institutions and agencies to collaborate with MQV, for example for student and researcher exchange. Some already consider the MQV organization as a potential role model for the creation of a highly interdisciplinary ecosystem that provides a high-tech conglomerate for quantum technologies and their potential applications.
To this end, the MQV office has collected interests and held many discussions during 2022 to prepare partnerships, both with industry and academia, to be formally agreed on in the form of memoranda of understanding. Building these partnerships and filling them with life will be an important task for the years ahead.
As part of the proposed activities in 2022, MQV has guided the establishment of “lighthouse projects”, which support research and development of quantum technologies complementary to the work of the MQV consortia. During the year, teams at several universities in Bavaria have gathered and jointly applied for projects that range from quantum sensing and quantum communication to novel quantum circuits and application-oriented quantum benchmarking protocols. These projects were granted at the end of 2022 and the scientific work of most of the lighthouse projects commenced with the start of 2023. Integrating these lighthouse projects into the MQV framework, coordinating their activities with the ongoing work of the consortia, and creating mutual exchange and networking opportunities will be another challenge for MQV activities in the coming year.
Overall, Munich Quantum Valley had a successful start in 2022, making significant strides in the development of quantum technologies and positioning Bavaria as a leading location for quantum research and innovation. Designing the platforms, hardware and software developments as well as major theory work on quantum-information science were key achievements, and the first review event was a clear indication of the progress already made. MQV is now well positioned to continue its work in the years to come.
Munich Quantum Valley
For a more detailed summary of all research consortia, as well as a list of all MQV principal investigators and a list of recent MQV-related publications, please see the MQV Annual Report 2022, released today.