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Denmark in the Race for Quantum Technology

Researchers from Technical University of Denmark Physics (DTU) form part of Innovation Fund Denmark's most recent and so far largest investment of EURO 10,7 million in the development of brand new quantum technology.

So far, quantum physics has mainly been a theoretical discipline. Now, a major EURO 10,7 million investment by Innovation Fund Denmark will further develop the mysterious laws of quantum physics into commercial technology. DTU Physics contributes with the development of quantum cryptography and quantum sensors and will hold an important position in the international race to be first to develop usable quantum technology.

Researchers from DTU Physics form part of Innovation Fund Denmark's most recent and so far largest investment of EURO 10,7 million in the development of brand new quantum technology. The new, national Quantum Innovation Centre (Qubiz) includes participants from DTU, the University of Copenhagen, and Aarhus University as well as from three foreign universities and 18 companies. 

Denmark in the race
"Investments in quantum technology such as Qubiz are seen many places around the world. In fact, the race is now on to be the first to succeed in developing usable quantum technology for the benefit of society. Thanks to the investment by Innovation Fund Denmark, Denmark and DTU are able to participate in this race," explains Professor Ulrik Lund Andersen from DTU Physics, who is one of Qubiz's three scientific directors.

"The use of quantum physics to explain natural phenomena has been extremely successful and is sometimes referred to as the first quantum revolution. But despite more than 100 years of research, it's been difficult to translate the theoretical laws of quantum physics into practical applications," explains Ulrik Lund Andersen.

"However, we're now seeing the dawn of a new quantum revolution, where the possibilities of designing band new technology using quantum theory are fully exploited. The vision of Qubiz is to mature this technology with the aim of developing quantum computers, new communication systems, and sensors."

"At DTU Physics, we'll contribute by developing the technology behind quantum cryptography, thereby making it possible to transfer encrypted data with completely unbreakable codes. Our second project involves developing extremely sensitive sensors which, among other things, can be used for high-resolution images of the brain's neural networks. The grant from Innovation Fund Denmark makes it possible to further develop the technologies, and thus mature the commercial market in close cooperation with the business sector."

More quantum engineers
To play a role in the next quantum revolution, it is, however, important that we also contribute to educating tomorrow's quantum engineers. DTU has therefore developed a new Quantum Engineering programme focusing on quantum physics and quantum technologies, and, funded by the Lundbeck Foundation, a new quantum laboratory for high school students and DTU students at DTU Physics is in the pipeline.

Denmark holds a unique position in that we have some of the world's leading researchers in the field of experimental quantum technology. These include Professor Ulrik Andersen, DTU Physics, and Professor Peter Lodahl, Professor Eugene Polzik, and not least Professor Charles Marcus from the Niels Bohr Institute.

Innovation Fund Denmark has decided to exploit this unique leading position that Denmark enjoys to launch a large-scale initiative aimed at bringing Denmark to the forefront of technology. This is done by investing DKK 80 million in the establishment of the national Quantum Innovation Centre, located at the University of Copenhagen, DTU, and Aarhus University, with the participation of three foreign universities and 18 companies, of which eight are foreign. In addition to DTU Physics, the other participants from DTU comprise DTU Danchip, DTU Electrical Engineering, DTU Energy, DTU Fotonik, and DTU Nanotech.

​Photographer: Nanna Kreutzmann