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Europe’s quantum sector is poised for massive growth

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The European quantum computing sector is arguably the most exciting field in technology. Funding is at an all-time high and the number of quantum startups is increasing year after year. Still, the global media tends to portray the EU and UK as potential runners-up in the supposed quantum computer race.

To understand Europe’s position in the global quantum computing market, we need to turn the clock back a few years. Investors and entrepreneurs started flocking to quantum during the tech boom of COVID-19 and despite the expected decline after the pandemic, analysts predict a huge increase in market size in the next 5-15 years. However, that optimism is somewhat dampened by the fact that quantum computing is a technology that is still in its infancy.

Some scientists believe that quantum computers will never be as useful as the companies that build them hope. Still others are afraid development delays can lead to a “quantum winter” where investment and research funding stall and bring the field to a standstill. Fortunately, those views seem in the minority.

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Industry analysis and peer-reviewed research largely show that quantum computing is about to make a breakthrough in Europe, similar to the deep learning explosion that began in 2014. And it’s currently showing no signs of slowing down.

This shouldn’t be shocking news to anyone. Europe’s where quantum was born. This is not new technology being imported. It is the continuation of more than a century of work that began essentially in Germany.

The first quantum revolution began when German scientist Max Planck published his groundbreaking study on “blackbody radiation” in December 1900. A few years later, Planck would help a young Albert Einstein refine the theory of relativity that would eventually become part of the foundation of our current understanding of physics. Simply put, without European scientists there would be no quantum computing industry to speak of.

Today that industry is worth it somewhere around €500 million. The comprehensive picture, for the EU and the UK, includes public funding from almost every country in Europe, the participation of hundreds of academic institutions and the creation of over 69 quantum computing-focused startups. But before we dive into those companies and institutions, it’s important to understand Why they are invested in quantum computers.

max planck