Sixteen awards in NGF Quantum Technology program, 2 TU/e projects

December 20, 2022

A prison for ions and cold atoms for a unique quantum simulator? Checking the geographical position of a bank computer with quantum verification? Quantum optics to see if a communication network has been tampered with? These are three of 16 futuristic projects within the National Growth Fund program Quantum Technology organised by NWO in collaboration with Quantum Delta NL. In total, more than €5.3 million is involved.

Rianne Lous and Claudia Galantini (1st PhD candidate) in front of the new Qubit building

A special feature of this call is that PhD researchers could apply for a personal research budget, this to strengthen the basis for the Netherlands' leading position in quantum research.

Of the sixteen projects awarded, four are from such newly promoted researchers. Also, four of the 16 applicants awarded are women. Both numbers are relatively high, but there is still work to be done. Quantum Delta NL is putting a lot of energy into achieving a better gender balance.

The 2 allocated TU/e projects

Ion Jail for new quantum simulator - dr. R.S. Lous

Ultracold atoms and trapped ions are at the forefront of quantum simulation, especially if you combine the two platforms. In quantum simulation, you build a well-controllable testbed in the laboratory with which you do research on quantum systems that aren’t easy to make. This proposal is about the design of a state-of-the-art ion trap (or jail) and the building thereof. With this ion trap the researchers build a unique quantum simulator. They will use the ion jail to probe the many-body aspects of the cold bath of atoms, where dipolar interactions play a role.

Noisy quantum computers ‘under control’ - dr. O.T.C. Tse

Quantum computers are made up of many entities that, not only interact with each other but also with the outside world. These interactions give quantum computers the power they need to surpass classical  computers, but at the same time make them difficult to control due to a phenomenon called quantum decoherence, or in other words, noise. In this project, researchers develop noise-resistant algorithms, paving the way for currently available quantum computers to solve hard problems in cryptography, and to study chemical processes for the development of new materials and medicine more effectively than currently possible.

Financial boost

“This is the first call for proposals from Quantum Delta NL, organized by its Action Line 1 ‘Research and Innovation’ committee, in collaboration with NWO. This first round of awards I see as a great success. We managed to increase the budget, which allowed us to honor more of the high-quality proposals we received. I am very curious about the results that the researchers will achieve in the coming years with this financial boost.”

Servaas Kokkelmans, coordinator QDNL Actionline 1: Research and Innovation

In 2023, NWO will open a new, similar call in collaboration with Quantum Delta NL.

Quantum technology is a key technology that can provide answers to many unsolved societal challenges. The central government is putting 615 million euros into this pioneering technology. Of this, within the Quantum Technology program, a total of 42 million euros has been set aside for scientific research and innovation, over a duration of seven years.

Ronald Hanson, chair of the board of Quantum Delta NL and member of the assessment committee: "As the assessment committee, we are proud of the high quality of the Dutch research proposals that we have received. We have high expectations of the proposals that have been selected. They all offer great potential in maintaining and strengthening the global position of the Netherlands in the field of quantum technology."


About Quantum Delta NL

Quantum Delta NL's mission is to further strengthen the thriving Dutch quantum ecosystem into the most relevant for Europe. The organisation was established in 2019 to implement the National Agenda Quantum Technology. In 2021, Quantum Delta NL's proposal received full honours from the National Growth Fund.

About the National Growth Fund

Together with initiators, the National Growth Fund invests in projects that ensure longer-term economic growth. We all ultimately benefit from this. Because economic growth generates more income, so we all have more to spend. And it gives room to continue investing in, for instance, healthcare, education and measures against climate change.

Find out more about the National Growth Fund

Find out more about Quantum Delta NL