Quantum Flagship, the third biggest European research program, will finance projects from the Universities of Geneva and Neuchâtel as well as the CSEM.

After the Human Brain Project, the European Union (EU) will be investing one billion dollars within the next ten years towards research in quantum technologies. It is the third major European program aimed at the development of future technologies.

Out of the 141 submitted projects, 20 were selected for the first 2018-2021 period and will be sharing 132 million Euros (140 million Swiss francs). The Universities of Geneva (three projects) and Neuchâtel with the CSEM (one project) are among the winners.

Quantum cryptography

One of the selected projects from the University of Geneva is the “Quantum Random Number Generation” project. It focuses on the use of random quantum numbers for Internet applications, cryptography and the calculation of high performances. The idea is to maximize the security of online transactions.

The Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) is also coordinating one of the selected projects, which brings together 14 industrial and academic partners, including the Universities of Basel and Neuchâtel. Named “macQsimal”, this project aims to develop a new generation of sensors, which would considerably increase the performances of electronic devices for the general public, medical devices and connected objects.

The first quantum revolution resulted in the discovery of critical technologies like transistors and lasers. Without these, computers, mobile phones and the internet would have been unthinkable. Today, thanks to the possibility of manipulating fundamental quantum properties in systems and materials, significant discoveries can be made in the fields of health, security, transportation, energy or environmental sciences, among others. The “FET Flagship on Quantum Technologies” of the European Commission aims to position the continent at the forefront of this movement.