The global race for the most powerful quantum computers, the most secure quantum communication, the most sensitive quantum sensors and the most successful quantum medicine is now well under way. It’s all about the markets of the future. Subsidies, research groups and leading companies are shaping the dawn of a new quantum age. Messe München now offers the dynamic community a platform: World of QUANTUM. Because many quantum solutions originate from photonics, World of QUANTUM will be launched alongside LASER World of PHOTONICS 2022—the world’s leading trade fair for photonics components, systems and applications which is taking place for the 25th time.
“The quantum community is calling for a trade fair platform. The time is right for World of QUANTUM,” says Anke Odouli, Exhibition Director for LASER World of PHOTONICS. The coffers for subsidies are full, whether it be in Europe, Asia or the U.S. Research associations are being set up. Top institutions, global groups, innovative medium-sized companies and start-ups are shaping the dawn of a new quantum age with futuristic ideas, solutions and research approaches. Like in 1973, when Messe München invited the young photonics community to the first LASER event, it now offers quantum pioneers a trade fair platform for presenting their latest products and networking. From April 26-29, 2022, the community will come together for the premiere of World of QUANTUM in Munich.
“We’ve reached a point in quantum computing where this technology no longer belongs just in the laboratory,” explains Dr. Walter Riess, Head of the Science and Technology department at IBM Research in Zürich which has already received two Nobel prizes. By 2023, the group would like to build a quantum processor with over 1,000 qubits. By then, the expert expects to see applications which classic computers are unable to cope with. This is another reason why the number of players from industry and research is growing rapidly: around 170 organizations are represented in the IBM Quantum Network alone. Over 300,000 users around the world access IBM quantum computers and the Qiskit software development environment has been downloaded over 650,000 times.
Quantum computing offers promise in many areas, from complex simulations in the chemicals and pharmaceuticals sector to transport and logistics, the financial sector or material sciences. Experts encourage potential users to hold open discussions in order to identify future opportunities early on. This also applies to quantum communication and sensors which, as enabling technologies, not only open up new possibilities in the area of sensor systems and allow absolutely reliable communications but also offer great potential for rapid change in the relevant markets. “It’s a good idea to be involved from the start and seek contact with others. A trade fair such as World of QUANTUM is the ideal meeting place,” says Riess.
According to observations made by Prof. Immanuel Bloch, spokesman at the Munich Center for Quantum Science and Technology, scientists and business people are often active in different networks. “The trade fair offers a platform for networking and ideal starting points for companies looking to get involved in this growing, highly technological field,” he says. As Bloch points out, World of QUANTUM is starting just at the right time. “The basic research has already led to significant progress in the field of quantum technologies. What we need now is for industry to get involved in order to push back the boundaries of what is possible,” says Bloch.
The CEO of Alpine Quantum Technologies (AQT) GmbH, Dr. Thomas Monz, shares his view. As he explains, quantum technology is breaking out of laboratories into the “public domain” and is faced with new, application-oriented challenges. This means that it’s now time to establish interfaces and standards with a view to integrating quantum computers into computing centers. Sharing experiences openly at a trade fair is important for this. “Who knows—at the next LASER after this, the timetables for public transport could be optimized with the help of quantum algorithms, while simulations on quantum computers could make new batteries for your electric car possible.” And these are just two of the many innovations which could change visitors’ day-to-day lives in the future. The AQT boss is certain: “The quantum revolution is coming. It’s now important to get companies and employees ready for it. World of QUANTUM offers an opportunity to do just that.”
World of QUANTUM will be launched with a sophisticated health and safety concept which has proven successful at other Messe München events where visitors have been present on site. A hall concept developed specially for the premiere offers a range of exhibition formats tailored to the needs of research associations, quantum clusters, global players, medium-sized solution providers and start-ups. There will also be a full program of presentations during which experts can discuss the wide range of quantum applications and visions. The exhibitors include not only IBM, AQT and the Munich Center for Quantum Science and Technology but also several Fraunhofer Institutes, clusters and associations such as Bayern Innovativ and SPECTARIS along with solution providers such as Thorlabs, PicoQuant, Q.ANT, KETS Quantum Security, KEEQuant, RedWave Labs and Optica.
Many of the companies are long-standing exhibitors at LASER World of PHOTONICS. They include TOPTICA Photonics AG, whose President Dr. Wilhelm Kaenders regards the launching of World of QUANTUM as part of the world’s leading trade fair for photonics as a logical development: “Just like studying the properties of the photon played a central role in our understanding of the quantum properties of nature, the photon will play a central role when it comes to implementing quantum technologies in the future,” he explains. Given that the topic of quanta originated from photonics, it makes sense for LASER World of PHOTONICS to make it a central and prominent part of the trade fair. He’s convinced that the quantum trade fair will be a success: “In the next few years, Munich will become a central marketplace for this key technology in this young century.”