by Sean Silbert
Netherlands Innovation Network

In 2021, quantum computing is moving from a theoretical concept to a commercial reality. While the technology is still taking baby steps toward commercial availability, governments, researchers, and businesses have expressed greater confidence in the technology to create game-changing possibilities.

Both the United States and the Netherlands are leaders in finding ways to make the groundbreaking potential of quantum technologies a reality. It is not so simple for one country to go it alone, and cooperation is a necessary component to realize the awesome potential of quantum computing.

The Netherlands is a magnet for quantum technology and talent, having created an attractive ecosystem where an attitude of cooperation between education, science, and businesses large and small to bring the boundaries of quantum technology ever nearer.

At the same time, quantum technologies are a priority for the Trump administration, which announced quantum research initiatives under the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation and added quantum information sciences to the list of critical technologies for US government agencies.

The Biden administration is expected to accelerate this support of emerging technologies, promising more than $300 billion over four years to fund innovation.

The cooperative relationship is solving the challenges of realizing quantum technology, exploring how this groundbreaking technology can benefit a shared future.

Staying on the forefront

As the quantum research agenda continues to move forward, there are many opportunities for the Netherlands to stay on the forefront of quantum computing development. International collaboration is a stated priority of the incoming Biden administration, leading for new and stronger partnerships between quantum ecosystems.

There is a long history of collaboration between the US and the Netherlands. For years, the Microsoft and Intel have heavily invested in collaborations with QuTech, committing to the fundamental research necessary for a scalable quantum computer.

Maastricht University is working with IBM to address the quantum computing needs of future physics detectors.

The first quantum network in the Netherlands is soon to be released, making quantum communication a reality.

Dutch expertise is in demand within the US ecosystem as well. Dr. Mark Brongersma and his team at Stanford University explore new ways to use tiny structures to manipulate light, a key element in developing models of quantum computing. Dutch scientist Bert de Jong, who leads Lawrence Berkeley national Laboratory Computational Chemistry, Materials and Climate Group, explores the prospects of quantum technology in biochemistry, logistics and engineering.

As quantum computing moves from possibility to creating actual business value, finding the best talent is critical.

At the same time, quantum technologies have begun to gain traction in the private sector.

The recent Q2B conference highlighted more and more enterprises aiming to use quantum technologies to gain a cutting edge. From large public companies, like IBM and J.P. Morgan, to nimble startups focusing on everything from quantum hardware to enterprise software needs, quantum applications are inching toward commercial use.

Quantum clusters on both sides of the Atlantic are in good hands with the skills the wider quantum landscape can provide, and international researchers would be wise to look to the quantum ecosystem in the Netherlands. Key breakthroughs will be assisted by working together to explore the exciting potential quantum technologies can bring.

An overview of the trends within the quantum ecosystem in the United States can be found in this report:

Quantum Research Environment January 2021