World Quantum Day: Recognizing and exploiting the potential of quantum computing

  • Bitkom on the Day of Action on April 14: Awareness of the topic must increase
  • Half of Germans have never heard of quantum computers

April 14 is World Quantum Day. On this day, an initiative of scientists from more than 60 countries aims to strengthen public understanding of quantum computing and technologies. Bitkom is also calling for a broader awareness of the topic on the occasion of the day of action. Almost half of Germans (44 percent) have never heard the term quantum computing. 38 percent have heard of it, but do not know what it means. Only one in ten (12 percent) has heard of quantum computers and can explain what they are. These are the findings of a representative survey commissioned by Bitkom last year. Put simply, a quantum computer understands and processes information differently than a normal computer - which means it can calculate or find information much faster. "Quantum computing has recently made great strides, but the general public is often still completely unaware of the topic," says Natalia Stolyarchuk, head of Future Computing & Microelectronics at Bitkom.

And that's despite the fact that the technology is becoming increasingly relevant for business. Whether it's drug research, supply chain optimization or predicting financial crises: The potential fields of application for quantum computing are manifold. Says Stolyarchuk, "Quantum technologies are the next significant technological step, comparable to the introduction of computers in industry. Despite considerable funding in Germany and Europe, however, there is a risk that investment will decline and progress will stagnate if the economic benefits of quantum computing are not demonstrated in the coming years."

How can companies make greater use of the technology's potential in the future? How can Germany keep pace with global competition? And why must public awareness of the topic also increase? This is what Bitkom's High Performance Computing & Quantum Computing working group has been addressing. The results are documented in the position paper "Quantum computing in Germany: unlocking potential and activating the economy". In addition to establishing leading technology providers along the value chain or supporting potential user companies, the paper also cites reducing the shortage of skilled workers in the digital industry as a decisive factor. For example, the operation of quantum computers will require skills in the future that have hardly been addressed in education to date. "In order to attract and inspire new experts for quantum computing, we need not only new education and training programs, but also greater public awareness of this technology of the future," says Stolyarchuk.