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In general industrial technologies are constrained by the laws of nature, in particular, physics. In the 19th century technological limits were set by thermodynamics and classical mechanics. In the 20th century quantum mechanics shattered these limits, leading to the age of transistors, lasers, computers and information technology as we know it.

Quantum physics has now become the driving force behind new and powerful technologies. Recent advances in atomic, molecular, optical as well as solid state physics enable precise control at the quantum level, which in turn allows for the exploitation of the full potential of quantum mechanics in information technology. We can now control quantum dynamics and engineer quantum behavior of physical system at unprecedented level which allows to bypass the constraints of semi- classical approximations of the 20th century technology, and allowing for a host of new possibilities: quantum technologies.

The proposed QUantum TEchnologies FET Flagship (QUTE-F) will allow Europe to play a key role in this new market where the quantum limits will define the performance of industrial applications. It builds and expands on the recent efforts in exploring the use of quantum degrees of freedom to perform complex calculations and tasks unattainable by systems behaving classically. Through the novel combination of quantum physics with information science, this research has already lead in the past ten years to new and unprecedented means for communicating and computing, thus creating a new conceptual platform for a family of potentially disruptive (quantum) technologies, adding a new stage to the already staggering impact of conventional information technology. QUTE-F will focus on these technologies with the purpose of bringing them from the lab to the real world. It will ensure a constant progress in the field through the integration of the scientific base built up to now, in order to conceive novel and powerful technological applications of quantum coherence and entanglement. The new technological paradigms explored within QUTE-F have the potential to lead in the mid- to long-term to entirely new fields of economic activities in the high-tech sector, and at the same time could have an impact on everyday concerns like, e.g., security and privacy of information, data protection, health care and energy efficiency.

Europe’s large stake in all these potential applications warrants a cohesive international effort to strengthen the leadership in this rapidly emerging field, and QUTE-F will allow Europe to play a key role in the future markets they promise to open up. The highly ambitious objective to respond to the major global technological challenges that the full exploitation of quantum technologies entail can only be achieved through the large unified international effort ensured by QUTE-F. The reason is the enormous breadth of the field, which makes it impossible to advance it with only the participation of national researchers. The field is truly multidisciplinary by nature, with scientists coming from theoretical and experimental physics, computer science, mathematics, material science and engineering. Thus, it takes the best expertise in all these scientific areas from different Member States to maintain Europe at the forefront of research in this very competitive international environment. In addition, quantum technologies are an emerging research area that will require sustained, focused attention if Europe is to maintain its position as global leader. European and national agencies that fund basic research in the physical sciences must work together to ensure that all promising avenues are addressed, priorities are set and the results of scientific breakthroughs are properly shared. QUTE-F will encompass the most competitive research on quantum technologies in Europe, which is a big fraction of the best research in this field worldwide. It will provide sustained support and adaptive structures that will allow scientific breakthroughs to move effectively from research institutions to technological applications and ultimately to industries. In this way, quantum technologies will be developed based on European competence, without the need to rely on extra- European expertise for future commercial exploitation. QUTE-F will also ensure the training of the future scientists who will be actively forging this field, thus ultimately guaranteeing the European competitiveness in the long run.