A collaboration working on cutting-edge technology
Dutch quantum software research centre QuSoft has teamed up with international service and technology provider Bosch Group on a new project in Amsterdam. Together, the organisations will study possible uses of quantum computing and how it might be applied in the fields of machine learning, artificial intelligence and engineering. It is hoped that the research can help Bosch create products that are more cost-efficient and reliable, as well as to optimize engineering production and scheduling.
The project is based at Amsterdam Science Park, one of the biggest hubs for big data and artificial intelligence research in the Netherlands. It is already home to a number of research labs working in AI and machine learning, including the Elsevier AI Lab, the Qualcomm-QUVA Lab and the UvA-Bosch DELTA Lab.
Understanding quantum computing
In quantum computing, the properties of quantum physics – which explains the behaviour and nature of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic level – are used to process information. Though a quantum computer doesn’t exist yet, simulations are providing researchers with an idea of how one might work. Ideally, a quantum computer could solve incredibly complex problems in a matter of minutes or days, whereas a classical computer would need billions of years to accomplish the same feat.
Discovering real-world applications through quantum computing
Though much quantum computing research centres on making an actual quantum computer, this project has a different focus, according to Floor van de Pavert, a business developer at QuSoft. “Research about the applications of quantum computing is in the early stages, and we’re so excited about this collaboration because it’s one of the first times in the world where we’ll look at them. We’re also excited because there are not many partnerships that focus on this topic and bring academia and industry so closely together." Floor hopes the project produces results that inspire companies to invest more in quantum computing. “It’s already on the list of new technologies to look out for, but the more concrete the applications of quantum computing are, the higher it will be on that list.”
Amsterdam leading the way in theoretical quantum computing
Floor and her colleagues believe the Dutch capital has the skilled workforce the project needs to succeed. “For the past 30 years,” she says, “Amsterdam has been a hot spot for theoretical quantum computing. Now, people all around the world are working on it, but in Amsterdam, you still have this unique concentration of expertise.” Science Park provides a vibrant, exciting community, according to Floor. “What is really great is that QuSoft is a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam and CWI, and we’re literally across the street from one another. Science Park is really an ecosystem, and it’s inspiring to meet other people working in the same fields.”