After several months of hearings in 2019, French Parliament member Paula Forteza has presented a plan to structure a national strategy for quantum technologies. In reviewing the significant investments that have already been started in the United States, United Kingdom, China, Canada, Australia and other countries, France does not want to be left behind. The 68 page plan, with the title “Quantum: the technological turn that France will not miss”, calls for an investment of 1.4 billion Euros over five years from sources including the public sector, private sector, local governments, and European Union support. Other key elements of the plan include:
- Listing of 37 specific proposal (shown below)
- Formation of 20 exploratory projects with annual budgets of up to 10 million Euros per year
- Creation of 3 Centers of Excellence
- Launch of 50 quantum startups by 2024
- Establishment of a late stage investment fund of 300 to 500 million Euros
The full plan has been published in French and you can view it here. We are not aware of an English version available at this time, but we have gone ahead and translated the 37 proposals which have been organized by category and you can see the translations below.
Common proposals for all technologies
Renew, from 2021, the calls for projects (AAPR) of the axis “Quantum Technologies” of the National Agency for Research (ANR) aiming to finance twenty projects annually exploratory for a global annual envelope of 10 M €.
Reinforce the “Quantum Technologies” axis of the ANR with a specific annual envelope to finance three projects exploratory targeting priority technological paths identified.
Encourage French laboratories and companies to respond to “Quantum Technologies” European flagship calls for projects.
Include a priority on quantum technologies in the future PSPC and Innovation Contest calls.
Create three “Hubs” in Paris, Saclay and Grenoble Quantics ”bringing together researchers in quantum physics, theoretical and applied IT researchers, engineers, industrialists in technological fields, and end users.
Integrate an evaluation criterion relating to interdisciplinarity in ANR and BPI calls for collaborative projects.
Include 6 ECTS of quantum algorithmics in the top 20 cycles of computer engineers and 6 ECTS in cryptography post-quantum and quantum in cryptography masters.
Design training paths with a specialization in engineering and quantum computing and anticipate the growing need for engineers and technicians in the supply chains industrial.
Sensitize ecosystem players to the new provisions of the PACTE law relating to the mobility of researchers and access using laboratories by startups.
Support the creation of around fifty startups in the quantum until 2024.
Create a late-stage investment fund for € 300-500 million trust dedicated to quantum startups.
Sensitize the various most strategic players to risks technological looting and the tools available to face it.
Identify and monitor strategic assets and activities and deploy, if necessary, the Potential Protection system Scientific and Technological (PPST).
Identify areas of cooperation and possible synergies with France’s international partners in terms of quantum technologies.
Establish a Strategic Committee responsible for taking the orientation decisions for research actions.
Appoint an interministerial coordinator of the national plan, responsible for ensuring the overall coherence of the actions of different public and private actors at the national level.
Proposals relating to quantum computing
Host, at the “Very Large Computing Center” (TGCC), a diversified, scalable and accessible to communities of researchers and developers academic and industrial.
Open a permanent call for contributions to French and European startups and laboratories developing quantum acceleration processors for integration to the computing infrastructure.
Develop a public-private offer of QCaaS or “Quantum Computing as a Service”competitive.
Strengthen Grenoble microelectronic teams with skills in computing software and architectures.
Deploy agile project management to reduce gradually uncertainties and costs throughout the project.
Deploy, through a PIA and PPR action, an R & D-Capitalization program aimed at developing scalable quantum accelerators.
Support, through the AAPR of the “Quantum Technologies” axis ANR, a research program aimed at exploring Bold Silicon Ways
Set up, in 2019, a Grand Innovation Challenge “NISQ” aiming to develop, before 2023, a business software stack interoperable for the chemical, logistics and of AI.
Include the Grand Défi in a framework of bilateral collaborations with other European countries.
Strengthen research resources in algorithms and software in the field of quantum computing.
Set up, in 2022, a Grand Innovation Challenge aimed at develop a complete quantum computing solution, under reserve of convincing intermediate results for the Grand Défi “NISQ” and for the PIA action “quantum accelerators”.
Include specifications for the acquisition of accelerators experimental quantum in certain calls for tenders GENCI relating to the acquisition, renewal and extension of the French supercomputer fleet.
Disseminate the use of quantum computing, through “Challenges” and “Hackathons” offered by industrialists in the sectors most advanced applications. The “Airbus Quantum Computing Challenge” could be taken as a model.
Proposals relating to quantum sensors
Structuring through a succession of i-Lab, i-Nov and PSPC-Région an industrial value chain for the production of diamond-based impurity sensors.
Support, through “Challenges” offered by application sectors, manufacturers of quantum sensors in looking for outlets in the application sectors.
Proposals relating to cryptography post-quantum and quantum
Deploy a test platform for different devices quantum communications.
Support, through i-Nov competitions and support systems and accelerating the innovation of the ministries concerned, the development, before 2022, of a competitive offer of post-quantum cryptography for resource systems limited calculation.
Develop a strategy for evaluating QKD systems based on the French and European certification scheme.
Support, through the AAPR of the “Quantum Technologies” axis of the ANR, a research action relating to the maturation of the QKD technology (continuous variable and variable systems discrete, quantum relays, satellite links, etc.) involving quantum communications experts, cybersecurity experts and telecom equipment manufacturers.
Enabling Technology Proposals
Support, through the i-Lab competitions, the i-Nov competitions and PSPC projects, the development of a French offer competitive in ultrahigh vacuum and compact cryogenics for temperatures from 1 to 40K.
Support, through i-Lab competitions, i-Nov competitions, PSPC projects and support and acceleration devices innovation of the ministries concerned, or an action of the PIA, the development of a competitive French offer in terms of extreme cryogenics for sub-K temperatures.
January 11, 2020