Structuring the European Research Area within Quantum Information Science and Technology
The main objective of the project is to structure the rather young scientific area of Quantum Information that occurred recently. Up to now most research activities within this field depended on local or national strategies and on the scientific orientation of individual research groups. ERA-Pilot QIST was started in order to generate a complete picture of European expertise, to give a survey about local and national funding situation, and to compare the European situation to other research areas. A second important objective of this project was to go beyond the current situation. Within the project a roadmap for future development within the area of QIST was elaborated and recommendations for improvement and to harmonization of funding and research strategies were given. The first part of the project aimed at elaborating a survey of the scientific QIST situation in Europe and at structuring this area. For this purpose the first step was to come to a common understanding of the different topics covered by QIST. During the last decade a large variety of different scientific achievements lead to many different research projects all over the world. Even for participating scientists it was difficult to differ between the different topics. ERA-Pilot QIST for the first time elaborated a classification scheme for QIST that was quickly adopted by the community. This work was done mainly during the first project year but continued till the end of the project. Based on this classification scheme the project drew a map of the European QIST community by analyzing the different research groups in almost all European countries and by creating a large online database containing information about all these groups. In parallel a map of European QIST activities was drawn that gives an overview of nationally and European funded QIST projects, of regional and national structures and funding programmes, and of the governance structure concerning QIST within European countries. All information was included in the online database that can be accessed by all interest groups - both scientific and political - all over Europe. Another important objective was to look beyond Europe. Roadmaps for targeted research and development within QIST already exist in several research areas. These roadmaps were analyzed and the applicability of such roadmaps to the European situation was investigated. All this work led to the elaboration of a European QIST guideline. With this guideline an early dialogue between science, policy, and industry will be initiated in order to develop a common vision of the future of QIST research and development within Europe. Most relevant scientific groups within Europe contributed to this guideline; it was drafted before the start of the project and updated several times during the lifetime of ERA-Pilot QIST. This document will be handed over to the coordination action QUROPE that will continue to update it regularly. The long term perspective is to create a living document reflecting the situation of QIST in Europe and a common vision for further activities, both for scientific groups and for funding agencies for elaboration of their funding programmes. A second objective of the project was to analyze the situation outside Europe. Data regarding both scientific activities and funding strategies in different research areas worldwide were gathered. The findings of this part of the project will allow a comparison of European to other structures and will contribute to improve the situation in Europe.