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Quantum Technology Flagship Coordination and Support Action

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - QFlag (Quantum Technology Flagship Coordination and Support Action)

Reporting period: 2019-04-01 to 2020-09-30

QFlag is the central coordinating and support action of the European Quantum Flagship initiative.

QFlag covers five key objectives:
I. Coordinate the relevant Flagship stakeholders and link the Flagship to national programmes.
II. Coordinate access to infrastructure, foster applications of Quantum Technology and facilitate the transfer of results to industry.
III. Increase awareness of QT in Europe, both with (potential) end-users and the general public.
IV. Foster education and training in QT, both of students and young researchers and engineers, in the field of QT, as well as a “quantum aware workforce”.
V. Support the efficient governance of the Quantum Technology Flagship and monitor its progress.
1) Strategy:preparing a community driven Quantum Flagship Strategic Research Agenda
In the first project phase, QFlag was tasked by the Quantum Flagship Strategic Advisory Board to prepare a community driven Strategic Research Agenda for the second phase of this initiative. The agenda was prepared in an open and transparent process involving several thousand quantum experts from across Europe, from both industry and research. The SRA not only tackles science and technology priorities in the different pillars of the flagship, but also gives clear recommendations on issues like infrastructure, education, financing and gender equality and equity. Moreover, the project has coordinated with and between the individual bodies of the flagship the preparation of a set of Key Performance Indicators.
The KPIS are a recommendation by the Strategic Advisory Board of the European Quantum Flagship to the European Commission to monitor and evaluate the process of quantum technologies in Europe.

2) Community building: more than 2700 registered participants & community events exceeding 1000 participants
The central Quantum Flagship community communication platform has now grown to more than 2700 registered participants across Europe from both industry and research. These experts are regularly informed about Flagship project activities, events, flagship milestones and consulted on strategy documents. In order to establish a lively and vibrant quantum community in Europe QFlag has organized a series of (virtual) events dealing with topics like infrastructure needs, policy or Quantum Flagship project progress reporting. Due to the COVID-19 crises the major European Quantum Technology Conference in 2020 has been postponed and instead the European Quantum Week was prepared as a fully virtual event.

3) Standardisation & IPR: start of a Quantum Technology Focus Group involving European quantum technology experts
In order to prepare the ground for industrial exploitation of Quantum Technologies in Europe and beyond QFlag initiated a focus group on standardisation in Quantum Technologies. Member of the focus group are coming the quantum community with more than 70 representatives from companies, RTOs and Quantum Flagship projects. The focus group is located at the officially recognized European Standardization Organization and the European Committee for Standardization and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CEN CENELEC).

4) Education: Creating a database on European quantum education programs and preparation of first European Quantum Future Academy with satellite events in all EU member states
A very first compilation of existing Quantum education & training programmes and courses in Europe has been compiled by the project through a survey and information is now available on the Quantum Flagship website. This database will be further developed to create a central portal on Quantum Education and Training for European students, industry and academia alike. Moreover, Qflag, jointly with the CSA on Quantum Education, planned the first pan European Quantum Future Academy with satellite events in all European member states reaching out to thousands of students across Europe.

5) International Cooperation: cooperation workshops with US, Japan and Canada conducted & preparation for first international cooperation Horizon Europe calls
QFlag conducted three workshops with partners in the USA, Japan and Canada. The aim of the workshops was to explore cooperation possibilities with strong partners in the field of quantum technologies and to define first topics for a possible international cooperation. Based on the cooperation workshop with Canada, the EU Commission is now preparing a joint Horizon Europe Call in this field. QFlag has already completed all activities in this work package in the first project phase to enable a seamless transition to the new coordination and support action on international cooperation, which started in September 2020.

6) Communication: setup of central communication platforms & preparation of promotional material
Qflag established a central communication platform for the European Quantum Flagship and complementary European actions in quantum technologies like the European Quantum Communication Infrastructures (EuroQCI) Initiative. Dissemination of Quantum Flagship projects results, and achievements are conducted via this channel. Moreover, six videos have been produced and posted on a central YouTube communication channel which today comprises a total of 17 videos with +6500 views.
QFlag is providing the support mechanism to implement a well-coordinated European initiative in Quantum Technologies right from the critical ramp-up phase, involving all relevant stakeholders and linked with relevant international, national and regional programmes, while assuring an efficient support to the Flagship governance. The transparency, openness and inclusiveness established by QFlag will impact profoundly and permanently how the Quantum Flagship is perceived and driven by its stakeholders. By this approach the ultimate aim ist to grow a broad and competitive quantum community based research and industry ecosystem across Europe.
Prof. Jürgen Mlynek, chair of the Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) and its members hand over the SRA
Cover of the Strategic Research Agenda 2020
Banner advertising the European Quantum Week 2020
Participants of the Quantum Flagship community event in Helsinki on Oct. 17th and 18th 2019