Priority research programs and facilities (PEPR) aim to build and consolidate French leadership in scientific areas considered priorities at national or European level and linked – or likely to be linked – to a large-scale transformation, whether technological, economic, societal, health or environmental.
Quantum Technologies PEPR, which supports research activities at the highest level in the world, is intended to strengthen national efforts in this area and to feed the actions further downstream of the national quantum strategy, such as the National Hybrid Quantum Computing Platform HQI (HPC-Quantum Initiative) ) launched on January 4 as well as the emergence of industrial activities.
After a phase of discussion with the state, which was based on a broad consultation of the community, ten major projects were identified relating to four themes:
- the development of robust solid-state qubits for quantum computing;
- development of qubits and sensors based on cold atoms;
- development of error-correcting codes, quantum algorithms and post-quantum cryptography solutions;
- quantum communication and beyond.
Still within the framework of the Quantum Technologies PEPR, a call for projects, run by the National Research Agency (ANR), was open until 29 March for “on-the-fly” quantum computing projects and a number of calls for projects aimed at Supporting Themes, that complement those explored by the targeted projects already selected, will be launched in the spring. These calls will be open to teams or researchers who wish to join the field of quantum technology by contributing the knowledge they have developed in other fields.
The 10 targeted projects of PEPR Quantum Technologies
In the realm of robust solid-state qubits for quantum computing
Two projects were selected based on their potential for the development of large-scale quantum computers.
To have access to a world-class technological platform, the project
PRESQUILE aims to help identify and remove the scientific and technological obstacles to the integration of spin-qubits into well-established CMOS technologies1.
Robust SuperQ aims to accelerate French research and development on superconducting and hybrid qubits protected by construction against decoherence, a phenomenon that makes qubits unreadable and creates random errors: in 5 years the project should demonstrate a controllable and measurable high-fidelity quantum processor, which has not yet exists on any platform (optical, atomic or solid state).
In cold atom qubits for quantum computing and sensors
QubitAF aims to improve cold atom platforms for quantum simulation by increasing the number of handled atoms, by certifying the results and by specifying the performance of these platforms.
QAFCA seeks to develop compact and transportable cold nuclear sensors for measuring the gravity field with applications in climate change analysis and natural disaster prediction, even civil engineering or CO storage2.
In error-correcting codes, quantum algorithms and post-quantum cryptography
NISQ2LSQ aims to improve and develop new error correction strategies needed to implement fault-tolerant quantum computers. Three approaches are retained: bosonic codes, photonic codes and LDPCs.
EPiQ focuses on the specification and understanding of the software building blocks necessary for the proper functioning of a quantum processor (compilation, manipulations, optimization, middle language, certification, etc.). It also aims to develop new quantum algorithms in areas such as machine learning, optimization or chemistry, as well as to facilitate the simulation of current machines to better understand their operation.
PQ-TLS develops new encryption and signature schemes, based on a multitude of approaches, to bring cryptography to the post-quantum era, that is, to make protocols resistant to cyber-attacks. for a quantum computer.
In quantum communication
DIQKD is interested in the quantum distribution of keys of the “black box” type, a promising but demanding solution in terms of experimental and theoretical development, which makes it possible to guarantee the security of communication even when the devices used are only partially characterized.
Qmemo aims to optimize the performance of quantum memories, crucial elements to implement quantum networks over long distances, as they connect the sub-segments that share the global distance, as quantum repeaters.
QcommTestbed wants to provide France with a nationally coordinated test platform used for demonstrations of quantum communication applications via a gradual increase in TRL, ranging from laboratory systems to commercial products.
PEPR also funds two EquipEx+ structuring equipment2 : aQCess, piloted by the University of Strasbourg, which offers a quantum computing platform based on cold atoms as a service, and e-DIAMANT, piloted by École Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay and strongly linked with industry, whose ambition is to become a leading diamond supplier for quantum applications by developing the entire chain, from material to unit.
1 The quantum state of the qubit is here written in spin – information corresponding to the magnetic orientation of an individual electron in an atom trapped in a semiconductor structure.
2 Funded under PIA3