At the European level, CERN QTI has been presented to and discussed with the EC Quantum Flagship to foster both technical and community organisation activities. It is part of the CERN QTI strategy to ensure that CERN is involved with the EC framework programmes in different quantum-technology areas and to contribute to establishing an international vision for the evolution of technologies, applications, and funding programmes. CERN is today an Associate Member of the QuantHEP project funded under the QuantERA programme specifically to explore applications of quantum computing to HEP.
Participation in the activities of HEP-specific coordination bodies is ensured whenever possible by direct representation and participation. The European Committee for Future Accelerators (ECFA) recently pointed out that “quantum sensing technologies have demonstrated substantial impact on particle physics as well as on fundamental physics; with this and potential further impacts in mind, their development across the full range of existing (but also nascent) technologies should be promoted, and the corresponding developments in quantum technologies should be closely followed and adapted to particle physics wherever relevant.”
In September 2020, CERN and the European Space Agency (ESA) announced a joint research programme on Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing to support the two organisations’ future challenges in data and image analysis. The programme is being implemented by CERN openlab in Geneva and ESA Φ-lab in Frascati (Rome). The programme has been extended to other participants (such as ECMWF and DLR) and will investigate applications of quantum machine-learning algorithms and quantum-inspired methods.
Early discussions on QKD applications are taking place with members of the openQKD project (such as IDQ and PSNC in Poznan) as part of existing collaborations, and with GEANT, the pan-European data network for the research and education community. CERN is currently hosting IDQ equipment used by the openQKD project and will actively pursue investigations and feasibility studies of integration with future quantum infrastructures.