CERN Quantum Technology Initiative (QTI) is a comprehensive R&D and academic collaboration programme beyond the initial best-effort explorations, covering the different needs of the Organization and the high-energy physics (HEP) community.

The CERN Quantum Technology Initiative approved by CERN in 2020, has closely followed the strategy and roadmap published in 20211, achieving numerous scientific results supported by peer-reviewed publications, keynotes and conference talks, invitations to deliver lectures and be part of expert groups, and knowledge sharing and education activities.

Capitalising from the initial success, CERN QTI - Phase 2 proposes a more focused, longer-term plan aligned with the CERN research and collaboration objectives.

The proposal is designed to BUILD specific capacity and technology platforms, and support a longer-term strategy to USE quantum technology at CERN and in HEP in the future.

The QTI 2 is constructed over four specific and focused Centres of Competence designed to (i) integrate CERN into major infrastructural and technological initiatives and make sure that CERN and HEP requirements are taken into account and supported, (ii) capitalise on a core set of competences and technologies uniquely developed at CERN as part of its mainstream scientific programme, (iii) facilitate the creation at CERN of quantum technologies “centres of competence” to drive R&D in specific areas of interest, (iv) attract participation in co-development activities through high-level, long-term public-private partnerships, and (v) engage with initiatives in the HEP community and in the CERN Member States to support the transfer of knowledge and the creation of capacity and skills in quantum technologies.

The four Centres of Competence provide a plan for capacity and technology development covering the 5-year duration of the QTI 2 programme and propose an initial 10-year vision for CERN in Quantum Technologies. The Centres of Competence provide a mechanism to describe and achieve concrete objectives and results and the necessary resources. The Centres of Competence are:

  • CC1: Hybrid Quantum Computing Infrastructures, Algorithms and Applications
  • CC2: CERN Technologies as Quantum Platforms Demonstrators
  • CC3: Quantum Networks and Communication Hub for Research
  • CC4: Collaboration for Impact

Besides these four main domains of R&D, cross-cutting areas are emerging that bring together elements of more than one domain, potentially supporting a wide range of scientific and technological applications. For example, quantum software and algorithms — or a combination of quantum sensors, network software and communication protocols — can be brought together to create potentially very precise, large-scale detector systems.

In future, CERN's challenging scientific research programme could benefit significantly from the application of quantum technologies. In particular, such technologies could play an important role in supporting the design of new sophisticated types of detectors or accelerating the computing workloads of the physics experiments.