As a Consortium of national and regional Research Funders, QuantERA aims to reinforce transnational collaborations between countries. It inspires multidisciplinary research for Quantum Technologies and thus integrates national and regional research communities in Europe through the funding of transnational research projects. The launch of each call for proposals is complemented by a range of additional activities extending the landscape of QT developments with the most prospective measures.
- QuantERA funds excellent international research projects in Quantum Technologies.
- QuantERA maps national, regional & European public policies on funding quantum research
- QuantERA spreads research excellence across the European Research Area (ERA)
- QuantERA raises awareness on Responsible Research & Innovation
- QuantERA enhances cooperation between academia & industry
- QuantERA fosters international cooperation among Research Funding Organisations
The main goal of the QuantERA programme is to finance cutting-edge international research projects. The initiative’s objective is to launch transnational co-funded calls for developing synergy of European research in Quantum Technologies. It also explores the possibilities for additional joint funding initiatives undertaken by the Consortium Partners. QuantERA answers the growing need for collaborative endeavours and the most effective common funding scheme.
So far, calls in 2017, 2019 and 2021 have attracted over 2100 research teams composed of individual researchers from all over the world to apply with more than 400 proposals. As a result, QuantERA has recommended 77 excellent international proposals submitted by consortia of 400 national teams. The value of funding has already reached 89 M EUR, which includes double cofunding (QuantERA I project in 2016 and QuantERA II project in 2020) from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.
The QuantERA Programme aims towards successfully providing the research community with a coordinated Europe-wide approach to support high-quality research in Quantum Technologies (QT). In 2020, based on the experience of regional and national initiatives and with the European Union’s support, the QuantERA Consortium enriched its activities by mapping the development of settled funding strategies in Europe and described the existing national public policies in QT. The state of affairs of each respective country within the QuantERA Consortium was investigated with regard to the following issues:
- The organisation’s funding instruments;
- Research priority areas in Quantum Technology;
- Quantum Technology funding within the organisation;
- Quantum Technology funding at the national level;
- National Quantum Technology research community.
The above information was collated in the form of a factsheet, a product of collaborative efforts. The report ‘Mapping the development of public policies in QT in Europe and worldwide’ was elaborated within the sixth Work Package of the QuantERA Grant Agreement (Strategic Developments – additional activities).
The results of the inventory provide an excellent review on public policies in Quantum Technologies in Europe, as well as the funding instruments and priorities within the relevant Research Funding Organisations (RFOs).
The framework is a firm basis for the development of a coherent EU research and funding strategy in the area of QT and, together with the Quantum Technologies Flagship – an incubator of new ideas, guides towards European leadership on the world stage.
The report is available here:
QuantERA aims to spread research excellence across the European Research Area (ERA) by encouraging consortia to include partners from the widening network of participating countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey.
This incentive to exploit the potential of Europe’s talent pool proved successful within the 2017, 2019 and 2021 QuantERA Calls: where 78% of the funded projects have involved research teams from the widening countries.
The idea of spreading scientific excellence within the ERA is one of the golden principles behind QuantERA’s actions, and mutual ideas are summarised in the following statements:
- Access to the European Research Area and the possibility to be involved in collaborative projects is in itself an inclusiveness mechanism, promoting excellent science and connections with industry;
- It is important to make the research and development communities aware of the already existing mechanisms in the EU to promote inclusiveness – and that is a task both for each country, and for the European Commission;
- Each country must promote a culture of excellence within its local R&I system, and pursue international standards and best practices. It is important to build a tradition of internationalisation and of excellent research and development, particularly in those situations where the R&I was historically built using different priorities. It is important to transform vicious circles into virtuous circles;
- It is important not to neglect classical enabling technologies that can make a very significant contribution to the development of quantum technologies, and which could be a strength in some widening countries;
- ERA-NET Cofund Programmes should implement incentives for increased participation by research teams from the widening countries.
Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is an approach used to describe scientific research and technological development processes that consider the effects and potential impacts on the environment and society.
QuantERA raises awareness on potential RRI issues with regards to Quantum Technologies (QT). It acts robustly to further develop a framework for the RRI implications in this field. As a relatively new, emerging technology, the QT field faces considerable uncertainty in its impacts and still has to go through the social and regulatory development that other ground-breaking areas have already accomplished.
QuantERA draws attention to the capabilities of QT and its subsequent opportunities and threats. The resources, such as case studies and links to relevant events and opportunities for wider engagement, are expected to influence the initiative’s overall communication plan.
The Quantera Consortium has already elaborated a guideline for Responsible Research and Innovation in proposals to QuantERA:
Quantum Technologies (QT) are a new generation of mechanics that use quantum effects to significantly enhance performance over that of existing, ‘classical’ technologies. There is mounting evidence that numerous developed ideas are ready to transition into commercial products. This offers a fighting chance to novelties in the areas of business development and job creation across the whole of Europe. The QuantERA Programme aims to stimulate and intensify industry interests in QT and, while boosting scientific excellence, induces researchers to find their way towards commercial applications.
QuantERA cooperates with the European Quantum Technology Flagship to bridge the academic research with engineering endeavours in QT applications. Mutual efforts are directed towards speeding up knowledge and technology transfer to put QT into everyday use. Recently developed guidelines contain recommendations, which are expected to accelerate the translation of science into real products and thus to create business growth.
Partnerships appear to be the key to harnessing the Quantum Technologies field, with its immense variety and peculiarity. Since the issue lies in the proper selection and development of prospective research achievements, it is advantageous to work on diversified solutions, as well as to invest massively in different approaches. Partnering with other players provides the opportunity to distribute risk and share successes in such a convoluted process.
Different nations have particular strengths, entrenched during decades of past investments and undertakings. Through coordination of national and regional research funding programmes, QuantERA avoids the problem of fragmentation of national efforts, encouraging transnational collaborations and leveraging Europe’s competitive advantage. Via the building up of joint undertakings, QuantERA also triggers knowledge exchange activities and fosters relationships between academia and various stakeholder groups.