Quantum Technology Flagship – G. Valditara

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quantumDiscorso tenuto da Giuseppe Valditara in occasione del Quantum Technology Flagship Meeting a Vienna il 29 ottobre 2018.

It is an honor and privilege for Italy to attend the kick-off meeting of the Quantum Technology Flagship. It is important to be here today after the constant great effort that all of us put in this initiative.

We may say that this adventure started with the study of black body radiation which marked the beginning of quantum physics. This cultural revolution in physics occurred at the beginning of 1900. The revolutionary ideas of Planck, Einstein, Bohr, Fermi and many others already had a huge impact on the world. Our society would not exist without quantum devices such as the transistor or the laser. Now, our growing ability to harness the full advantages of quantum effects in artificial systems and materials is paving the way for a Second Quantum Revolution.

Italian scientists have been among the protagonists of both quantum revolutions. Recognizing the opportunity of the European Flagship, the Italian Minister for Education, Universities and Research has given the Italian National Research Council (CNR) mandate to coordinate the national effort to give Italian researchers the best opportunities of participation in the Flagship and is working on the full definition of an Italian roadmap.

Italy has always been actively supporting Quantum Technologies. Before the Flagship MIUR and Italian National Research Council, have cooperated with Agencies from 26 EU member states, to launch a competitive call: QuantERA. Of the 26 projects financed, 16 were involving Italian partners with an investment in Italy around 3 Million Euro. Various Italian agencies under the coordination of Italian National Research Council, will also join the second QuantERA call that will be launched this November.

We are here to take part in the launch of the Quantum Flagship ramp-up phase for the period 2018-2021. Among the 19 selected projects distributed over the 4 Flagship Application Pillars and the Fundamental Quantum Science cornerstone, Italy has 13 Research groups with Italian National Research Council  coordinating one of the Pillar initiatives in Quantum Simulation. CNR is also directly involved in the governance of the Quantum Flagship directly coordinating the efforts on Training and Education of the Flagship.

The involvement of the new generation is indeed mandatory if we want to successfully sail this Flagship, since these revolutionary ideas should be spread in our society if we want to have a new generation of people able to benefit from this opportunity.

On November 1st, 2018 the first Italian National PhD Program on Quantum Technologies will open joining the University of Naples Federico II in collaboration with the University of Camerino and CNR. In the coming years CNR is proposing cofunded effort to offer to more than 18 Italian Universities PhD research grants for international students working in Italy.

The EU Flagship program should also be seen as an opportunity to change the perception that sometimes industry has of research system and that the research system has of the industry. We, as Europeans, aim to be competitive towards countries such as USA and China who are already taking strong action to make the most out of this field. The involvement of high-level industries is fundamental and it is already taking place in the USA. Many high-tech industries in EU should also benefit from this opportunity. A competitive EU needs cohesion, sinergy and trust among Industrial, Academic and Research Institutes and this program can actually foster it.

The Italian Ministry for Education, Universities and Research has a complete plan to support the efforts of the national community participating in the Flagship. Our actions will include

-          Support to High Education Programs for interdisciplinary and inter-sectorial Doctoral studies in Quantum Technologies;

-          Alignment of the national competitive calls for fundamental and applied research reserving a quota for Quantum Technologies;

-          Co-financing and promotion, jointly with other Ministries and/or with Italian Regions, to facilitate common investment with Private Companies, Spin-Offs and Start-Ups active in Quantum Technologies to foster the transformation of skills and results deriving from research activities into product prototypes, patents or technological solutions.

We are also working on providing Italy with Quantum Infrastructures. One of the key Italian initiatives in Quantum Technologies is indeed the joint effort of the Italian Metrological Institute (INRIM) and of CNR to create a Quantum Communication backbone running parallel to the Time-frequency distribution link that connects key Research Institutes and Strategic Infrastructure in Italy.

This initiative is a part of the larger European effort to create an entire network of Quantum Communication channels covering the entire Europe and connecting to islands as well. As a fitting example of this International collaboration, INRIM and CNR, together with the Austrian Academy of Science and the University of Malta, are working under NATO auspices to create the first sub-marine quantum link.

To conclude, I would like to thank the organizers for taking us to this incredibly important event that will play a powerful role in the European research community.

Italy strongly supports the uninterrupted sailing of the Quantum Flagship with the structure, content and implementation that have been already set up and fully shares the dream of creating a new quantum ecosystem of computers, simulators, sensors and secure communications. We look forward to a broad and inclusive involvement of Member States also in the operating phase of the Quantum Flagship initiative within the Horizon Europe Program and we are ready to support it liaising with the Commission and all relevant stakeholders.

We should never forget that novel scientific ideas are the basis of all technological developments. As you all know, Science was born in Europe. In 1700, thanks to the scientific progress, Europe was already the undisputed protagonist industrial revolution. Quantum physics was also born in Europe and after a century is now likely to boost yet another industrial revolution. We must be part of this crucial change, we must promote and lead this industrial revolution, we must win this worldwide competition.

valditarasmallGiuseppe Valditara

professore ordinario di diritto privato romano

Università degli Studi, Torino

già preside dell’ambito di  giurisprudenza dell’Università Europea di Roma