Setting Sail for a European Quantum Computer: OpenSuperQ Project Kick-off in Bad Honnef

On January 17-18, 2019, the OpenSuperQ consortium came together with its science board and user board members to kick off the project. The Physikzentrum Bad Honnef in Germany set a majestic frame for the ten project partners as well as the different board members to get to know each other and discuss the work plan and possible ways of cooperation for the next three years.

OpenSuperQ coordinator Prof. Frank Wilhelm-Mauch (Saarland University) opened the first meeting day by looking back on the last year, in which the proposal and negotiation phase were successfully completed. He introduced the general project idea with a particular focus on the different groups of people involved – the Beneficiaries, the Scientific Advisory Board, the Science Board and the User Board – and their expected roles.

The first meeting day started with the OpenSuperQ work package leaders presenting their objectives and planned milestones and giving a first status update of their work after three project months. The rest of the day was then dedicated to the cooperation with the science group members, i.e. international science partners such as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, IBM Research or Aalto University. The 13 science partners gave short presentations outlining their own research focus, strengths and potential contributions to the OpenSuperQ project.

On Friday morning, special attention was paid to the 12 invited user board members, e.g. from CEA Saclay, Ericsson, Siemens, VolvoCars and Carl Zeiss, who introduced themselves to the consortium outlining potential collaboration opportunities.

The Scientific Advisory Board members Gerd Schön (KIT), William D. Oliver (MIT) and Yasunobu Nakamura (University of Tokyo) who had already accompanied the project during the proposal stage, contributed their valuable expertise and feedback in separate closed sessions during both meeting days.

The open atmosphere and discussions of the kick-off meeting were highly appreciated by the 64 international participants coming from 13 countries (Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Finland, Sweden, Austria, France, Japan, Israel, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, US). In a closed plenary session in the afternoon before the farewell, the consortium defined the action points for the next few months and Frank Wilhelm-Mauch took the chance to thank everyone for their enthusiasm and commitment.

I am very thankful to be surrounded by this team, the general open and dynamic spirit we have experienced during this meeting is what I consider the key prerequisite for the success of our ambitious project plan. I would especially like to thank our advisors and boards for coming and contributing their valuable feedback.

Project Coordinator Prof. Frank Wilhelm-Mauch, Saarland University

It was great to see that we have gathered a great portion of the European quantum community here. Especially the participants from younger research groups will bring us closer to our goal of educating the next generation of quantum scientists, developers and users.

Project Partner Prof. Andreas Walraff, ETH Zurich