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Major boost to quantum initiatives in Copenhagen Science City

Novo Nordisk Foundation Quantum Computing Programme to launch at University of Copenhagens' Niels Bohr Institute

The first fully functional quantum computer in the world may be built in Copenhagen, Denmark. This thanks to a 200 million € (1,5 billion DKK) investment from the Novo Nordisk Foundation to Copenhagen Science City-partner University of Copenhagen. The aim is to realise the “Novo Nordisk Foundation Quantum Computing Programme”, which will be anchored at University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Institute.

Hardware and algorithms

The programme aims to construct a fully functional generally applicable quantum computer by 2034. A side-mission is to develop algorithms for quantum computers to solve important problems in several fields. Not least in the life sciences.

With this long-term grant, we want to make Denmark a world leader in quantum research, a field with tremendous potential which can revolutionise the computing world. We want to create, mature and develop technology that can solve major and current challenges within health, sustainability and other areas”: Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, CEO, Novo Nordisk Foundation.

A search for promising platforms

The researchers at Niels Bohr Institute will collaborate with other leading universities around the world. They will establish capabilities to co-engineer three of the most promising quantum computing platforms, and this will set a basis for determining which platform or parts thereof are most suitable to expand further. This is crucial to its potential says the programmes leader.

The other major initiatives globally have already chosen their platforms and are trying to optimise them. () We will spend 7 years identifying the platform that offers the greatest opportunity to build a usable quantum computer. This makes our programme one of the most ambitious ever”: Peter Krogstrup Jeppesen, Professor, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Leader, Novo Nordisk Foundation Quantum Computing Programme.

Fabrication facility

Another part of the grant is earmarked for establishing Quantum Foundry P/S, a partner company co-located with the Programme. This company is a fabrication facility that will supply materials and hardware to the researchers in the Programme.

Copenhagen Science City is home to world leading research communities within the quantum computer field. This generous donation from the Novo Nordisk Foundation will lift our district to a whole new level. Companies that hope to commercialise quantum technologies will find an increasingly fertile ground for their activities in our innovation district”: David Dreyer. Prorector, University of Copenhagen and chairman of the Copenhagen Science City Development Council.

Adding muscle to an internationally recognized hotspot

The Novo Nordisk Foundation investment was made public just five months after NATO announced their intention to place a Qauntum Technology test and commercialisation facility in Denmark. The centre, “Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic” (DIANA), will also have key facilities in Copenhagen Science City.

A global network

Other universities expected to be involved in the programme are

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
  • Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands)
  • The Technical University of Denmark (Lyngby, Denmark)
  • Aarhus University (Denmark)
  • University of Toronto (Canada).

Quantum powerhouse

University of Copenhagen ranks seventh in the world by number of publications on quantum subjects and compared to the nations’ size Denmark has the highest number of graduates from quantum relevant studies. Copenhagen Science City is an innovation district featuring three leading research institutions, 40,000 researchers, students, and staff and 450+ innovation intensive companies. Many of these are within life science, but artificial intelligence-based companies are on the rise and quantum computer sub-contractors are expected to be the next big sector seeking co-location opportunities in the district.