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‘The Netherlands must reap the benefits of its top 3 position in quantum technology’

‘The Netherlands must reap the benefits of its top 3 position in quantum technology’
‘The Netherlands must reap the benefits of its top 3 position in quantum technology’
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TechnologyFeb 3 ’24 3:51 PMAuthor: Thijs Baas

In the past, Europe has too often missed the boat when it comes to new technologies. European companies often excelled in the field of technology and production, but time and time again the Americans managed to attract technologies by ‘being in the race’ much more aggressively, says Kees Eijkel, head of business development at QuTech in BNR Digitaal . With the breakthrough of quantum technology, this really has to change, and the circumstances seem favorable.

‘The Netherlands must reap the benefits of its top 3 position in quantum technology’

19 min 36 sec

Fortunately, the interest of private investors in quantum technology has increased significantly over the past twenty years, Eijkel notes. But now it’s a matter of ‘hang in there and go’. ‘Then we will reap the benefits.’ The government has also finally taken major steps in recent years, says Vincent Kamphorst, investment director at Innovation Industries. ‘You have the Growth Fund, the innovation credit and a number of other instruments. Or a new cabinet that will persevere? Let’s hope so!’

‘We invest, ideally together with a number of other investors, to bring that big opportunity closer in five to ten years’

Vincent Kamphorst, Innovation Industries

The Netherlands in the top 3

In the field of quantum technology, the Netherlands is in the top three worldwide, together with the United States and China. It will take some time before really large quantum systems can be set up, says Eijkel. Substantial investments are still required for a truly working quantum computer. ‘Current systems do not yet work as well as is necessary for truly large-scale applications. There are still many puzzles to solve, but we have seen that it is possible.’

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QuTech, together with Japan’s Fujitsu, is starting the Advanced Computing Lab Delft, which is fully dedicated to the development of quantum computing technologies. It shows that the Netherlands is considered an interesting place to invest, says Eijkel. ‘The quantum talent, investment opportunities and infrastructure are limited. So as a company you look for places where all this is very close together. Unlike Silicon Valley, the Netherlands and Delft in particular do a lot of quantum. So they come to us.’

Innovative, complex technology

Vincent Kamphorst himself invests in deep tech with Innovation Industries. As far as he is concerned, this includes everything that has to do with ‘solving fundamental problems of our time’ through innovative, highly complex technology. As an example, he mentions new photonic chips to limit the enormous energy use of data centers and new battery technologies to shape the energy transition much better for less money. ‘And that requires a special approach.’

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Investing in deep tech requires a lot of patience, says Kamphorst: it often concerns companies that have no turnover yet. ‘We are used to thinking far ahead. Companies are still far from having a turnover, so a lot of money needs to be invested and that requires patience and knowledge, among other things. We invest, ideally together with a number of other investors, for that big opportunity closer in five to ten years. While the fund durations in private equity are about five to six years, we are working towards an exit after about ten to twelve years.’

French President Emmanuel Macron and King Willem Alexander visit the Quantum Gases & Quantum Information Lab of the UvA. In the past, Europe has missed the boat too often in the field of new technologies, but this must change with quantum technology. (ANP / ANP)

The article is in Dutch

Netherlands

Tags: Netherlands reap benefits top position quantum technology

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