On February 4th, 2021 the legal representatives of fourteen European industries active in the Quantum Technology area met via videoconference to found the non-for-profit association “European Quantum Industry Consortium” (QuIC) under German law (“eingetragener Verein e.V.”), which will be headquartered in Jülich (DE). These founding members represent a good balance between large and small industries, the QT pillars, and the different European regions.
A QuIC history
Working towards the foundation of QuIC started early 2020 when the Quantum Community Network (one of the three governing bodies of the Quantum Flagship initiative) expressed the need of a “privately owned body with the mission to advocate, promote, and foster the common interests of the European Quantum Industry towards all Quantum Technologies stakeholders“.
A task force comprising the QCN chair T. Calarco (Jülich FZ) and his team (D. Binosi, M. Constantin and E. Sánchez-Bautista) together with T. Strohm (Robert Bosch GmbH), launched the initiative on June 24th, 2020, with the first “Towards a European Quantum Industry Consortium” teleconference. The event was a success, seeing the participation of 273 industry and RTO representatives, from 24 different European countries. QuIC objectives where declared to :
- Identify gaps in the Quantum Technology sector in terms of supply chain, enabling components and/or technologies, performance, intellectual property, standards, workforce.
- Identify applications and use cases in different areas.
- Facilitate the coordination between Quantum Technology industries.
- Advocate the Quantum Technology industry needs towards public stakeholders.
- Nurture a fair and sustainable Quantum Technology business environment in Europe and ensure its global competitiveness.
Additionally, the workshop successfully prepared the kick-off of QuIC, identifying tasks and a number of Working Groups, while laying a clear path leading to QuIC foundation. In particular, an interim Working Group on Governance and Structure composed by 40 representatives from 34 organizations and led by B. Broer (Qu&Co BV) started working out the details of QuIC legal, funding, membership and governing structure, together with the Statutes and Bylaws.
Results were reported in a second event held on November 10th, 2020 which gathered 365 participants from 27 European countries who gave their approval to the identified structures and handed the mandate for the legal establishment of the association, the recruiting of QuIC first Executive Director and Assistant and the convening of the QuIC Founding Assembly.
The Founding Assembly
The Founding Assembly that gathered on February 4th, 2021 was composed by fourteen representatives of Europe based large companies, SMEs and start-ups: T. Botter (Airbus SE), T. Monz (Alpine Quantum Technologies GmbH), S. Stadel (Atos SE), C. Kuchkovsky (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA), T. Strohm (Robert Bosch GmbH), G. Ribordy (ID Quantique SA), J. Götz (IQM Finland Oy), C. Jurczak (Quantonation SASU), B. Broer (Qu&Co BV), C. Abellán (QuSide Technologies SL), L. Le Bars (SAP SE), S. Muller (Thales Group SA), W. Kaenders (TOPTICA Photonics AG), M. Kirste (Zurich Instruments Ltd.).
The founding members approved the Statutes and the Bylaws elaborated previously, and appointed an ad interim Governing Board, so composed:
- President: L. Le Bars (SAP SE)
- Vice-President: B. Broer (Qu&Co BV)
- Treasurer: T. Strohm (Robert Bosch GmbH)
which will supervise QuIC activities until the first General Assembly.
Current status and next steps
QuIC interim Governing Board has immediately started its activities by meeting with European Commission representatives on February 17th, in a meeting devoted to setting up a close collaboration with the EC in the context of the “Digital Decade” which features a multi-annual European plan for Quantum Technologies. One of the first action items identified at that occasion, has been executed on March 17th, which saw 140 representatives of industries active in the Quantum Communication area attending an online workshop to discuss future plans for implementing the strategy for the prospective European Quantum Communication Infrastructure – EuroQCI.
Meanwhile the job positions for QuIC Executive Director and Secretary have been posted and a selection committee chaired by W. Kaenders (TOPTICA Photonics AG) and composed by A. Venegas-Gómez (Qureca), L. Le Bars (SAP SE) and T. Calarco (Jülich FZ) will start soon interviewing suitable candidates.
Finally, on April 12th the first General Assembly has been convened where the founding members will meet to formally grant new memberships. Two days later on April 14th the second General Assembly has been convened where all members meet and set up the next steps and activities of QuIC.
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Long live the QuIC!