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French Defense Ministry Selects Startups to Build Quantum Computer

All-French lineup awarded $545M to develop two universal quantum prototypes by 2032

Berenice Baker, Editor, Enter Quantum

March 12, 2024

1 Min Read
An Alice & Bob quantum processor
An Alice & Bob quantum processor. Alice & Bob

France’s defense procurement agency has awarded five framework agreements worth up to $545 million to French startups to develop two universal quantum computer prototypes by 2032.

The Armed Forces Ministry said the ultimate aim of the contracts with Alice and Bob, C12, Pasqal, Quandela and Quobly was to deliver quantum systems usable for defense requirements.

France has committed to establishing a leading position in the international quantum technology race with a $1.3 billion investment spanning until 2027.

A ministry statement said quantum technology is of major importance to the French armed forces, with potential applications in cryptography or communications.

“The revolution underway will allow us to perceive our environment with unprecedented precession, discover new materials, explore new ways of transmitting information, navigate there where the GPS network is inaccessible,” the statement added.

The program will be coordinated by the Defense Digital Agency and takes the form of a three-stage competition: proof of concept, maturation and then industrialization.

The proof of concept phase will last four years after which the companies with the logical qubits that show the most promise of scaling would be retained.

Of these, two will progress to the maturation stage and continue to develop prototype computers, with a goal of 128 logic qubits. These will progress to targeting 2,048 qubit commercial systems that customers can use.

Related:Hybrid Quantum Method Shows Cellular Network Planning Promise

Alice & Bob announced in January that it was targeting useful quantum computing with a novel architecture.

In February, a team of researchers demonstrated that a hybrid classical-quantum algorithm running on a Pasqal quantum computer can solve a complex cellular network optimization problem.

Also in February, Quandela provided its first quantum computer in North America for a new sustainable data center in Quebec.

About the Author(s)

Berenice Baker

Editor, Enter Quantum

Berenice is the editor of Enter Quantum, the companion website and exclusive content outlet for The Quantum Computing Summit. Enter Quantum informs quantum computing decision-makers and solutions creators with timely information, business applications and best practice to enable them to adopt the most effective quantum computing solution for their businesses. Berenice has a background in IT and 16 years’ experience as a technology journalist.

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