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French Government Gives Nation Quantum Strategy Update

Macron’s $1.9B investment targets universal quantum computer prototypes by 2032

Berenice Baker, Editor, Enter Quantum

April 4, 2024

2 Min Read
French secretary general for investment Bruno Bonnell
Bonnell said that France has a fundamental plan to invest in technologies that will change society.

Three years into President Macron’s ambitious $1.9 billion national quantum strategy, French companies make 20% of all the quantum computers in the world and France has 15% of the global quantum workforce.

Delivering an update on the program at the Q2B Paris event, secretary general for investment Bruno Bonnell said 2023 showed some critical results for quantum computers and fault tolerance is edging closer in 2024.

Bonnell is responsible for the government’s $59 billion France 2030 investment plan to recover from the financial hit of COVID-19 and identified quantum technology as a way to achieve that.

“Quantum technology will benefit many other sectors too, like cybersecurity and AI but also, in the near future, new processes and production devices. France 2030 has a fundamental plan to invest in technologies that will change our society,” said Bonnell.

France is supporting this ground-up approach and avoiding a skills gap by increasing the number of undergraduate, graduate and PhD students in France by 30%.

French quantum computing partnerships were behind two major achievements in 2023. Pasqal and Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank paved the way to a concrete quantum advantage in the field of finance. Also, Alice & Bob and Qandela made major milestones in the development of error-corrected photonic quantum computing.

Related:EU Pact Aims to Make Europe ‘Quantum Valley of the World’

On its own, the fact that 20% of all quantum computers sold globally is French is remarkable, but that grows in the wider context of Europe. According to Bonnell, European manufacturers represent a 50% market share in terms of global sales of quantum computers.

Bonnell ended with a two-phase announcement that sets 2024 up for another big year for French quantum computing.

The Ministry of Defense has awarded contracts to five domestic quantum companies aiming to develop two universal quantum computer prototypes for defense requirements by 2032 in a program known as Proqcima. The framework agreements with Alice & Bob, C12, Pasqal, Quandela and Quobly are worth up to $545 million. 

The second phase of the project targets quantum computers with 100 to 200 logical qubits on a six to eight-year timescale. The vision is that the defense program will ultimately have public applications.

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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