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Can Europe compete in the quantum ‘space race’?


Alice Pannier

The TechCrunch Global Affairs Project examines the increasingly intertwined relationship between the tech sector and global politics.
Quantum information science has long languished in an academic corner of the tech sector. But recent advances mean that the sector has taken on geopolitical significance. With several nations rushing to develop their own quantum systems, the quantum competition has started to resemble a new “space race.”
With the U.S. and China leading the way, European countries are feeling the pressure to step up their game, and several countries, as well as the European Union itself, have made a big push to invest in this space. But are European efforts too late and too fragmented to compete with the two tech giants?
U.S.-China: A race to the quantum advantage and beyond
Quantum computing seeks to exploit the counter-intuitive properties of quantum physics (that is to say, physics at the atomic or subatomic scale), such as entanglement and superposition. To do so, a quantum computer manipulates the states of particles (ions, electrons, photons) using lasers or electric and magnetic fields.
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