Researchers and industry specialists across Europe, led by Harry Buhrman (director of QuSoft, group leader at CWI, and professor at the University of Amsterdam), have launched a Quantum Software Manifesto. With the Manifesto, the group aims to increase awareness of and support for quantum software research.
The group is asking the scientific community and quantum tech industry to endorse their initiative. They call for increased collaboration between academics and industrial partners, and encourage further collaboration between quantum hardware and quantum software researchers. The Manifesto also identifies quantum computing education as a crucial requirement for the success of the upcoming quantum revolution.
The development of the quantum computer is well on its way. “Given the recent rapid advances in quantum hardware, it is urgent that we step up our quantum software efforts”, reads the Manifesto. “We currently only have a rough idea of potential applications, even though they will be key to the economic success of quantum computers. It is thus important to discover which problems actually can benefit from a quantum computer and which applications would be the most useful, and to develop new quantum algorithms to solve these problems.”
In the short-term, the group stresses the importance of finding real-world applications that can benefit from the small, noisy quantum computers, because these will soon be available. On the other hand, they recognize that quantum hardware will have to be optimized for these possible applications. “This is one of the reasons why quantum computer hardware and software developers will need to work together much more closely than at present.”
“We believe that Europe is ideally positioned to lead the quantum revolution”, says Harry Buhrman. “Yet if we want to be at the forefront of the quantum revolution, increased awareness of and support for quantum software is essential.”
The quantum revolution
Quantum computers are based on a completely new paradigm and promise solutions to problems that will never be solvable with classical computers. For instance, quantum computers can be used to optimize traffic flow, and to better understand chemical interactions, which could lead to the discovery of new medicines and materials.
Quantum Software Manifesto