French Head of State Emmanuel Macron said the country is building a “quantum plan” for the country worth about 1.8 billion euros over the next five years, according to La Monde. It’s a move that vaults France into third place in public quantum investment, the paper added.
The initiative will join both the funding from the State and affiliated organizations (1.05 billion euros) along European credits (200 million euros) and those of the private sector (550 million) to invest in quantum technology, the paper reports.
Funding for quantum in France will jump from about 60 million euros per year to 200 million euros annually. That move, the paper adds, will place France in third place in raising money for quantum technologies. The U.S. and China would currently spend more. They estimate that the U.S. will spend about $400 million annually in public funding of quantum tech.
Breaking the plan down, La Monde reports that most of the money is slated for quantum computers, which use subatomic processes to perform calculations that can vastly outperform classical computers in several types of calculations. About 800 million euros will be used to fund quantum computers, the paper reports, adding that the money could be used for the first machines to emerge — simulators and partially quantum machines, 350 million euros — or those which will appear in the longer term — fully-fledged quantum computers, 430 million euros.
The other funding groups will be devoted to sensors, post-quantum cryptography, quantum communications and related technologies that make it possible to build quantum equipment.
According to the Elysée, the Future Investment Program will provide half of the funds and the other half will come from the various research establishments involved in quantum (Inria, CNRS, CEA, etc.).
The quantum plan should in particular make it possible to finance “around a hundred thesis grants and around fifty post-doctoral contracts”, to which could be added “a dozen excellent researchers that could be brought in per year”, according to a adviser to the Elysee.