Path to European quantum unicorns

Markku Räsänen (Corresponding Author), Henrikki Mäkynen, Mikko Möttönen, Jan Goetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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Quantum computing holds the potential to deliver great economic prosperity to the European Union (EU). However, the creation of successful business in the field is challenging owing to the required extensive investments into postdoctoral-level workforce and sophisticated infrastructure without an existing market that can financially support these operations. This commentary paper reviews the recent efforts taken in the EU to foster the quantum-computing ecosystem together with its current status. Importantly, we propose concrete actions for the EU to take to enable future growth of this field towards the desired goals. In particular, we suggest ways to enable the creation of EU-based quantum-computing unicorns which may act as key crystallization points of quantum technology and its commercialization. These unicorns may provide stability to the otherwise scattered ecosystem, thus pushing forward global policies enabling the global spread of EU innovations and technologies. The unicorns may act as a conduit, through which the EU-based quantum ecosystem can stand out from similar ecosystems based in Asia and the United States. Such strong companies are required because of the level of investment currently required in the marketplace. This paper suggests methodologies and best practices that can enhance the probability of the creation of the unicorns. Furthermore, we explore future scenarios, in which the unicorns can operate from the EU and to support the EU quantum ecosystem. This exploration is conducted focusing on the steps to be taken and on the impact the companies may have in our opinion.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Number of pages18
JournalEPJ Quantum Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • EU
  • Industrial policy
  • Quantum computing
  • Unicorn


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