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No ‘business-as-usual’ for quantum flagship

The EU’s planned €1-billion Quantum Technology Flagship needs to generate marketable products rather that scientific understanding, Gunther Oettinger, the EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, has said.

The €1-billion initiative “cannot be more ‘business-as-usual’, by which I mean ’science as usual’— it has to make a real difference,” Oettinger told 300 physicists, engineers and officials at the Quantum Europe 2016 meeting, which took place in Amsterdam on May 17-18 under the Netherlands presidency of the EU.

Oettinger said it would seek to build a “strong ecosystem” of university researchers and companies, large and small, to generate products for the European market. The commissioner didn’t reveal any details about the proposed initiative, but some are expected to be released next week before the Flagship is considered for endorsement at a meeting of the Competitiveness Council on 26 May.

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