CERN Quantum Technology Initiative (QTI) is a comprehensive R&D and academic collaboration programme beyond the initial best-effort explorations, covering the different needs of the Organization and the high-energy physics (HEP) community. It is based on almost two years of pilot collaborations and investigations — primarily in quantum computing — related to possible applications that are core to activities in high-energy physics.

The Quantum Technology Initiative will define a roadmap and research programme in collaboration with the HEP and quantum-technology research communities. Setting up collaborations within the Member States and with international initiatives will allow CERN to stand at the forefront of the new quantum revolution and work to develop new computing, detectors, and communications systems, in addition to advancing knowledge of quantum systems and quantum information processing.

Today, quantum-technology activities are organised into four main domains of R&D and applications:

  1. Quantum computing and algorithms.
  2. Quantum theory and simulation.
  3. Quantum sensing, metrology and materials.
  4. Quantum communication and networks.

Besides these four main domains of R&D, cross-cutting areas are emerging that bring together elements of more than one domain, potentially supporting a wide range of scientific and technological applications. For example, quantum software and algorithms — or a combination of quantum sensors, network software and communication protocols — can be brought together to create potentially very precise, large-scale detector systems.

In future, CERN's challenging scientific research programme could benefit significantly from the application of quantum technologies. In particular, such technologies could play an important role in supporting the design of new sophisticated types of detectors or accelerating the computing workloads of the physics experiments.