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Dutch National Technology Strategy identifies quantum as ‘key technology’

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The Dutch minister of Economic Affairs And Climate has presented the National Technology Strategy (NTS). It describes ten key sectors in which the Netherlands excels scientifically and that are crucial for future economic growth. One of these sectors is quantum technology, that is the core of QuTech’s research and engineering. The minister intends to position the Netherlands in 2035 by means of talent, facilities, financing, and market creation.

International technological competition has greatly increased. Other countries too are deploying more targeted (smarter) strategy-enabling technologies. Technology can solve challenges in areas such as healthcare or security. That is why minister Adriaansens of Economic Affairs And Climate presented the NTS to the Dutch cabinet.

Necessity for future jobs and income

The ministry’s press release reads: “Companies, knowledge institutions, societal organisations and the government will prioritise ten strategic technologies. They are necessary for future Dutch jobs and income, solving societal challenges and our national security. In this way, the Netherlands can take part in the lightning-fast technological developments in which other countries inside and outside Europe are making substantial and targeted investments.”

The NTS mentions the high quality of scientific research in the Netherlands, the country’s highly educated population, the strong international connections, and the many public-private collaborations. These strengths are contrasted by the lagging R&D investments, valorisation, and the limited targeted use on key technologies.

Dutch quantum ecosystem

The Netherlands needs to be a guiding nation and have a world class ecosystem, both academically and industrially, so that it can serve as an international magnet for business and talent. On the long term, quantum technologies will be crucial for our earning potential, safety, and will provide solutions in sectors like energy, health, and (cyber) security. The NTS continues to describe the importance of quantum computing, quantum communication, and sensing.

QuTech is at the core of these technological developments, both in terms of fundamental research, collaboration with commercial companies, engineering breakthroughs, and especially the creation of spin-off companies.

Making choices

Minister Adriaansens: “We have to make choices, because we are increasingly faced with all kinds of scarcities in terms of energy, raw materials/semi-products, human resources and space. Moreover, other countries are also strategically invest in innovative technologies. As a result of a strong knowledge economy, the Netherlands has a vanguard position as a trade and innovation country. With this strategy and targeted investments, we can remain so. This is of great importance for a liveable and safe country, but also because we must first earn in order to distribute.”

This National Technology Strategy provides “the building blocks for a strategic technology policy by identifying key technologies where the Dutch knowledge field and industry can make a positive impact and where a unique Dutch position is possible.”

More information, such as the accompanying cover letter, can be found on the government’s website.

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Picture from the one of the QuTech/Fujitsu labs in Delft. Foto: Guus Schoonewille

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