A collaboration between TU Delft and TNO
QuTech is a mission-driven research institute, formally founded in 2015 by Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). Within TU Delft, both the Faculty of Applied Sciences and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Sciences are involved in QuTech. Within TNO, the research groups Quantum Technology, Optics, Nano-instrumentation, Optomechatronics, Radar Technology and Distributed Sensor Systems contribute to QuTech.
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A long tradition of excellence
The decision to establish QuTech was presented in October 2013 after an extensive internal and external consultation process. At that time, Delft already had a very strong scientific competence in the field of quantum information solid-state physics. This was a result of a long tradition of excellence in quantum and nanoscience, fuelled by of strategic investments by the university and NWO (in particular through a FOM Focus Group 2004-2013).
In 2012, a consortium of TU Delft and Leiden was awarded an ERC Synergy Grant for a Quantum Computing Lab, providing an excellent basis for strongly synergetic research between the Delft scientific groups of Prof. Leo Kouwenhoven, Prof. Ronald Hanson, Prof. Lieven Vandersypen and Prof. Leo DiCarlo working on different solid-state qubit technologies, in collaboration with Prof. Carlo Beenakker of Leiden University. To advance this core of excellent quantum information research towards technology, the need was identified to expand the competences through adding other disciplines, including computer science, quantum information theory and electrical engineering. Moreover, a different complementary mindset – that of applied engineering towards higher technology readiness levels (TRL) – was desirable. This starting point was written down in a proposal for QuTech, that resonated within the faculties and with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, TNO and NWO.
In 2014, QuTech was awarded the National Icon status by the Dutch government because of its pioneering and innovative character, the economic potential for the Netherlands and the possible contribution to major social challenges such as Energy Supply and Safety.
The partner covenant of QuTech, signed on 1 June 2015, marks the formal start of the current QuTech organisation. In this covenant, the Minister of Economic Affairs, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, TU Delft, TNO and NWO undersigned their intention to support QuTech for the period 2015- 2025. TKI Holland High Tech is also a partner in the covenant QuTech. TKI Holland High Tech is one of the nine key economic areas (the top sectors) established and supported by the Dutch government to further strengthen the Dutch international position through the “golden triangle” formed by companies, research institutes and government.
QuTech is governed by the “Partnership Agreement QuTech”. The governance structure is divided into three Divisions: Quantum Computing, Quantum Internet, and Qubit Research. The highest governing body of QuTech is the Board of Directors, responsible for research, business development, and operations. The Board of Directors governs and manages QuTech, in consultation with the division leaders. It consists of three members. The Research Director acts as primus inter pares.
- Lieven Vandersypen, Director Research
- Kees Eijkel, Director of Business Development
- Charlotte van Hees, Director of Operations
The QuTech Board of Directors reports directly to the TU Delft Executive Board. The TU Delft Executive Board consults the Executive Board of TNO where appropriate, for example on decisions with financial consequences. The Research Director and Operations Director are employed by TU Delft, the Business Development Director is employed by TNO.
Public funding of QuTech is based on a partner covenant, signed in 2015 by the following partners:
- The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (MinEZK)
- The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (MinOCW)
- The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)
- Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
- The Dutch Research Council (NWO), specifically:
NWO domain Applied and Engineering Sciences (NWO/TTW)
NWO domain Science (NWO/ENW)
- TKI Holland High Tech
These partners agreed to financially support QuTech for the 10-year period from June 2015 to June 2025.
Our researchers also receive funding via research grants of public and private origin.