Universiteit Leiden

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Research programme

NExt ApplicationS of Quantum Computing (NEASQC)

The NEASQC project brings together academic experts and industrial end-users to investigate and develop a new breed of Quantum-enabled applications that can take advantage of NISQ (Noise Intermediate-Scale Quantum) systems in the near future. NEASQC is use-case driven, addressing practical problems such as drug discovery, CO2 capture, smart energy management, natural language processing, breast cancer detection, probabilistic risk assessment for energy infrastructures or inventory management. NEASQC has the ambition to initiate an active European Community around NISQ Quantum Computing by providing a common toolset that will attract new industrial users.

2022 - 2026
Alfons Laarman

NEASQC brings together highly skilled and motivated academic experts and industrial end users, who collaborate on very relevant and representative Quantum Computing applications, and will share their learnings with their communities. To maximise industry/academia collaboration, each use case is investigated by an integrated team of a least one industrial partner and one academic partner. AstraZeneca, Atos, Cesga, EDF, HQS, HSBC, ICHEC, Tilde, TotalEnergies, Leiden University, University of A Coruña, Université de Lorraine

Missions and Objectives

NEASQC aims at demonstrating that, though the millions of qubits that will guarantee fully fault-tolerant quantum computing are still far away, there are practical use cases for the NISQ (Noise Intermediate-Scale Quantum) devices that will be available in the near future. NISQ computing can deliver significant advantages when running certain applications, thus bringing game-changing benefits to users, and particularly industrial users.

The NEASQC consortium has chosen a wide selection of NISQ-compatible industrial and Financial use-cases, and will develop new quantum software techniques to solve those use-cases with a practical quantum advantage. To achieve this, the project brings together an unprecedented multidisciplinary consortium of academic and industry experts in Quantum Computing, High Performance Computing, Artificial Intelligence, chemistry…

The ultimate ambition of NEASQC is to encourage European user communities to investigate NISQ quantum computing. For this purpose, the project consortium will define and make available a complete and common toolset that new industrial actors can use to start their own practical investigation and share their results.

The idea that the scientists now have is that quantum machine learning offers an opportunity to solve this problem. This could be achieved by allowing quantum computers to learn from data, without explicitly programming them. However, it is not yet clear which type of of data is best suited to quantum computers, i.e., what will be the first really useful application for quantum. Common sense suggests that data from truly quantum events might be the match they are looking for. Since quantum is all about the nanoscopic, what could be more quantum than data from elementary particle experiments in high-energy physics. Researchers of Leiden’s interdepartmental initiative applied quantum algorithms (aQa) will investigate this intuition. In this way they want to figure out whether quantum computers can offer new ways to extract physical insights from high energy physics data.  

NEASQC objectives

1 - Develop 9 industrial and financial use cases with a practical quantum advantage
for NISQ machines.

2 - Develop open source NISQ programming libraries for industrial use cases, with a view to facilitate quantum computing experimentation for new users.

3 - Build a strong user community dedicated to industrial NISQ applications.

4 - Develop software stacks and benchmarks for the Quantum Technology Flagship
hardware platforms.

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