The New Quantum Center at ETH Zurich

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ETH Zurich announced its new Quantum Center. The center has 28 founding members from 6 different departments of ETH Zurich and the Paul Scherrer Institute.

The purpose of the new ETH Quantum Center is to ensure ETH Zurich’s various competences and activities in this area are networked even more closely and to raise their public profile.

Quantum research is of great importance to ETH Zurich, where a significant number of professorships are now investigating quantum physics and quantum technologies. Although the Department of Physics is still home to a majority of quantum scientists, they are playing an increasingly prominent role in other departments as well.

The expectation of new applications is a major reason why quantum research is gaining a foothold in an increasing number of departments. Harnessing the abstract phenomena of quantum mechanics for specific applications calls for more than just theoretical and experimental physicists. They must also be joined by engineers to attend to the electronics, nanofabrication, new materials or process scalability, and by computer scientists to develop the required programming approaches, without which the new technologies would be useless.

Already well set up to pursue quantum research, ETH Zurich plans to further expand its activities over the next few years. Last autumn, the university launched a new Quantum Engineering Master’s programme. And as part of the ETH+ initiative on quantum research, the recruitment process recently began for two new professorships – one for quantum computing at the Department of Computer Science, the other for experimental quantum technology in collaboration with the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI.

At the same time, ETH Zurich wants to bring the individual players in this field closer together. For this reason, and also as part of the ETH+ initiative, the university has founded the new ETH Quantum Center, which will bring together ETH’s different disciplines under one roof. In total, 28 professorships from 6 departments and from PSI have already joined the new center.

The center’s initiators are particularly focused on the medium term: with the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research for Quantum Science and Technology (NCCR QSIT) closing at the end of 2022, the new ETH Quantum Center is now set to take over some of its functions. A top priority is to forge a public presence.

A specific example of this is positioning ETH Zurich to be even more successful in securing European funding to pursue quantum technology. And when it comes to future collaborative projects with industry or third-​​party fundraising, ETH will benefit from being able to present the full breadth of its expertise under the umbrella of the new Quantum Center.

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