Quantum.Tech Europe: Expert voices from the event on quantum education and workforce

Quantum.Tech Europe, the world’s largest in-person quantum technologies event was hosted in Twickenham Stadium, London during September 19-21, 2022. This event is a showcase of the multinational enterprises, governments, academics, and startups driving the commercialisation of quantum technologies. The event featured industry professionals from not just quantum computing, but also communication, sensing, and metrology, hardware, devices, and technology applications, covering all domains in quantum technologies.

Quantum.Tech Europe comprised of various panel discussions focussed on providing a roadmap update from leading service providers, preparing quantum enterprises, collaboration between stakeholders to drive quantum innovations, and quantum use breakthroughs in industry use cases. Advances in quantum technologies were showcased through 3 streams: Moving Quantum from POC to Production Readiness, Application and Algorithms, and Secure Communications and Cryptography. The event covered interesting sessions on quantum computing applications in financial services, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, chemical, energy, logistics and airline industry as well as the future of quantum communication, and development, acceleration, and implementation of quantum sensors.

QURECA team engaged with industry professionals attending this conference to understand their perspectives on the initiatives addressing the need for quantum education and workforce. Event sponsors such as Quantinuum, Zapata, IonQ, and Classiq discussed their workforce expansion requirements with the QURECA team.

Valerian Giesz, CEO of Quandela highlighted that they are currently recruiting 5-10 people per month in all areas from UX designers and/or algorithm designers, and engineers, to different other skills for the company growth. Based in Paris Saclay, which is one of the biggest scientific clusters in France, Quandela’s CEO added that on the education side, they are highly involved in Master’s program and PhD programs, to help develop more quantum courses, not just basics but also application as well as partnering with Ireland and Scotland universities, participating in the international scientific board, and organising various conferences. He expressed his concern over the requirement for a greater number of skilled talents over next 20 years and it would require a lot more effort than now.

“The demand for skills in quantum is growing both in the UK and other countries. UK’s national strategy has stated the importance of supporting the pipeline of talent from STEM schools to training skills in the wider economy” – said Gemma Peck, Director of Business Growth, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), UK.

Talking about how to create and execute an effective quantum computing strategy, Fausto Artico, Global R&D Tech Head and Director of Innovation and Data Science, GSK, highlighted the importance of training the workforce and advised that “Startups should hire fresh graduates from academia and partner with universities to find graduates that can work on quantum projects and explore Quantum POCs. This strategy will allow companies to bridge the gap and build the essential capabilities that can transform the existing workforce.”

When asked about the relevance of a diverse quantum workforce, several delegates felt that organisations should dedicate their efforts to fostering diversity in team culture. Whether advertising business roles or promoting existing employees to leadership roles, establishing an inclusive environment at every stage may encourage women, underrepresented groups or minorities feel welcome in such organisations.

Others argue that having a workforce with diverse skill sets, educational backgrounds, and expertise will be needed in the future and we must project these requirements today. Agnes Meyder, Senior Scientific Solutions Engineer at Roche added “Instead of listing education or skill requirements, write over precise job advertisements, broaden your candidate search by welcoming a pool of talented people and having a conversation with them. You can always upskill existing employees. It is equally important to enable and empower existing workforce to step up and prove their capabilities.”

Himdari Majumdar, Lead of Quantum Programmes at VTT commented “When we talk about providing quantum education, it’s not just about teaching quantum technology fundamentals, but it’s also about creating awareness or developing strategic interests in order to realise the value of investing in quantum.”

“We have seen how education and talent worldwide has become a hot topic in the last couple of years, highlighting the talent shortage in the field of quantum technologies. Furthermore, end users, especially those who are new to the field, look for support to develop their quantum strategy, which clearly involves training and recruitment, where QURECA plays a key role” – says Araceli Venegas-Gomez, QURECA founder and CEO.

Being involved with Quantum.Tech since 2019, QURECA feel privileged to be a part of ever-growing community as one of the media partners. Through this conference, QURECA had the opportunity to interact with academic, government, and industry professionals, expand their network, and stay up to date with the latest development in the quantum industry. Quantum.Tech will return to Boston in April 2023 to anchor discussions on the adoption of quantum technologies, emphasising more on minimizing the hype and showcasing commercialisation achievements through real-life user case studies.

The QURECA team would like to thank and congratulate the event organisers for organising a terrific event and providing us with a unified platform for having fruitful discussions with many industry leaders. We look forward to joining the Quantum.Tech events in the future!

Maninder Kaur

Program Manager, QURECA

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