Quantum Future Academy 2020-2022

Bild: Julia Pahl

The waiting period is over: After two years of virtual events, the first Pan-European Quantum Future Academy (QFA) finally took place in Berlin this summer. From August 1 to 5, students from 29 countries attended the academy. The students also met a special guest: the Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger.

A European matter

Starting as a national event in Stuttgart and Ulm in 2018, in 2019 we started taking the next steps to appreciate quantum technologies as what they are: A European matter. At that time, the BMBF hosted the academy at four different locations in Germany and France (Karlsruhe, Strasbourg, Saarbrücken, Paris-Saclay) together with the French Ministry of Science MESRI.

In 2020, we have gone even further. Against the backdrop of the German EU Council Presidency in 2020, the academy was intended to take place for the first time as an entirely Pan-European event. 29 partner nations selected two students each for this purpose. But things turned out differently than planned: Due to the Covid-19-Pandemic, the QFA could not take place in 2020. Instead of meeting face-to-face, the participants were invited to a short virtual programme with an introduction to the topic and numerous networking opportunities. Due to the ongoing pandemic situation in 2021, the Ministry reinvited the students to a three-day academy in gather.town, a virtual space platform in which attendees can move around and interact through avatars. To ensure that the participants and organisers could stay in touch, virtual regulars’ tables had been organized every three months.

In August, the pandemic situation finally allowed all students to meet in person in Berlin. Besides many cultural and team building activities, the academy focused on exclusive insights in most distinct areas of applied quantum technologies: Students could look forward to an intensive workshop on science communication including a pitch contest and a science slam. Moreover, company and lab tours as well as several networking events with important players in the field of quantum technologies awaited them. During a special welcome event, students also met Bettina Stark-Watzinger, the Federal Minister of Education and Research.

What you need to know

Who was hosting?

The QFA was hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in cooperation with Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik (FBH) and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The initiative was supported by the Quantum Flagship Initiative of the European Commission and various institutions of the participating countries.

Who can participate?

The selection process is already closed. The participants were chosen in 2020.

The selected participants were bachelor or master students of engineering, natural sciences, or information sciences with basic knowledge in quantum mechanics from universities of the participating countries.





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