Quantum Future Academy 2020-2022

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

Today’s insights for tomorrow’s experts

Challenges in quantum technologies are not limited to the field of physics: Transferring basic principles of quantum physics into actual technical applications still requires enormous effort in development, e. g. in the fields of engineering sciences or information technologies. Those who want to make these new technologies profitable have to create business models and find markets as well. We match those needs and provide for young academic talents an exclusive overview of state-of-the-art research and development in quantum technologies.

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.

What you need to know

Who is hosting?

The QFA is 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 is supported by the Quantum Flagship Initiative of the European Commission and various institutions of the participating countries.

What can you expect?

Besides many cultural and team building activities, the academy will focus on exclusive insights in most distinct areas of applied quantum technologies: Students may look forward to a science slam, an intensive workshop on science communication including a pitch contest, company and lab tours, and to several networking events with important players in the field of quantum technologies. During a special welcome event, students will also meet Bettina Stark-Watzinger, the Federal Minister of Education and Research.

Who can participate?

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

The selected participants are bachelor or master students of engineering, natural sciences, or information sciences with basic knowledge in quantum mechanics from universities of the participating countries. Participation in the academy is free of charge. Meals and housing will be provided. Travel expenses to and from Berlin will be reimbursed in coordination with the organizers. The language of the event is English.

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Nina Pawlik

VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH

Innovationsunterstützung Quantensysteme