Skip to main content




Quantum conference offers business insight

11 Mar 2021 Sponsored by Quantum Business Europe and Bluefors

Quantum Business Europe aims to provide an online meeting place for all the key players in Europe’s rapidly growing quantum sector

Quantum business experts
Quantum Business Europe aims to forge new collaborations and provide the business community with the knowledge, skills and connections required for the quantum revolution. (Courtesy: iStock/Ridofranz)

The first quantum revolution, in which research physicists conceived novel experiments to probe and manipulate quantum states, has paved the way for a new era of engineering quantum systems for real-world applications. Quantum technologies are already being explored for improving the security of communications networks and developing more precise sensors, while quantum computing offers the potential to speed up drug discovery, reveal the secrets of protein folding, enable new approaches to machine learning and artificial intelligence – and much more besides.

Critical to the success of such real-world applications will be the development of a commercial ecosystem, in which technology suppliers work alongside research teams to develop and deliver key elements of a practical quantum system. Reflecting this need is a new conference and industry event, Quantum Business Europe, which aims to forge new collaborations and provide the business community with the knowledge, skills and connections they need to embark on the quantum revolution. The fully digital conference will run online on 16 –17 March 2021, with all sessions live-streamed and then available to watch on-demand for two months after the event.

The conference organizers hope to provide a forum that will bring together all the key players in Europe’s rapidly growing quantum sector. Delegates will be able to explore the latest advances and business applications of quantum technologies, exchange knowledge and ideas, and better understand the challenges and opportunities offered by quantum technologies.

A high-level conference programme will feature 50 expert speakers, who will offer a strategic view on the future development of the quantum sector and highlight some of the emerging use-cases for quantum technologies. The opening panel session, for example, will include Paula Forteza, a member of the French National Assembly, and Tommaso Calarco, chair of the European Quantum Community Network, and will discuss how Europe is preparing for a quantum future – with more than a billion Euros earmarked for the development of quantum technologies over the next decade.

Other keynote speakers include Accenture’s Matthias Ziegler, who will offer an analysis of the emerging quantum computing ecosystem, and Alexia Affuvès, Head of Quantum Engineering Grenoble, who will discuss the potential of quantum computation to cut energy use and reduce our digital footprint. Parallel sessions in the afternoon will focus on business applications of quantum technologies, ranging from finance and insurance to quantum communications, quantum sensing and quantum computing in the automotive and pharmaceutical industries.

Alongside the conference will run a series of more than 30 technical demonstrations by leading research teams and technology vendors. Intel will be showcasing recent advances in qubit design and control, while Atos will reveal how quantum computing can be used for combinatorial optimization. Cryogenics specialist Bluefors will offer a demo of its Cryogenic Wafer Prober, described in more detail below, while a virtual trade show will feature 20 companies eager to discuss the latest innovations that will provide the building blocks of next-generation quantum systems.

If you would like to take part in the event, visit the Quantum Business Europe website to register for a full conference pass or secure free access to the virtual exhibition and demo sessions.

Cryogenic technology enables quantum progress

Bluefors Afore Cryogenic Wafer Prober

Finnish company Bluefors has perfected a series of commercial cryogenic systems that make it easier to assemble and test a quantum system in ultracold conditions. One recent addition to the portfolio is the Cryogenic Wafer Prober, which enables automated wafer-level testing at temperatures well below 4 K. Developed in partnership with Afore, which specializes in developing application-specific test solutions for semiconductor chips, the automatic testing solution offers fast sample characterization – with a throughput up to 100 times faster than conventional cryogenic chambers – as well as the ability to probe an entire 300 mm wafer.

The Cryogenic Wafer Probe has recently been acquired by CEA-Leti, the technology research institute of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, to characterize silicon-based qubits at low temperatures. “This unique testing solution will become an essential part of the R&D and ramp-up to future commercial production of quantum and superconducting devices,” commented Bluefors’ Vitaly Emets.

The wafer prober features an active alignment system that can automatically locate and contact devices anywhere on the wafer, while an intuitive user interface provides direct control and full overview of the testing process. In addition, the load-lock system has been designed to allow fast wafer change at cryogenic temperatures.

The Cryogenic Wafer Prober is just one of many innovations that Bluefors has introduced for making quantum experiments quicker and easier to set up. Last year the company introduced the option of high-density wiring, which has become increasingly important as scientists seek to increase the number of qubits in their quantum computing systems. This high-density interface allows more than 1000 high-frequency control lines to be installed in a single system, and has been designed to allow the wires to be installed in blocks of 12.

The high-density interface exploits standard connectors and coaxial cables for the wiring, and the attenuators have been embedded in a single block that fits into the Bluefors’ modular cryogenics system. This modular form factor also allows the use of custom components with multiple high-density channels, such as amplifiers, filters and attenuators.

  • For more information about Bluefors’ cryogenics technology, read the Physics World article Cool technology enables quantum computing. On 17 March, you can also tune into the company’s technical demonstration of the Cryogenic Wafer Prober at Quantum Business Europe.
Copyright © 2021 by IOP Publishing Ltd and individual contributors