CWI and QuSoft researcher Florian Speelman will work on the project for two years as a postdoc. According to Speelman: "Now that the first practical quantum computers are imminent, it is important to help companies discover how quantum algorithms can help them with, for example, optimization and simulation tasks during product development."
Many potential use cases
At the Bosch Group, Thomas Strohm, who coordinates the quantum technology activities at Bosch Corporate Research, is confident that the company will benefit from quantum computing in the future. Strohm: "Quantum computing will be very important for us at Bosch. Due to our broad technology portfolio, we see many potential use cases, ranging from optimization via machine learning to logistics. Optimization is particularly relevant in engineering, where we seek designs leading to products that are both more cost-efficient and reliable, as well as in production and scheduling. Powerful quantum computers are still a few years away, but we feel it is essential to start investigating use cases now so we are ready when suitable hardware exists."
Industrially relevant quantum algorithms
QuSoft director professor Harry Buhrman (QuSoft, CWI, UvA) is also enthusiastic about the project. Buhrman: "Even though we have known for decades that some real-world business problems could be solved by quantum computers, it is still unclear whether they can offer an advantage over conventional computers for most industrial problems. That’s why it’s so great that we are working together with Bosch to identify industrial use cases, in one of the first projects of its kind worldwide. We are very excited to be developing new and more industrially relevant quantum algorithms."
Quantum computers exploit quantum mechanical phenomena such as superposition and entanglement, enabling them to perform specific calculations much more efficiently than classical computers can. We are currently seeing a global technology race between academic research centers and companies, all striving to be the first to build a quantum computer that is demonstrably faster for certain problems than any classical computer could possibly be. However, there are still many technological challenges to overcome, such as the instability of current prototype quantum devices.