ÖFIT white paper on quantum computing published
News from Jan. 26, 2022
Quantum technology promises to fundamentally change areas of information processing and transmission. But what opportunities and risks exist through quantum computing and quantum communication, in short, through quantum ICT? What course must be set now in order to be competitive and confident with regard to quantum ICT? The white paper on the topics of quantum computing and quantum communication from the Competence Center for Public IT (ÖFIT) at the Fraunhofer Institute FOKUS addresses these questions and would like to make a contribution to ensuring that the step toward value creation succeeds.
The paper presents essential applications of quantum ICT. It provides an overview of the quantum ICT landscape and sets out realistic development prospects away from the hype. The authors identify factors and pitfalls in the design of quantum ICT and point out options for action.
“While the widespread practicality of quantum computing and communications has yet to be established, the struggle for future market share has already begun,” says mathematician and author of the white paper Jan Dennis Gumz. In fact, quantum ICT is already relevant today: Many cryptographic processes currently in everyday use, such as e-mail encryption and digital signatures, may not be permanently secure because quantum computers have the potential to overcome them in a very short time. At the same time, however, quantum ICT also offers the possibility of guaranteeing eavesdropping security and thus enabling new security standards.
Quantum computers are also expected to solve problems where classical computers fail, such as the individual design of drugs for female patients. In addition, quantum computers could prove to be drivers for much more powerful artificial intelligence.
Quantum ICT will not replace classical ICT.
The paper provides insight into why classical ICT will not be replaced by quantum computing and quantum communication, but rather complemented. One chapter is devoted to possible applications, such as simulations, optimization of processes, tap-proof communication, or application in the field of AI. The current competitive situation is also illuminated. Actors, initiatives, and networks in Germany and Europe are presented.
“Various players in the field of quantum ICT are driving forward approaches that are in some cases significantly different and sometimes competing. Given the strong competition, one thing is certain: as lone fighters, European states and companies will have a hard time asserting themselves,” says Jan Dennis Gumz.
Current challenges and hurdles are also highlighted, for example, a possible shortage of skilled workers. Quantum ICT is fundamentally different from classic ICT. Therefore, quantum ICT also requires different skills and knowledge.
The white paper concludes with a series of recommendations for action. Given the threats to established cryptographic processes, for example, the authors recommend driving forward the development of post-quantum cryptography. It would also be important to build ecosystems and develop standards in parallel. In addition, fields of application in the public sector should be identified and developed.
The white paper is now available free of charge on the website of the Competence Center Public IT.
The ÖFIT Competence Center sees itself as a point of contact and think tank for public IT issues and examines government design and regulatory requirements for digitization in the public sector. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior and Home Affairs.