New Program, Open Quantum Institute, Makes Quantum Computing Accessible

A new program called the Open Quantum Institute (OQI) has been launched to provide access to quantum computing resources and technical expertise for projects supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The three-year CERN-based program was designed by the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (GESDA) in cooperation with 130 experts and will be funded by UBS. The OQI is part of CERN’s Quantum Technology Initiative (QTI) and aims to promote and facilitate access to quantum computing to have a wide societal impact.

The OQI will function as the societal arm of the QTI and will focus on enabling quantum computing to be available to underserved regions while also reducing the potential digital divide. By providing cutting-edge technologies, the OQI aims to address the SDGs and tackle challenges such as food security, healthcare, and climate action. Projects in the pilot phase of the OQI may include quantum computing optimization of the food supply chain, enhancing medical imaging through quantum machine learning, and improving carbon fixation processes for climate action.

Enrica Porcari, Head of CERN’s IT department, emphasizes that hosting the OQI at CERN enables the transcendence of geographical and disciplinary boundaries in harnessing quantum computing’s power to address the SDGs. CERN’s long-standing tradition of collaboration and knowledge sharing makes it an ideal host for the pilot phase.

During the three-year pilot phase, the OQI will support three to four projects focused on SDG-related use cases. It also aims to lay the foundation for future phases of the program and potentially become a reference for similar initiatives deploying quantum technologies for societal benefit.

– Announcement of the launch of the Open Quantum Institute on 13 October at the GESDA summit.