Fraunhofer Competence Network Quantum Computing: Understanding and using qubits!

The future of quantum computing in Europe has begun in Ehningen: Since January 2021, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has had exclusive access to a quantum computer operated by IBM at its location in Ehningen, Baden-Württemberg. This has ushered in a new era of technology in Germany that connects stakeholders from research and industry, builds expertise in the area of quantum computing and paves the way for the practical application of qubits.

Seize this opportunity to use the IBM Quantum System One quantum computer and its 27 superconducting qubits for your research projects today! Because it’s not just Fraunhofer employees who can access the quantum computer. Fraunhofer also offers access opportunities for external partners such as universities or companies.

Your data will be safe when you use the quantum computer, because contractual regulations for operating the quantum computer are subject to German law, and European and German data protection regulations are complied with. All project and user data remains in Germany at all times.

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has also been granted cloud access to various IBM quantum computers in the USA since April 2020.

Bundling Fraunhofer expertise in the Competence Network Quantum Computing: Joining forces to harness quantum computers!

To advance applied research on quantum computing, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has used its competence centers as a basis for establishing a national network: the Fraunhofer Competence Network Quantum Computing.

The network is the primary point of contact for anyone wishing to conduct research on or using the quantum computer. The network is an amalgamation of regional competence centers in seven states, each with their own individual research focus and each in turn comprised of multiple Fraunhofer Institutes. Its collective goal is to research and develop new technological solutions in the field of quantum computing.

The network cooperates closely with partners and customers from research and industry and offers a broad range of application fields, including logistics, the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, the finance and energy sectors, materials science, IT security technology and much more. All levels of experience are welcome: The service is as much aimed at beginners who want to find out more about quantum computing in general and make initial contacts in the field, as at experts who are seeking partners for research projects or want to develop and test their own algorithms on the quantum computer in Ehningen.

The competence network's central office at the Fraunhofer headquarters in Munich forms an overarching link between the various regional activities. Staff at the office will be happy to advise you on the use of the quantum computer in Ehningen and put you in contact with suitable Fraunhofer experts for your research questions.


Leaders in industry, research and politics have their say

»The quantum computer is an important step for the state of Baden-Württemberg on its journey to successfully shaping key future technologies and meeting the challenges of the digital age. With this initiative, we are contributing to a German quantum technology ecosystem with international appeal.« - Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg


»The agreement with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to install the first of our systems outside the U.S. in Germany and make it available to the organization enables the technology and corresponding competencies to be further developed in Germany and throughout Europe.« - Heike Riel (Head Science & Technology, Lead IBM Research Quantum Europe, IBM Research)

»Quantum computers differ from classical computers in that they enable us to approach and solve problems in a whole new way. However, to successfully integrate quantum computing into industry, it is essential to involve potential users of this technology in the process as early as possible.« - Magdalena Hauser (Parity Quantum Computing, advisory board member)


»How can we facilitate access to and profitable use of quantum computing for everyone, with minimal obstacles? It will take a holistic ecosystem that provides the right structures, with cooperation between industry and science playing the decisive role.«
- Horst Weiss (BASF
and advisory board member)


»Economic benefits from quantum computers will arise when a speed advantage for industry-relevant processes succeeds - this is what we are working on at Fraunhofer. With such a complex topic, interdisciplinary and cross-institute cooperation is necessary. The Fraunhofer competence network makes an important contribution to this."« - Anita Schöbel (Institute Director Fraunhofer ITWM)

»Quantum computing is the key to a door that will open the entrance to a whole new world for research and development activities. The key available today in the form of NISQ machines opens the door only a small crack. One day in the not too distant future, this door will open completely; we want to be among the first to explore this new world.« - Andreas Riegg (Daimler AG, advisory board member)

»Quantum software will no doubt soon have far-reaching effects on the whole industry. Learning about this software’s potential at an early stage by implementing prototypes will prove to offer competitive advantages. Having access to the German Fraunhofer quantum computer is ideal in this regard.«
- Frank Leymann (University of Stuttgart, advisory board member)

Latest News


A case for the quantum computer?

Read more about the use of quantum computers in optimizing the energy model with a view to security of supply in complex energy systems in the current Fraunhofer magazine.


Heike Riel @ Fraunhofer Magazin

»We want to crack unsolvable problems..« - Read more about the Fraunhofer-IBM cooperation in the current Fraunhofer Magazine [german]. You can read the article here.

Serious Game

Off to the virtual quantum lab!

What distinguishes quantum computers from conventional computers? What are QuBits? The web-based serious game "Charlie and the Quantum Factory" [german] made by the Cybersecurity Training Lab explains. To the game


Ask questions LIVE!

Peek behind the scenes & ask questions LIVE about Europe's most powerful quantum computer with Oliver Ambacher (Fraunhofer IAF) und Heike Riel (IBM): Here you can see the recording.


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You can access information and documentation relating to previous Fraunhofer Competence Network Quantum Computing events and press releases here.


Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft activities in the area of quantum computing

Quantum Technologies and Next Generation Computing are Strategic Research Fields for the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and as such, they represent two core focus areas of its research portfolio — they are two examples that highlight the relevance and visibility of the topic of quantum computing for the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

Quantum computing has the potential to analyze complex systems in business and industry, unravel the complexity of molecular and chemical interactions, solve complex optimization problems and enhance the performance of artificial intelligence. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has set itself the task of researching the multi-faceted potential offered by quantum computing for industrial and scientific applications. Learn more about quantum computing at Fraunhofer here.

Fraunhofer Strategic Research Field Quantum Technologies

Quantum technologies open up entirely new and unprecedented applications in the fields of measurement technology, imaging, communications security and highly complex calculations. They therefore have high disruptive potential. Scientists have achieved spectacular breakthroughs in quantum research in recent years. The goal of quantum research at Fraunhofer is to transfer basic research into applications as quickly as possible, for example in the form of high-precision sensor systems and secure quantum communication.

Next Generation Computing

Quantum computing represents the third pillar of future computer architecture. It is this technology more than any other that has become the benchmark for high hopes in recent years. Many states are promoting the research with billions of euros, large companies and start-ups are competing for the qubits. Quantum computers are expected to take just seconds to solve problems for which computers today need years. Quantum-based computers are much faster than their normal counterparts because their information units are elementary particles, like electrons or photos, with quantum entanglement: Qubits.

Fraunhofer magazine 4/2019

Online special Quantum technologies

Welcome to the world of quantum mechanics, where nothing seems logical, but everything seems possible. We’re setting out on a journey into new era, where quantum technology will help us better understand and organize our world. And Fraunhofer is busy applying that technology.

Learn even more about quantum computing at Fraunhofer

Find out more about current Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft projects and activities on quantum computing here.


Questions & contact

Do you have any questions about the Fraunhofer Competence Network Quantum Computing? You can contact the head of network’s central office, Dr. Hannah Venzl, via the following link:


Continuing Education

With support by the Fraunhofer Academy, work is currently underway on the development of a range of multi-level further training options, including both a variety of courses and consultation with experts for specific questions on the use of quantum computers. Learn more about training opportunities here.