Fraunhofer Strategic Research Field

Quantum Technologies

Quantum technologies open up entirely new and unexplored applications in the fields of measurement technology, imaging, secure communication 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.

Quantum physics forms the basis of many modern technologies. Billions of electronic transistors permeate our lives at work and at home, from computers and smartphones to the control systems of modern vehicles and seemingly simple kitchen appliances. Countless photons and optical fibers link up even the most remote corners of our planet. Scientists are already talking about a “second quantum revolution” based on the targeted quantum-mechanical control of individual elementary particles or small groups of particles This will trigger disruptive changes in science, business and society, from medicine, logistics and the financial sector to materials science, IT and security.

In a rare consensus, experts agree that quantum technology is a game-changer that is poised to change the world. Quantum optical techniques can open our eyes to processes and structures we have never seen before. And quantum computers can perform highly complex calculations that would be almost impossible with alternative computing methods. As well as improving our understanding of how molecules behave, this can also help us design drugs more efficiently and produce them more cheaply. Fraunhofer is involved in all the key areas of quantum technology.

  • Quantum imaging: Quantum imaging will have far-reaching effects in all areas of optics. It will eliminate existing blind spots in fields as diverse as biomedical imaging and medical diagnostics, security technology and autonomous mobility.
  • Quantum communication: Digital sovereignty and data security are essential for a well-functioning digital society. Quantum communication takes security to a whole new level. Fraunhofer is currently developing quantum-based cryptographic procedures which will, in future, make it impossible to eavesdrop on transmitted data.
  • Quantum sensors: Quantum sensors offer new opportunities in the world of medicine. Measurements in the quantum world can be performed not just using photons, but also electrons. Fraunhofer is using these tiny particles to develop ultra-precise quantum sensors.
  • Quantum computing: Fraunhofer and IBM are bringing the first commercial quantum computer to Europe as an open research platform. Their goal is to stimulate and support German research in the field of applied quantum computing. 
 

Press release / June 15, 2021

Curtain up: Fraunhofer and IBM to unveil quantum computer

In the digital presence of Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek and Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg Winfried Kretschmann, on June 15 leading figures from Fraunhofer and IBM will officially unveil Germany’s first IBM Quantum System One to the public.  

 

Web special

Leaps and bounds in quantum technologies

Welcome to the world of quanta, where nothing seems logical, but everything appears possible. A new era is dawning with quantum technologies helping us to better understand and order our world. Fraunhofer is bringing science to applications.

Lighthouse project QUILT – Quantum Methods for Advanced Imaging Solutions

The Lighthouse Project QUILT bundles the outstanding scientific expertise, technology platforms and considerable market knowledge of six Fraunhofer institutes with the scientific excellence of global leaders in quantum technology such as the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPG MPL).

 

Fraunhofer Lighthouse project QMag – Quantum Magnetometry

The resolution and the sensitivity of today’s magnetometers is insufficient for many future applications. The goal of the Fraunhofer consortium »QMag« is to further develop magnetometers and to test them for applications.

 

November 23–25, 2021 in Berlin

"FUTURAS IN RES"
conference:
The Quantum
Breakthrough

 

 

Impact on society as a whole

Affordable healthcare

The results of Fraunhofer research help keep people healthy and make healthcare affordable across all areas of medical, environmental and nutritional research. Smart assistance systems boost the effectiveness of preventive healthcare, diagnostic medicine, treatment and care. Other key factors in public health include nutrition, food technology and effective environmental protection, all of which feature prominently in Fraunhofer research.

Germany fosters a broad and diverse array of medical technology research with a clear emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration. Examples include testing new drugs in clinical trials, searching for specific biomarkers, developing prostheses that provide sensory feedback and developing concepts for secure data management. Health and care is one of the key areas of innovation within the German federal government’s High-Tech Strategy. The idea is to use cutting-edge technologies to develop effective methods and products to improve diagnostics, preventive care, treatment, patient care and rehabilitation.

Most institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are involved in healthcare research. Improving medical capabilities and optimizing processes are key priorities, but so too is the goal of making healthcare affordable for everyone.

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is superbly placed to tackle this complex task thanks to its interdisciplinary networks and its ability to pool the required expertise. Overcoming this challenge leads to new technological developments in healthcare research.

Security and resilient society

There is a growing awareness of the importance of security and a resilient society. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft develops technologies, products and services that aim to identify potential dangers early on in order to take appropriate measures, minimize potential damage and reduce risks across the board.

The need for security has always been a driving force in our society – and constantly evolving threats make this topic just as relevant as ever. Civil security research is a well-established interdisciplinary research discipline in Germany. Firmly embedded in the German federal government’s High-Tech Strategy from the outset, it involves numerous organizations from the realms of science, research, industry, government and security. These key players work together on collaborative projects to develop concrete solutions for tackling complex challenges.  Recent changes in security policy, society and technology have significantly increased the number of challenges we face. 

The concept of resilience marks a logical progression in security research by tying together security and sustainability. The idea of resilience is to view all socially relevant systems as a whole and endeavor to make them more resilient, robust, adaptable and learning-ready. This goal of a secure and resilient society is one of the driving forces behind Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft research.