Pages Navigation Menu

Daily Dutch News in English

Netherlands invests in computer of the future

Delft University of Technology is taking the lead in the development of a new generation of computers, the quantum computer. Minister Kamp of Economic Affairs announced the establishment of the QuTech Centre to head up this initiative. The scientific community, private sector and the government will all be involved in setting up the Centre.

‘QuTech is a perfect example of cooperation in the area of innovation. The best researchers work together with government and the most innovative businesses to develop revolutionary technology into new products,’ said Minister Kamp. ‘This can lead to products and services that are relevant for society, like determining the effect of new medicines. And of course it will generate more revenue and jobs in the Netherlands.’

Millions of times faster
The next generation of computers could be a reality in 15 years from now. The new computer will make use of a special feature of elementary particles: quantum bits, or qubits. Qubits make it possible for computers to work potentially millions of times faster than today’s machines, making all manner of new applications possible. Examples include calculating the effect of new medicines on each individual and far greater accuracy in predictions about the properties of certain materials and geological modelling.
The establishment of QuTech is one of the elements of the innovation contract. Delft University of Technology will contribute five million Euros annually, and the central government, together with the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, will contribute about four million Euros each year. The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and private sector organisations such as Microsoft will also contribute funding.

Seatbelt for pregnant women
This Innovation Contract between government, science and the private sector was signed before the start of the innovation conference. The total value amounts to 4 billion Euros for 2014 and 2015, of which half will be funded by the private sector, with the government funding the other half. Further examples from the Innovation Contract are the development of a seatbelt for pregnant women, improving medication to fight cancer and a more efficient way of purifying water by using fewer chemicals.

The contract also establishes a more active role for SMEs; for investments of up to 20,000 Euros SMEs can apply for a government innovation subsidy for collaboration projects. These investments in research and innovation can be used for funding in general, but also for the purchase of machinery, property and other assets.

Source: Dutch