Geneva could become a global center for quantum technology. At the start of its second summit on Wednesday, the Geneva Anticipator Foundation for Science and Diplomacy (GESDA) revealed its desire to launch an “Open Quantum Institute” (OQI) within 3 to 5 years.
This new system should make it possible to accelerate the availability of this technology to everyone, in particular those who work around the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is one of eight concrete solutions unveiled this year based on the analysis in 2021 of the GESDA “radar” which attempts to anticipate scientific advances over 5, 10 and 25 years for human beings, society or the climate again.
“These are the first prototypes of actions to accelerate the use of emerging technologies,” GESDA President Peter Brabeck-Letmathe told the press. They range from quantum to the decarbonization of society.
Quantum technologies are expected to bring unprecedented change to data streams. They “arrive more quickly than we thought”, estimates the vice-president of GESDA Patrick Aebischer. It is estimated that governments and businesses will invest more than $16 billion by the end of 2027.
Progress for the benefit of all
United States President Joe Biden visits IBM and its quantum computer on October 6, 2022. [AP Photo/Andrew Harnik – Keystone]The foundation wants to ensure that the benefits are accessible to all of the world’s population. Some fear the effects of data control by malicious entities or individuals.
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Access to quantum computers could lead to more efficient drug manufacturing, cheaper and more targeted fertilizers, longer-lasting batteries, and even more efficient solar panels. A feasibility study on the OQI is expected next year.
The current situation, with the war in Ukraine and the food and energy crises, “is a good reason” to have an actor like GESDA, believes Peter Brabeck-Letmathe. We must avoid that only the great powers benefit from scientific advances, he says. Hence the role of this platform as an “honest intermediary”.