A new, three-year CERN-based programme will make quantum computing resources and technical expertise available to projects designed to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The new programme is called the Open Quantum Institute (OQI). Hosted by CERN, the OQI has been designed by the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (GESDA) in collaboration with some 130 experts and will be funded by UBS as lead impact partner. The announcement of the three-year pilot phase was made on 13 October during the 2023 GESDA summit and the programme will be fully embedded into CERN’s wider Quantum Technology Initiative (QTI) as of 1 March 2024.

The OQI will be, de facto, the societal arm of the QTI, which was established at CERN in 2018 and is managed by the IT department. Today, the QTI involves several researchers from the CERN departments and experiments that are working on four main domains and applications: quantum computing and algorithms, quantum simulation and information processing, quantum sensing, metrology and materials, and quantum communication and networks.

The overarching goal of the OQI is to find ways to enable quantum computing to have the widest possible societal impact by promoting and facilitating access to quantum computing resources and technical expertise. Through the OQI, cutting-edge nascent technologies will also become available to people from underserved regions, thus contributing to reducing a possible new digital divide.

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