When Quantum Knocks! Building an Ecosystem that Answers the Call: The Blueprint for a Quantum-Ready Ecosystem

Quoting the words of Nobel laureate Niels Bohr, ‘If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.’ As we stand at the brink of this quantum revolution, it has become imperative to ensure everyone is both shocked and equipped for what lies ahead.

Much like the tidal wave of change brought about by the advent of digital computers, quantum technology promises to usher in a new era of technological advancements bringing in remarkable progress in areas like computing, sensing, secure communications, and simulation. In recent years, there has been a significant global push to transition experimental concepts from research labs into practical, real-world prototypes. This shift is driven by several interconnected factors such as increased funding from both the public and private sectors, ensuring that groundbreaking ideas find their way from labs to markets. Collaborative efforts across disciplines and borders enable the pooling of diverse expertise fuelled by pressing global challenges of our times, such as climate change and healthcare, which demands technological innovations in the hope of a better future.

The rapid progression of the quantum tech ecosystem needs a structured assessment of its readiness. Not just the technological advancement, but its transition to commercial viability. A key focus lies in distinguishing between technologies that are promising on paper and those that can thrive in the market. To fully comprehend the potential effects of these technologies and how to prepare for the future it also becomes essential to understand it from the perspective of an emerging technology as they share many common traits with respect to hurdles in adoption, potential commercialisation barriers and disruptions in the supply chain. Finally, who are these stakeholders and what can they do to foster a robust and effective quantum ecosystem?

To answer all these questions and provide a solution, QURECA has made an effort to understand and formulate standards in its latest publication, “Building a quantum-ready ecosystem.” The crucial thing to consider while assessing quantum technologies is that it is not a single technology but a cohort of different pillars, from computing to sensing, with applications branching across a wide range of sectors. To begin, we define what quantum technology is as a category of emerging Technology. It helped identify the evolution of other emerging technologies in comparison to quantum technologies, and the disruptions and potential impact it might have.

After classifying emerging technologies, we delve into the term quantum readiness and the need to address it. Then, we establish the importance of being quantum-ready by applying the term to various innovation models. This helps us in providing tools to understand quantum readiness and identify various Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to take into consideration while evaluating it. We have established Quantum Technology Readiness Levels (QTRLs), complete with their definitions and projected results, to evaluate the present state of various quantum innovations. Alongside this, we have put forward a timeline forecasting when these technologies might transition into practical use.

While quantum computing remains in its nascent phase, areas like quantum sensing and communications are decidedly more mature in their development. Introducing the Quantum Commercial Readiness Levels (QCRLs) as a counterpart to QTRLs, we extend our focus beyond just the technical maturity of quantum technologies. This new lens allows us to assess their market penetration potential and commercial feasibility. Finally, we highlight the role and best practices for all the stakeholders involved from government to businesses to foster a quantum-ready ecosystem and get an early-mover advantage.

In this rapidly changing narrative, stakeholders must attune themselves to the quantum revolution, educating themselves to assess more precisely the landscape and its products. The significance of this quantum shift is profound. We are not just witnessing an upgrade but a complete reimagining of what is technologically possible. As sectors from healthcare to defence stand to be transformed, our understanding of ‘cutting-edge’ will undoubtedly be rewritten. As each day brings along new research, inventions, and applications, it is clear: the future is not just quantum; it is now.

Author:  Abhishek Purohit

Read the full article: “Building a quantum-ready ecosystem.