Laser World of Photonics: New strategy unveiled to attract quantum talent
Sherson revealed that there's a decrease in quantum start-ups per year and a large disparity between research and industry projections
Speaking at the World of Quantum Forum at Laser World of Photonics in Munich last week, Professor Jacob Sherson from Aarhus University, Denmark revealed plans to boost development in the quantum industry by encouraging new student talent.
Sherson, also Director of the Center for Hybrid Intelligence, European Quantum Readiness Center (EQRC), and GenAI consultancy Hybrid-iQ, said that due to a decrease in quantum start-ups per year and a large disparity between research and industry projections, there’s a need for high-quality industry training to attract new quantum talent from universities.
“Being just a little bit ahead of the curve can mean tens of thousands of different job opportunities. So it's really important to ask ourselves, which small and larger infrastructures we can put in place to get there,” Sherson said.
Sherson leads DigiQ, the workforce project of Quantum Flagship, a long-term research initiative that aims to foster the development of a competitive quantum industry in Europe.
He explained that thanks to a €17.6 million grant over four years provided through the European Commission’s Digital Europe Programme, 16 new specialised quantum master’s programmes will be introduced in Europe.
“We could be looking at much more transparent job future perspectives. You would join one of the master's degrees that we're setting up for instance, look at the curriculum, and almost enter an automated matching system,” Sherson said. “A significant amount of funding is set aside for student mobility, both for research internships at various different research institutions. We envision that we can have students in the summer breaks going to visit companies.”
He added: “For instance, a company may not be quantum ready, but having a quantum algorithm specialist – a master's student who comes in and spends the summer trying to survey the match between their potential use cases, can be a really massive bridge builder between academia and industry.”
The plan will also offer students access to remote experiments, facilities, specialist courses, travel grants, internships in 100+ European companies, and free teaching resources to accelerate program development across Europe.
The Digital Europe Programme aims to enhance companies and public services with emerging digital technologies and make Europe a leading global power in the quantum industry.