Delft University of Technology

Microsoft has announced a new quantum research laboratory, which will be located at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands opened the Microsoft Quantum Lab Delft, where the company will work QuTech to develop a quantum computer.

In a blog post, Microsoft says this is the first step towards creating a quantum computer and is part of the company’s ongoing collaboration with QuTech.

Leo Kouwenhoven, Scientific Director of Microsoft Quantum Lab Delft, said the project shows how business, science, and governments can work together to advance technology:

“With the opening of this Lab, we see what is possible when business, science, and the government unite. Together, we have built a world-class laboratory in Delft which will enable us to expedite development of a revolutionary quantum computer. The Netherlands now has the necessary ingredients to develop the type of compute power that could drastically change humankind’s daily lives – from personalised medication, to the development of new renewable energy sources.”

Microsoft admits the details of quantum computing are too complex to easily explain, although the company has provided the video you see above. Still, the company says complexities don’t hide the seismic changes quantum computing could make.

For example, quantum computers can conduct calculations more quickly and efficiently than even the supercomputers of today. Microsoft says such power “has the potential to revolutionize society and the world that we inhabit.”

Professor Kouwenhoven offers an example of how quantum computing can revolutionize society. He points to creating new treatments to combat diseases.

“We don’t know how to predict or simulate processes in nature or biological systems,” Kouwenhoven explained. “We just try and see if it works or not – that’s just trial and error. If we had a quantum computer on hand, then we could use it to help solve these problems vastly more quickly and at a very fundamental level.”

Microsoft Quantum Lab Delft

Microsoft says the opening of lab is also about bringing new partners into development, especially in the Netherlands.

Ernst-Jan Stigter, General Manager of Microsoft Netherlands, said “The new Microsoft Quantum Lab Delft enables the Netherlands to play a key role in the quantum economy. We therefore call on the country’s business community and other parties to prepare for quantum technology. Joint public-private investments in resources and infrastructure, as we see here today, are critical to a quantum future.”