AI and quantum computing: 19 million euros for lighthouse project „PlanQK“

15 companies and scientific institutions will implement the project „PlanQK: Platform and Ecosystem for Quantum-Assisted Artificial Intelligence“ under the guidance of the University of Stuttgart and StoneOne. The aim of the project is to combine artificial intelligence and quantum computing in order to open up innovative applications, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy will support the project with an investment volume of 19 million euros within the framework of the „AI Innovation Competition“.

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is not only revolutionizing the economy, but has far-reaching effects on all areas of our lives. However, current computer technologies quickly reach their limits in very complex tasks. Quantum computing is clearly superior to classical computers in this respect: Quantum computers are not only faster, but can also solve problems that are practically unsolvable for traditional computers.

However, the barriers to entry are very high for both AI and quantum computing, especially if both technologies are to be used together: This requires both extensive and well-founded expertise in the respective fields and experience in handling both technologies in combination. Small and medium-sized enterprises in particular are only able to build up this know-how themselves to a very limited extent, especially in view of the shortage of skilled workers, which is even greater in the fields of AI and quantum computing than in conventional technologies.

PlanQK will create a platform for quantum-supported artificial intelligence (QKI) and the development of a corresponding community. The project is intended to make an early contribution to providing companies with easy access to expertise, algorithms and implementations for the use of quantum computing. The PlanQK platform provides the technical basis for building a community and will include QKI algorithms, applications and data pools as well as the integration of different quantum computers. To this end, StoneOne will significantly expand its digital platform and integrate the various QKI services and orchestrate processes.

More than 130 consortia from science and industry submitted concept ideas for the innovation competition „Artificial Intelligence as a Driver for Economically Relevant Ecosystems“ of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi). 16 consortia were ultimately selected, including the PlanQK project, an interdisciplinary cooperation of experts from the fields of computer science and quantum physics. In addition to four research partners, eleven well-known small, medium-sized and large companies as well as numerous associated partners from research and industry are participating.