15 March 2022

Developing quantum computing for mainstream use

DATEV is participating in research into applications that will benefit small and medium-sized enterprises.

How quantum computing can be used for economic purposes – for example, to optimise processes or make accurate forecasts – is the main aim of the "Quantumenabling services and tools for industrial manufacturing" (QuaST) project. DATEV eG is one of seven partners from science and industry working on this project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. It aims to make quantum computing as accessible as possible to small and mediumsized enterprises.

"Quantum computing is one of the great game changers of the near future," says DATEV CEO Dr Robert Mayr. "That's why we want to take part in this research to tap the potential of this technology as early and as efficiently as possible - for the tax consulting profession and its clients, small and medium-sized enterprises," he says, explaining DATEV's motivation for joining QuaST. The project aims to provide the necessary software tools and services to accelerate, optimise and redesign applications using quantum computing.

Laying the foundation for widespread access

There is a lot to do. DATEV's subprojects must define specific economic use cases, outline quantum algorithms for economic forecasting and design a quantum computing ecosystem. This will require configuration and development tools as well as use case libraries. These will translate user requirements for quantum computing. Problems can also be coded in the familiar programming language, removing barriers to accessing the new technology.

To get there, it is necessary to explore how businesses can use quantum computing and what efficiencies can be expected. The technology can deliver significant efficiency gains, especially for complex applications. It could create a paradigm shift from traditional computing and fundamentally change many areas of the economy. While conventional computers work based on two positions - 1s or 0s - quantum computers transcend this limit by describing multiple states simultaneously. This would mean more processing power, which could be used flexibly and deal with changing parameters more quickly. It opens up a wide range of new approaches to logistics and supply chains, human resource planning, navigation and the development of pharmaceutical products using multi-dimensional simulation models, consultancy services or business forecasting.

The QuaST project will run for three years and has received €5.5 million in funding from the German government. It is an important milestone that will put Germany at the forefront of quantum computing research. DATEV is a member of the project which the Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS leads. Other members are the Fraunhofer Institutes for Applied and Integrated Security AISEC, for Integrated Circuits IIS and Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB, the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre and the companies IQM, ParityQC and Infineon.