15 March 2022

Developing quantum computing for general use

DATEV joins research on applications which benefit small and medium-sized enterprises.

How quantum computing may be used for economic purposes – for example in order to optimize processes or to achieve exact forecasts – is the main aim of the project “Quantum-enabling services and tools for industrial manufacturing” (QuaST). DATEV eG is one of seven partners from science and industry working at this project which is funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action. Its objective is to make quantum computing as easily accessible as possible for small and medium-sized companies.

“Quantum computing is one of the big game changer in the near future,” DATEV CEO Dr. Robert Mayr is convinced. “Therefore we want to be part of this research in order to unlock this technology’s potential as early and as efficiently as possible – for the tax consulting profession and its customers, small and medium-sized enterprises,” he explains DATEV’s motivation to join QuaST. QuaST wants to provide necessary software tools and services in order to accelerate, optimize, and redesign applications using quantum computing.

Creating a basis for broad access

There is a lot to do. In DATEV’s subprojects, specific economic use cases need to be defined, quantum algorithms for economic forecasts need to be outlined, and a quantum computing ecosystem needs to be designed. This requires configuration and development tools as well as use case libraries. They translate users’ requirements for the quantum computer. Problems can also be coded in the familiar programming language, thus taking down access barriers for the use of this new technology.

To reach this point it needs to be examined how business enterprises can use quantum computing sensibly and which efficiency can be expected. Especially for complex use case problems this technology promises high gains in efficiency. Compared to traditional computing it has the potential to cause a paradigm change and to fundamentally change many areas of economy. While traditional computers work on a basis of two positions – 1s or 0s – quantum computers exceed this limit, describing several states simultaneously. This means a significantly higher processing power which can be used more flexibly and can deal with changing parameters faster. This opens a wide field of new approaches regarding logistics and supply chains, HR planning, navigation, development of pharmaceutical products using multidimensional simulation models or consulting services and business forecasting.

The QuaST project will run for three years and has received 5.5 million euros in funding by the Federal Government. It is an important milestone on the path leading Germany to the top of quantum computing research. DATEV is a member of this project which is managed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS. Further members are the Fraunhofer Institutes for Applied and Integrated Security AISEC, for Integrated Circuits IIS, and for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB, the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Leibniz Supercomputing Center and as well as the companies IQM, ParityQC and Infineon.