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Quantum technology could be Denmark's next business adventure

Almost 100 years after Niels Bohr received the Nobel Prize, his discoveries continue to create groundbreaking technological revolutions. Quantum technology is the newest addition, which enables us to measure, calculate and send information in ways we, until now, have not been able to. A new report by KPMG and IT-Branchen on quantum technology shows that Denmark – partly due to the legacy of Niels Bohr – has a unique opportunity to make quantum technology its next business adventure.

The report’s main conclusions

  • Quantum technology will transform the way many industries work today, including some of the largest in Denmark – for example the life sciences industry, the logistics and transportation industry and the Greentech industry.
  • Denmark is in a strong position to exploit quantum technologies due to its strong and world-renowned research environment and great talent pool within quantum technology.
  • Other countries invest heavily in quantum technologies – Denmark must follow suit to catch the unique opportunity and to strengthen the Danish competitiveness.

“Denmark has, with Niels Bohr’s pioneering work within quantum technology, a strong historical starting point for quantum technology, and today we have some of the leading research environments and companies in the industry. This gives Denmark a unique advantage, which we should exploit in order to accelerate the development, growth and export of Danish quantum technology,” says Natasha Friis Saxberg, CEO of IT-Branchen, and continues: “We already now see the first companies grow by exploiting the opportunities in quantum technology, and we will enter a global 400 billion DKK market for the technology within less than 20 years, which is around the same size as the wind turbine industry. We need to invest strategically and massively in the area in the order of 1-2 billion DKK over the next 10 years. If Danish companies can get just a small fraction of this market, it will be a new Danish export adventure.”

“If quantum mechanics hasn't profoundly shocked you, you haven't understood it yet.”

What abilities of quantum technology makes the technology so attractive?  Researchers have found it difficult to answer that specific question because quantum, in many ways, seems to go against our common sense. Niels Bohr formulated it like this: “If quantum mechanics hasn't profoundly shocked you, you haven't understood it yet.” - and we do not yet know where the limits to apply quantum technologies are. However, the potential is, without doubt, great!

”We need to look at the opportunities of applying the technology if we really want to understand how quantum technology will change industry” says Bent Dalager, Head of KPMG’s NewTech service line and continues: “A quantum computer will not be able to simulate chemical reactions as a normal computer will. This means that when we for example develop medicine, we only need a fraction of the time spent in the lab today, which reduces development costs and the time it takes to develop new medicine significantly. We see similar great potential in quantum sensors and quantum communication.”

The quantum technologies do not only create great opportunities, but they also pose security threats. The new report suggests that China has always invested in quantum communication to prevent that external powers would be able to decode all information which we today consider safe. Both military secrets, digital infrastructure such as NemID, etc. can be in danger of potential foreign attacks.

“Opportunities and threats of quantum technology must be considered and handled. In 2030, a quantum computer will be able to read all encrypted data – for example patient records, bank data and intelligence data - including data from 2020. Today, we luckily already have quantum technology ready for use which can protect our communication against decryption. We need to start using quantum technology now. We have some of the best researchers in the world. They will, together with the industry, be able to bring Denmark in the lead on several quantum technological areas, if we, as a society, make the necessary investments,” states Bent Dalager.

Industriens Fond has contributed to the funding of the new quantum technology report out of curiosity.

“The use of new technology in Danish companies can pave the way for increased competitiveness. With this starting point, we would like to have a clearer picture of quantum technology in a Danish context and a review of the opportunities and challenges it brings for the Danish business community,” says Thomas Hofman-Bang, CEO of Industriens Fond, and makes the report available for all interested. “With the publication of the new report, that picture of quantum technology is now made available to everyone who wants to read it and contribute to turning the findings of the report and technology into to new initiatives, innovative products and Danish growth in this growing market.”

The report can be read in its full length here: