Capgemini Study: Increasing Investments in Quantum Technologies

Over a quarter (23 percent) of organizations globally are working (or intending to work) on quantum technologies, with at least one major commercial application expected within the next 3–5 years, according to new data released today by the Capgemini Research Institute. Furthermore, 20 percent of businesses worldwide anticipate to boost their quantum technology spending in the coming year.

China (43 percent) and the Netherlands (42 percent) have the highest percentage of companies working on or planning to work on quantum technologies, far ahead of Germany and the United Kingdom (both 26 percent), versus 23 percent globally, according to this study ‘Quantum technologies: How to Prepare Your Organization for a Quantum Advantage Now.

While the great majority of quantum-related groups began more than two years ago, just 28 percent said they started within the previous two years. In general, quantum technologies are making now their way out of the lab and into real-world applications: roughly 20 percent of quantum-related firms have reached the implementation stage (experiments or proofs of concepts). Another 23 percent have discovered and are ready to execute relevant use cases.

These businesses plan to use quantum technology in a variety of ways, ranging from enhancing operational sustainability and discovering new materials for battery manufacturing to safeguarding data, medical sensors, and reducing dangerous industrial emissions.

Quantum technologies are being used by financial services firms to more accurately price hazardous assets, optimize portfolios for greater returns, and detect fraud. Quantum computing is also being used by life sciences businesses to try to reduce the medication development cycle.

‘Applications Available in 5 Years’

Photo Pascal Brier, Chief Innovation Officer at Capgemini
“Recent breakthroughs in quantum technologies seek to herald a new era for computing, sensors and cybersecurity within the next 5 years,” said Pascal Brier, Chief Innovation Officer at Capgemini.

The Capgemini Research Institute polled 857 firms in November-December 2021 to see if they were working on or planned to employ quantum technologies, and questioned 200 executives who were working on or preparing to work on quantum technologies. More than 30 in-depth interviews with practitioners of quantum technology in big corporations, startups, academics working on quantum technology, VCs in the area, and communities around quantum technology were conducted in addition to the poll.

“It can take another decade to build a fault-tolerant, universal quantum computer,” said Elham Kashefi, Professor of Quantum Computing at the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh and Director of Research at Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Sorbonne University and co-founder of VeriQloud. “However, we can still get real impactful applications on quantum devices in the near future provided we optimize and adapt Quantum algorithms for the emerging noisy hardware equipped with tailor made verification processes.”

According to the research, quantum technologies have achieved several stages of maturity in terms of anticipated applications:

  • Quantum computing, the most promising of all quantum domains, is also the least developed. Investor interest, growing use cases, and technological innovations have boosted the speed of development. The majority of quantum computing groups expect the first commercial quantum computing applications will be available in five years.
  • Quantum communications may be able to fulfill emerging information security requirements, such as securing information sharing with third parties, protecting vital infrastructure (IoT and cloud-enabled technologies) within the enterprise, and securing cloud data centers. Quantum cryptography systems are now in use. However, before emphasizing quantum-safe security, 58 percent of firms working on quantum are waiting for standards to develop.
  • Quantum sensors are more specialized, but they are also more advanced. Sensors may play a transformational role across sectors as they get smaller, more energy-efficient, and less expensive. Quantum sensors have the potential to improve measurement precision in a variety of industries, including healthcare/diagnostics, defense, automotive, civil engineering, construction, oil/gas, space, and telecommunications.

Real-Life Quantum Technology Applications

Because of their long product development cycles, seven out of ten organizations working on quantum agreed that they need to invest time now in building a foundation (the right skills, identifying problems/use cases, conducting lab experiments, or striking partnerships) and integrating quantum technologies into their processes. In the previous year, more than half of the companies working on quantum efforts (58 percent) said they had received C-level support for quantum activities.

“Recent breakthroughs in quantum technologies seek to herald a new era for computing, sensors and cybersecurity within the next 5 years. Our research confirms that more and more organizations are getting educated about the technology and experimenting with real-life quantum technology applications,” said Pascal Brier, Chief Innovation Officer at Capgemini and member of the Group Executive Committee. “In the past two years, we’ve seen leaders emerge in the financial industry and a lot of traction in automotive, in particular. Getting ready today is critical to be able to capitalize on these new generation technologies when commercial applications become mainstream. It is why our team of quantum technology experts across the globe is focused on unlocking this potential for clients.”

Even while large-scale commercial implementations are still a few years away, the research recommends that businesses begin planning now for the quantum advantage – the capacity to achieve much greater performance than is currently attainable with present technology. Organizations can begin experimenting with a small team of specialists after the use case has been developed. It will also be critical to translate the most powerful use cases into small-scale quantum experiments, form long-term collaborations with technology suppliers, and build a long-term plan to scale up quantum talent.

About the Capgemini Research Institute

The Capgemini Research Institute is the company’s in-house digital think tank. The Institute produces studies on how digital technologies are affecting major conventional enterprises. The team taps into Capgemini’s global network of specialists and collaborates closely with academic and technical partners.

In India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the Capgemini Research Institute maintains dedicated research centers.