The Danish summer was at its best last week in Bornholm when the largest Danish democracy festival “Folkemødet” brought together grassroot organizations, companies, political parties, and other organizations for 3 days of intense debates about topics ranging from international politics, climate-friendly foods, and over to the future of quantum technology in Denmark. This year, no less than two debates were dedicated solely to the subject of quantum technology.
First debate: “The quantum race has begun – where does Denmark stand?”
The first debate took place on Friday, June 17th, and focused on the possibilities of quantum technology for Denmark. Here, Jan W. Thomsen, Institute Leader of the Niels Bohr Institute and Professor of Physics, engaged in a discussion with a panel consisting of Hans Henrik Knudsen, CEO and co-founder of the Danish start-up Kvantify; Anne Marie Engtoft Larsen, The Tech Ambassador of Denmark who represents the Danish government at the heart of the tech industry in Silicon Valley; and Mogens Jensen, the Defense Spokesperson for the Danish Social Democratic Party. The panel members generally agreed that the quantum’s potential is huge and that, for this reason, possibilities are many. To leverage the quantum industry, we must strenghten Denmark when it comes to several prerequisites for a growing industry, including building a significant talent pool and ensuring funding for both research and startups. The increased political focus on quantum technology and research along with the strategic efforts in the development of a national strategy for the commercialization of quantum technology will push in the right direction.
Second debate: “Are Danish companies quantum-ready?”
The second debate revolved around the quantum readiness of Danish companies. The panel was kicked off by Jan W. Thomsen from the Niels Bohr Institute, who set the stage by outlining the great possibilities this new technology presents within pharma, logistics, the green transition, and other sectors. Following his presentation, KPMG partner Bent Dalager offered his perspective on how quantum technology affects cybersecurity. CEO and co-founder of Kvantify Hans Henrik Knudsen presented his view on how to reap the benefits of the emerging technology by identifying use cases and developing software for quantum computers. Thomas Kovsted, Country General Manager of IBM Denmark, presented the current state of play of the hardware. The debate was moderated by the CEO of the Danish ICT Industry Association and Vice-chair of Danish Quantum Community, Natasha Friis Saxberg.
The two debates gave insight into the emerging and somewhat complex technology and helped give an overview of the strategic efforts required to drive the technology forward. After the debate, Quantum Cocktails were served. They had QR codes directing you to the newly published Danish Quantum Agenda that you can access here.