On January 21, 2020, President Macron formalized the French strategy on quantum technologies by presenting an investment plan of €1.8 billion over five years.
Annual spending in favor of this sector will thus move from €60 million at present to €200 million, placing France in third place after the United States and China.
While traveling to the University of Paris-Saclay, the Head of State said he was counting on the strengths of French research and industrial forces in this field (renowned physicists, manufacturers, and startups) to build a world-class quantum ecosystem.
According to the Elysée, half of the public funds will come from the Future Investment Program, and half from the various research establishments involved in quantum technology (Inria, CNRS, CEA, etc.). The other €800 million will come from industrialists in the sector, for the most part, while the government anticipates €200 million coming from European subsidies.
More specifically, the French plan aims to allocate nearly €800 million to computers alone, whether these are the first machines to be developed (simulators and partially quantum machines, €350 million), or many of those which will be developed in the longer term (fully-fledged quantum computers, €430 million). The other funds will be devoted to sensors (€250 million), post-quantum cryptography (€150 million), quantum communications (€320 million) and related technologies which facilitate the development of quantum equipment (cryogenics, for example, €300 million).
The bulk of the sums of this quantum plan will be directed towards research work. The government takes its inspiration from the measures implemented for two years by the Artificial Intelligence plan. What’s more, the training of more than 150 young researchers will be funded every year.
Among the renowned physicists are the Nobel laureates in physics Albert Fert and Serge Haroche, who developed spintronics and cavity quantum electrodynamics, the winner of the CNRS gold medal Alain Aspect and his pioneering work on quantum entanglement and Atos quantum simulators. France has recognized skills in the field of quantum technologies and intends to retain a major role on the international stage.