ECT*, owing to its institutional goals, is interested in research on computing technologies for the simulation of complex quantum many-body systems. On a normal (super)computer this requires exponential computational resources; this would not be the case, should the computer itself obey the laws of quantum mechanics. These basic considerations have started some 20 years ago the new research field of Quantum Information Processing and Communication (QIPC). In this context the Future and Emerging Technologies Unit in DG Information Society and Media of the European Commission acted as a pathfinder and played a crucial role in the development and structuring of this strategic field in Europe by quickly recognizing its potential. In particular, QIPC has been a FET Proactive Initiative (PI) in the Framework Programme FP5 (1999-2002), FP6 (2003-2006), FP7 (2007-2013) and the current FP9.
Since the beginning, ECT* has been a constant presence in QIPC research consortia, through the activity of former ECT* postdoc Tommaso Calarco (who is now full professor at the University of Ulm but still maintains a close relationship with ECT*) and later on of Daniele Binosi.
- In 2000 ECT* has been coordinating the theoretical research of the FP5 Research and Technology Development Network ACQUIRE (Atom Chips for QUantum Information REsearch; start: 1/1/2000, end: 31/12/2002; funding: 75k€);
- ECT* has been a node (T. Calarco) of the FP5 European QIPC Network of Excellence QUIPROCONE (QUantum Information PROcessing and COmmunication Network of Excellence; start: 1/1/2000, end: 31/12/2003);
- ACQUIRE has continued under the name ACQP (Atom Chip Quantum Processor; start: 01/01/2003, end: 31/12/2005) with ECT* (T. Calarco) as a consortium member (funding: 150k€);
- In FP6 ECT* (T. Calarco) has been a partner of the FET Integrating Project SCALA (SCAlable quantum computing with Light and Atoms; start: 01/11/2005, end: 31/10/2009; funding: 135k€);
- Still in FP6 ECT* (T. Calarco and D. Binosi) has been the main promoter of the Coordination Action QUROPE (Quantum Information Processing and Communication in Europe; start: 1/9/2006, end: 31/8/2009; funding 220k€);
- In FP, ECT* was a partner of the Coordination Action QUIE2T (QUantum Information Entanglement- Enabled Technologies; start: 01/02/2009, end: 31/07/2013; funding: 89k€) in which D. Binosi acted also as QUIE2T Exceutive Secretary;
- In FP8 ECT* (D. Binosi) was a member of the FP7 Coordination Action QUTE-EUROPE (QUantum TEchnologies for EUROPE; start: 01/02/2013, end: 31/01/2016; funding: 49k€).
In 2017 the European Commission launched a Quantum Technologies Flagship initiative with a provisional funding of 1b€ over a 10 years period. Within this new initative D. Binosi is leading WP5 (Menagement) of the Quantum Coordination and Support Action (QSA) that has started in Januray 2018.