Today’s opening of the Quantum & AI Experience Center (Q.AX for short) in Ehningen marks another landmark achievement by the “Quantum Village Ehningen” network, which is made up of Fraunhofer, IBM Deutschland, Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH (WRS), Ozean Group and the municipality of Ehningen. The common objective is to establish and develop an innovation campus for quantum computing in Baden-Württemberg — one that has a strong presence in Europe. As a center for knowledge transfer, collaboration, networking and experience, Q.AX will not only shed light on technologies like quantum computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) but also make them come alive. During the pilot phase, a variety of training sessions, specialist conferences, events and opportunities for co-innovation between science and industry will drive knowledge transfer and the development of a local and regional campus ecosystem. Covering approximately 800 square meters, Q.AX will act as the central meeting point for all stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem for quantum computing and technologies, using specific application scenarios to demonstrate the potential and opportunities of these future technologies.
Winfried Kretschmann, minister-president of Baden-Württemberg:
“We want Baden-Württemberg to establish itself as one of the leading locations for quantum technology in Europe. The Quantum Gardens innovation campus in Ehningen is one of the lighthouse projects with which we can set standards for the future. A central component of this is the Quantum & Al Experience Center, which will make an important contribution as an innovation driver with today's opening.”
Prof. Katharina Hölzle, institute director at Fraunhofer IAO:
“Scientific breakthroughs and new technology developments are currently happening at record speed. Q.AX is a place for dialogue and discussion, aimed at making these new technologies accessible to companies so that they can quickly be implemented in industry.”
Haji Ajmal Rahmani, CEO and Founder of the Ozean Group GmbH:
“Today marks the first among many milestones for the Quantum Gardens Ehningen project. We are proud to announce the grand opening of the Q.AX and the public unveiling of the winning design concept for Quantum Gardens in the presence of Minister President Kretschmann, Mayor Rosengrün, other dignitaries and our partners at IBM, WRS and Fraunhofer.”
Gregor Pillen, Chairman of the Management Board of IBM Deutschland GmbH:
“The partnership with Fraunhofer illustrates the great future potential for quantum computing for the German industry and science. First, with protected, low-threshold access via Fraunhofer to quantum infrastructure. Second, the massive development of skills and the lively exchange between companies, start-ups and universities. And finally, the use of open systems and platforms like Qiskit enables further scaling and integration into classical computing.”
Dr. Walter Rogg, managing director of Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH (WRS):
“The opening of Q.AX is an important step for the Stuttgart region as a hub for innovation — not only for leading IT companies but also for all of the other strong industry sectors in the region: Q.AX will provide impetus for automotive and mechanical engineering, the creative and construction industries as well as medical and environmental technologies — and even emerging sectors that we can’t even imagine today.”
Lukas Rosengrün, mayor of the municipality of Ehningen:
“The Q.AX as the first building block of the Quantum Gardens forms the next important step for our community to further expand the high-tech location Ehningen. The early setting of the local political course and the good cooperation between all involved parties enable us today to lay the foundation for an innovative high-tech ecosystem around quantum technology here in Ehningen.”
Q.AX: a nucleus for the interaction of quantum computing and AI
Ozean Group GmbH and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO worked with numerous strategic partners on the conceptual development and implementation of Q.AX. Q.AX acts as a “nucleus”, offering a shared space for the various regional and national research communities, including the AI Innovation Center, Cyber Valley (Europe’s largest AI research consortium), AI Transfer BW, the “Quantum Village Ehningen” network and the “Quantum Computing Baden-Württemberg” competence center (KQCBW), to pool their knowledge and network with one another on the topic of quantum computing and technologies as well as AI.
For example, in the Future Corporate Worlds area at Q.AX, companies can learn more about the scenarios in which AI can be used in relation to quantum computing algorithms in companies and, as a result, extrapolate approaches and ideas for their own strategy. QC software solutions based on specific industrial usage cases will be presented in the Quantum Applications and Partner Space exhibition areas.
Expansion of locational advantages for the application of quantum computing in commercial settings
The race for new locations for quantum computing is already underway: Both in Germany and around the world, new research locations that integrate quantum computing as a new location factor for the businesses and start-ups of tomorrow are currently being established. With the ongoing development of the Quantum Gardens Ehningen district as a future-oriented living-tech campus at what is now the IBM site, in just a few years, many people will be researching future technologies such as quantum computing, AI and the like, as well as working and even living on-site. Furthermore, there are already plans to expand Q.AX following its pilot use, incorporating additional buildings to form a start-up hub that contributes to aspects of life, work and play. What’s more, other plans include the development of a virtual district model as well as a quantum computer that can be experienced virtually. With the development of Quantum Gardens, for which the winning design from the urban development competition was exclusively presented today, Ehningen’s advantage as a location with a strong presence in Europe for the commercial application of quantum computing will continue to increase and be ensured for the future.