Competence Center Quantum Computing Baden-Württemberg (KQCBW)

A quantum leap for Baden-Württemberg

IBM Research
© IBM Research


As part of the "Competence Center Quantum Computing Baden-Württemberg" (KQCBW), the first IBM quantum computer on German ground was set up in Ehningen near Stuttgart. This offers the local high-tech landscape of industry, SMEs and start-ups a unique opportunity to use this new type of computer for their application-oriented research and development. The focus is on the development of quantum-based algorithms for important challenges facing the German economy. With the participation of currently eleven Fraunhofer institutes, technical expertise is bundled in regional competence centers.

In order to promote application-oriented research on quantum computing, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, in cooperation with IBM Germany, has established a national network with competence centers in seven German states. The Competence Center Quantum Computing Baden-Württemberg was launched in February 2020 and is jointly coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO in Stuttgart and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF in Freiburg. More than 60 partners from science, industry and politics are already working closely together in the KQCBW.


Since April 2020, the competence center and its partners have had cloud access to state-of-the-art IBM quantum computers in the USA. This makes it possible to work on a wide range of research topics, from essential algorithms, software development and the design of elementary logic operations to the control of the quantum processor in the actual computing process. The performance parameters of the quantum computer are designed to meet the high demands of a research infrastructure with a focus on socially and economically relevant applications.

The "System One" provided by IBM Quantum from 2021 in Ehningen is also at the current state of the art (27 qubits, quantum volume = 32). In addition, the location in Baden-Württemberg enables the operation of this IBM quantum computer under German legislation. In terms of data protection and IP security, this forms an essential element of the overall initiative and an important prerequisite for broad participation of national industry. 


The goal of the competence center is to successfully shape a decisive future technology with quantum computing and to participate in the value creation of this new technology today through the early development of expertise in Baden-Württemberg and Germany. To this end, members and partners of the Competence Center from research and industry are given access to IBM quantum computers and can benefit from a training program set up by Fraunhofer IAO and Fraunhofer IAF. 


Fraunhofer IAO is in charge of the established computer pool in Stuttgart. In addition, the IAO experts offer corresponding training courses for industry and science and research how companies can use quantum computers beneficially in the future.

The research and development work deals with the necessary software solutions and the programming of quantum computers as well as the associated algorithms and tools. Furthermore, Fraunhofer IAO will investigate the use of simulation possibilities, develop new solutions, and provide tools and demonstrators for industry.