The European Commission has announced plans to launch a €1 billion project to kick-start Europe’s research in quantum technologies, a much needed move to ensure Europe’s leading role in a technological revolution that is now under way.

The initiative will launch in 2018 and aims to develop a range of different quantum technologies, from secure communication networks to ultra-precise gravity sensors and clocks.

Along with a press release of the announcement, the Commission also released a “Quantum Manifesto” to formulate a common strategy for Europe’s hand in the quantum revolution. The manifesto can be downloaded via the website.

The announcement follows a major boost in a mix of government, private and external funding to Australian quantum research centres such as the Sydney Nanoscience Hub at the University of Sydney, and the Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at the University of New South Wales. High profile US companies such as Google, NASA and Lockheed Martin are already investing in quantum computing research, and Chinese scientists are completing a 2,000km link between Beijing and Shanghai in what will be the world’s longest quantum-communications network.

Image: Alfred Pasieka/SPL/Getty