Harald A. Summa launches initiative for quantum computing

The Diplomatic Council, a global think tank in consultative status with the United Nations, has launched the Quatum Leap Initiative. The goal is to pave the way for quantum computing worldwide.

Once upon a time, Harald A. Summa founded the eco Association of the Internet Industry and thus laid a foundation for the commercial Internet. Today, eco is the largest Internet industry association in Europe. Now the Internet architect, visionary, mastermind and doer has launched a new initiative, this time to help quantum computers achieve a breakthrough. He has chosen the UN think tank Diplomatic Council (DC), with which he has long been associated, as the vehicle for his latest coup. The official name is the DC Quantum Leap Initiative. Quantum computing is rightly considered one of the most important trends of our modern information society. Entrepreneurs, scientists, companies and research institutions, visionaries and investors from all over the world are invited to join the initiative to become a part of the path to the future.

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For Consultants, Individuals & Startups

For Companies with annual sales up to € 50 million

For Companies with anual sales of € 50 million or more

Harald A. Summa

The Quantum Leap concept

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Harald A. Summa explains the motivation behind his approach: "Quantum computers will catapult the available computing power by a quantum leap forward, making even today's supercomputers look like toys in comparison. This computing power, which is still hard to imagine, will in turn catapult applications such as artificial intelligence or virtual reality into performance dimensions that are barely conceivable today. With the new initiative, I want to contribute to this double catapult force. It succeeded with the Internet and will also succeed with quantum computing if we join forces worldwide."

The former eco chief justifies his optimism by saying that "there is a very large potential of innovative high-tech companies in Germany that rank among the world leaders in quantum computing." What matters now, he says, is to pool this know-how in a joint initiative to create a new quantum economy. "Now is the right time to go beyond research and development and lay the foundation for a quantum computing ecosystem," Harald A. Summa is certain. He elaborates, "Just as the Internet has left no industry untouched, the impact of quantum computing will be felt everywhere in the economy. It is not a question of every company acquiring a quantum computer, but the enormous computing power and applications based on it will be made available via clouds. As a result, this future generation of computers will profoundly change a wide range of industries."

From the world's largest Internet node to the quantum leap

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Harald A. Summa was already a leader in establishing an Internet economy in the early days of the Internet. At a time when almost all Internet traffic still flowed via the USA, the tech visionary set up the first German Internet exchange node DE-CIX in Frankfurt am Main and led it to its current position as the world's largest Internet node. "I want to drive a similarly strong stake into quantum computers," says Harald A. Summa, confident that he will succeed in making a similar quantum leap with the new initiative in the Diplomatic Council.

Companies from many fields can participate

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Not only can all companies working directly on quantum computers participate in the initiative, but also companies from application areas that will benefit from the next generation of computers. As examples, Harald A. Summa cites artificial intelligence, visualization, augmented and virtual reality, voice and text dialogue systems, cybersecurity and data center operators. "All fields in which the enormous power of quantum computers will play a decisive role in the future are cordially invited to participate in the initiative," advertises the tech visionary

The future of quantum computing

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  • Prof. Dr. Sebastian Thrun, who, like Harald A. Summa, is a member of the UN Diplomatic Council think tank, adds: "A computer power that is hard to imagine today will play a key role for further development in many fields, from artificial intelligence to AR/VR data glasses to the metaverse". An expatriate German, he became the AI chair at Stanford University at age 36. He was founder and longtime head of the secretive Google X research lab. The U.S. magazine Foreign Policy ranks him among the five most globally influential thinkers.

In his authorized biography, published by the Diplomatic Council, he talks about quantum computers, among other things:

Quantum computers are seen as a stepping stone to a whole new dimension of computing power, which is also believed to have implications for the future performance of AI. Unlike the conventional digital computer, the quantum computer does not operate on the basis of the laws of classical physics or information, but on the basis of quantum mechanical states. 

Back in 2019, a research report by Google came to light through an oversight that made it clear what the company meant when it promised for years that it would soon achieve "quantum supremacy." The basis for this is quantum computers, which work with so-called quantum bits or qubits. Unlike conventional computer bits, these can assume not only the states zero and one, but many different values. The Google report is considered the first experimental evidence since 2019 that quantum computers of the near future will make even the supercomputers of today look like long-extinct dinosaurs. According to the report, a Google-designed quantum computer with fifty-three qubits ¬- the fifty-fourth had apparently broken - solved a very difficult task designed specifically for this experiment within three minutes and twenty seconds. Today's fastest supercomputer of conventional design would have needed about ten thousand years for the same calculation. At the end of 2022, IBM unveiled a quantum computer with 433 qubits under the name Osprey - at that time the largest system of its kind in the world. Theoretically, the concept currently in use scales up to 5,000 qubits. In the spring of 2023, IBM announced its goal of building a quantum computer with 100,000 qubits within ten years. A research and development budget of 100 million dollars has been earmarked for this purpose. IBM and Google are considered leaders on the path to increasingly powerful quantum computers; Amazon is also reportedly building one. In Germany, the federal government has provided nearly 2 billion euros in funding; the planned German quantum computer is to have a performance of at least 100 qubits in 2026 - IBM plans to deliver a system with 4,158 qubits by then - and be expanded to 500 qubits "in the medium term." The EU Commission is funding quantum computing in its own program (GU EuroHPC) with about 7 billion euros to maintain a digital sovereignty of the EU region. The global market for quantum technology is forecast to grow to $1 trillion by 2035.

The German-born head of Google's Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, Hartmut Neven, postulates a double exponential growth in the development of quantum computers. In reference to Moore's Law, there is therefore already talk of "Neven's Law". Decades ago, the former head of the chip company Intel, Gordon Moore, stated that the complexity of integrated circuits doubles approximately every twenty-four months. That sounds like a lot, but it is nothing compared to double exponential, when the exponent of exponential growth has another exponent, for example ten to the power of two. Such an explosive growth is extremely rare even in the nature explored by man, in computer technology it was unknown before, one can also say unthinkable. 

Join the DC Quantum Leap Initiative

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The DC Quantum Leap offers its participants:

  • Regular meetings, mainly online, for participants only, for mutual exchange of experiences and with keynote speeches by key players in the industry.
  • Provide the results of an annual survey & report on the developments and market for quantum computing (for participants only).
  • Publication of an annual volume on quantum computing (bound book and e-book distributed through bookstores) with presentation of all participants.
  • PR campaign for quantum computing directed at the UN, policy makers, and authoritative publications.
  • Helping participating companies and individuals to connect with key decision makers in the industry.
  • Provision of an official Diplomatic Council seal "Member Quantum Leap Initiative" that may be used for marketing and sales (website, brochures, etc.).

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Those who decide to participate by June 30, 2024, will be included in the group of founding members, who will enjoy special benefits in the future.

Diplomatic Council Background Information

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The Diplomatic Council (DC) combines a global think tank, a worldwide business network and a charity foundation in a unique non-governmental organization (NGO). It is a non-profit organization under German law according to §52 of the tax code. The United Nations (UN) has included the Diplomatic Council with the highest status that an NGO can achieve - UN Consultative Status - in its closest circle of advisors. The DC is one of the few organizations in this circle that is not only primarily concerned with social issues, but above all with the economy, science and technology as the basis for prosperity and peace. In this sense, the DC acts as the voice of economic reason at the UN.

International Economic Diplomacy

The Diplomatic Council was founded in 2012 by a group of ambassadors to break through the territorial principle of state diplomacy and bring together their best economic contacts worldwide. The background: As a rule, diplomats have to change their country of assignment every three to four years and are then no longer allowed to work in that country. By founding the Diplomatic Council as a non-governmental organization, however, diplomats can maintain their network of business contacts, which grows with each assignment. In 2015, the DC was officially recognized by the UN as part of international economic diplomacy. Since then, it has grown through ambassadors who are deployed to new countries and expand the network there, new contacts from the United Nations environment, recommendations from members within their respective networks and so-called missions, representative offices of the Diplomatic Council in Paris, Madrid, Warsaw, Singapore and Silicon Valley, for example. To clarify: due to the growing network of business contacts, the majority of members are not diplomats, but entrepreneurs and business leaders

Independence from state influence
In order to maintain its independence from individual countries, the Diplomatic Council has been financed exclusively from the contributions of its members from the outset, i.e. it does not draw on any EU funding or other state resources, for example. Both individuals and companies can apply for membership. Membership requires a recommendation from a person who has already been accepted as a member. All memberships are internationally valid, i.e. they are not tied to a regional association or similar.
The content of the Diplomatic Council's work is determined both by the framework of the United Nations, such as the 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and by the diverse initiatives of its members, such as DC Quantum Leap. 

UN Consultative Status

As a result of the "2015 Resumed Session of the ECOSOC NGO Committee" (E/C.2/2015/R.2Add.26/4), the United Nations admitted the Diplomatic Council to the group of accredited non-governmental organizations of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on 26/27 May 2015 in accordance with Article 71 of the UN Charter. The associated requirements, rights and obligations are set out in ECOSOC Resolution 1996/61. The prerequisites for admission to the UN's circle of NGOs include relevance to the United Nations, a transparent structure and the regular provision of audited accountability reports to ECOSOC. Every four years, the Diplomatic Council undergoes a rigorous audit by the UN Economic and Social Council, which then confirms the legitimacy of the organization and the compliance of its activities with ECOSOC guidelines.

Through its UN Consultative Status, the Diplomatic Council can participate in UN sessions with the right to speak and represent its views in written submissions. DC members can apply as delegates to participate in UN sessions around the globe (or online). In addition, the Diplomatic Council can organize its own sessions at UN conferences. The DC has already taken advantage of this opportunity several times with its own events in New York, Geneva and Vienna - the three UN headquarters.

The Diplomatic Council will use its global reach via the United Nations to play a key role in the development of an ecosystem for quantum computing. This includes, for example, active participation with its own side events at the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), an overarching ECOSOC commission for the coordination of UN activities in the field of science and technology, as well as at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and many other activities, from press campaigns and events to book publications. Relevant content is developed in working groups that meet online and in person.