The fascinating science behind and the high-end technological development based on Quantum Information has been a topic for basic research and proof-of-principle development for several decades new. Yet recently, it has moved from curiosity-inspired to more use-inspired research, and it has witnessed larger attention, including the public. Such attention can be seen in various places: one of particular interest is in another scientific discipline.
For the truly hard problems of science and technology do not neatly fit into the box of one discipline alone, the ‘real problem-solving’ often starts and then takes off with answers and ideas outside the core discipline.
To this end, FARQUEST is a prospective analysis of the science and technology of Quantum Information, with the goal to synthesise science scenarios of future developments inspired by cross-disciplinary fields - most of which may not yet be thoroughly quantified - for collaborative significant problem-solving. FARQUEST takes an about 10-year horizon on selected research fronts. It aims at getting insight into significant problems of cross-disciplinary nature that could mutually benefit from addressing them through both the perspective of Quantum Information and perspectives of other disciplines.
A related aim and based on anticipated future developments is of prescriptive nature: what are the present needs in terms of matching research questions, societal needs, and programmes; infrastructures; science policy; and education. The ESF has started a foresight exercise – or Forward Look – to strategically explore the scientific as well as social dimensions of how the science and technology of Quantum Information advances in the future. The present Forward Look has been proposed by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), with the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) as a facilitator, and is supported by the ESF Standing Committees for Physical and Engineering Sciences (PESC).
March 2011 - August 2012