Quantum Delta head lays out path for Netherlands tech leadership

Freeke Heijman, cofounding director of Quantum Delta Netherlands, said bridging the diversity gap in technology and bringing innovation out of the lab and into the commercial market are keys to success for Holland’s massive investment in quantum technologies.

Freeke Heijman
Freeke Heijman

Freeke Heijman, co-founding director of Quantum Delta Netherlands, is uniquely positioned to ensure the country’s €615 million investment from its national growth fund in quantum computing won’t go to waste.

A nearly 20-year veteran of the Dutch technology industry, Heijman has made quantum computing — a long-time object of fascination for the trained systems engineer — a focus since 2013.

That experience, combined with a passion for policy and technology innovation — honed by Heijman’s time spent working for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs — will inform her work with scientists to solve what she calls the 'innovation paradox' that has existed in the European Union for a long time. “Europe is very good in science but it’s not good in technology commercialization,” she told CIO Netherlands.

By bridging this gap and working at the intersection of academia, government, and the technology sector, Heijman hopes to make the Netherlands and ultimately the EU an innovation leader in the quantum computing field.

The recently announced House of Quantum, a national headquarters for Dutch quantum research which Heijman also co-founded, is a milestone on the journey to that goal.

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