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Quantum Technologies: from the laboratory to the market

FBK has always conducted research on cutting-edge superconductors, photonic, optical, micromechanical, and electronic devices as enabling technologies for innovation in the biomedical, space exploration and quantum applications research domains.
A revolution is expected in the coming years that derives from the management of quantum phenomena for computers, sensors and innovative materials.
The impact of this revolution is disruptive: QTs have immediate and far-reaching effects on all fields of science, ranging from computer science to biology, telecommunications, engineering, medicine, economics and the environment.
The challenge for the next 5-10 years is to bring QTs to the Italian production network, through multidisciplinary research, aimed at high-end technology, with start-ups able to transfer and implement new technologies in the form of products.

FBK strengths

FBK is a highly flexible research and innovation partner:

  • CUSTOMIZATION: FBK is able to satisfy the most peculiar requests of specific industrial applications
  • SKILLS: has design, manufacturing and prototyping capabilities thanks to its clean room, with the highest quality standards (micro and nano-electronic technologies for new generation sensors and devices)
  • NETWORK: thanks to its exchanges with international partners of excellence, FBK ensures the
    best solution to every problem.

Technologies and fields of application

  • MEMS Mass Flow sensors for cold gasmicrothrusters
    MEMS flow sensors made at FBK are currently on board the space satellites for the long-term
    space missions GAIA, LISA PATHFINDER, MICROSCOPE and EUCLIDE. Our technology
    readiness level (TRL) is 9/9 (actual system tested in operating environment).
  • Single Photon Image Sensors for Quantum Imaging
    Quantum imaging applications require the ability to detect single photons with high spatial
    accuracy. Single-photon avalanche diodes (SPAD) technology integrated in CMOS
    (Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) chips with smart features in the pixel is an
    enabling technology for advanced imaging.
  • Silicon photomultipliers
    High performance single photon silicon photomultipliers, built in custom FBK technology for various applications. This technology is flexible and adapts to different wavelengths and operating conditions and it is possible to study a design focused on solving specific problems.

Major Projects

Within the NRRP:

NQSTI Scarl (National Quantum Science and Technology Institute) HUB is the partnership led by the University of Camerino. FBK will have the role of leader of Spoke 7 “Complete Quantum System” (S7), and for this reason it can be the reference point for Italian companies that will be interested in learning more about and exploiting the results of the project. Spoke 7 will focus on developing complete quantum systems based on new ideas developed in collaboration with the other Spokes where researchers will simulate, design and test quantum devices and modules.
The aim is to facilitate integration and communication between different sectors: an extraordinary effort to develop new basic research that promotes industrial development. After an initial phase of development and integration of existing devices, the complete quantum systems will be tested in laboratory experiments aimed at demonstrating their potential for industrial use, taking into account the directions of partner companies, and will be mainly dedicated to application fields such as security, space, environment, biomedicine and energy.

The priority line of the Samothrace  ecosystem falls under the “Digital, Industry and Space”  area of the National Research Plan (NRP).
The main objective is to leverage the well-established vocation of the Sicilian territory in the field of microelectronics and micro and nano technologies to bring it to a higher and more widespread level that can have a significant and tangible impact on the island’s industrial scenario and on society as a whole.

SAMOTHRACE aims to elevate the skills and resources already present locally with respect to micro and nano technologies, smart devices, innovative materials, with the goal of putting them into system in the chain of innovation in energy, health, environment, smart mobility, protection and maintenance of cultural heritages and precision agriculture. FBK participates as a Spoke 2 affiliate with specific involvement in the areas of development of instruments and sensors for biomedical applications.

VITALITY Ecosystem
Vitality (Ecosystem Innovation, Digitization and Sustainability for diffused Economy in Central Italy) aims to develop and transfer innovation to make regional production systems more competitive, thereby improving sustainability and quality of life in urban systems, rural areas and both living and working environments.
FBK participates as an affiliate in Spoke 2 (ASTRA – Alliance for Advanced Space Research and Technologies) led by the Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI), for the development of a satellite, specifically by:

  • developing innovative radiation sensors that will perform ionizing radiation monitoring;
  • developing software solutions to increase system reliability.



Acronym for Elecronic-photonic integrated quantum simulator platform, aims to develop a new generation of quantum simulators, consisting of a chip-sized device, fully integrated, operating at room temperature and with scalable power, able to support many parallel devices.


Objective: to create a quantum microscope working with the ghost imaging technique, where the image is created with photons that have not interacted with the sample. In this way, it is possible to use the visible sensors developed by FBK to observe the infrared wavelengths.


Objective: to achieve the Italian leadership in quantum sciences and technologies. Companies and research institutions together to attract investments and develop new technology as part of the the 10 billion European flagship in 10 years.

WBG Pilot Line Project

Supported by a positive evaluation from the Chips Joint Undertaking, the Wide Band Gap (WBG) Pilot Line Project, led by Italy and carried out in collaboration with Finland, Poland, Sweden, Austria, France, and Germany, envisions the creation of a highly innovative infrastructure specializing in research on new Wide Band Gap (WBG) materials such as silicon carbide and gallium nitride, which are critical for the development of devices for applications such as automotive, communications, space, and renewables.
Here is also an opportunity for FBK to be part of the development of high-efficiency systems that will more easily enable green conversion of our ways of moving or producing energy. The Foundation will be tasked with expanding its micro- and nanofabrication technology by flanking silicon, its own workhorse, with silicon carbide. The particularly suitable for the fabrication of components in electric motors, in photovoltaic conversion systems and in other areas, such as high-frequency communications and quantum systems
The project includes European funds of 180 million euros, plus additional state and private funding, bringing the total to about 360 million euros, including 212 million euros for the Catania plant.

The projected funding for FBK is 15 Million euros that will be used to upgrade the technologies available at its laboratories so as to ensure “state of the art and beyond” support for external users that include other research entities and companies.