Conditional Futures of Quantum Technologies

Project description

Foreseeing the future development for new and emerging sciences and technologies (NEST) is a challenging but essential topic for future studies, policy making, and technology assessment. In this study, considering technology not just as a collection of technical feats but also as a field of emergence of socioeconomic, cultural, and political relations, we aim to define a framework for analysis of possible futures for quantum technologies (QTs). Thereby, the project will propose a new understanding of the paths of development and co-creation of science, industry, and society for quantum technologies, focusing on the socio-technical arrangement that underlies this phenomenon.

The study adopts a mixed-method approach using discourse analysis of policy documents, bibliometric analysis of academic literature, patent landscape analysis, mapping of firms and venture capital investments, semi-structured interviews with experts, and content analysis of popular articles and books.

The main goal of this project is to formulate a framework for the construction/identification of “possible futures” for QTs. The technological realities of this future should be technically possible, socially acceptable, economically feasible, and politically reasonable. Identifying elements that correspond to these aspects and operationalizing them to enable the construction of this future is therefore a primary objective.

The key research questions are:

  • How are quantum technologies imagined and envisioned, and how should they be implemented in our current techno-societies?
  • What are the possible path dependencies for future scenarios for the development of these technologies?

Administrative data

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Armin Grunwald
Advisor: N.N.
Related projects: QuTec: Quantum Technology Innovations for Society
Doctoral students at ITAS: see Doctoral studies at ITAS


Zeki Seskir
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-26018