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Mette Frederiksens tale ved åbningen af NATO's nye kvantecenter i København



Mette Frederiksen



NATO DIANA Quantum Centre, Bülowsvej 17 1870 Frederiksberg C


Secretary General. 
Ladies and gentlemen.
“Anyone who isn’t profoundly shocked by quantum theory – has not understood it.”
Those are the words of the Danish scientist Niels Bohr. Who laid the foundation for everything we know as quantum physics today.
More than 100 years ago, Niels Bohr took the first steps – right here in Copenhagen.
Back then, he knew that his discoveries would not only shock his fellow scientists.
But also fundamentally change how we perceive and understand the world. 

Quantum physics is shocking. Almost incomprehensible.

And I will not claim that I really understand [all of] it. I will leave that to you – the actual experts.
But first and foremost: It is a field with an incredible potential. Unprecedented opportunities.
Fantastic perspectives for tackling the most pressing challenges of our time:
Helping us fight the global climate crisis. Making new medical breakthroughs. Strengthening our cyber security.
But also. Enormous risks and security threats.
The war in Ukraine has shown us that conflict on our continent is not something of the past.
And that new technology – as in any war – plays a significant role.
Imagine if authoritarian leaders were able to read all our secure information?
Or detect things that we thought were undetectable? It would be a disaster.
Looking forward, quantum technology has the potential to determine the course of wars.
And impact the future global balance of power. In a way that we can’t even imagine today.

In other words, ladies and gentlemen:
A lot is at stake!
And all of us gathered here today have a great responsibility on our shoulders.
Quantum technology is today an inevitable part of our security framework in NATO.
But as you know – better than anyone else:
Quantum technology takes time, skills and funds to develop.
If we want to ensure our common security in the future.
And unlock the quantum potential in our societies.
We have to lay the groundwork now.
And we – as responsible governments – need to provide the right conditions for research and industry to prosper and grow.

The possibilities of quantum technology are – as I said before – mind- blowing.
And so are the systemic threats. If we don’t act in time.
In order to make quantum technology work for us – not against us.
We need to cooperate. As democratic and free nations. Engage with one another. Share our knowledge. Build trust.
That is why this conference is so important.
I am proud to host Copenhagen Quantum 2023 – together with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
And I am proud to welcome all of you –– here in Copenhagen. A global epicenter of quantum physics.
Each of you represent a part of the quantum eco-system.
Whether you are scientists, experts, companies, investors or NATO and government representatives. You are all important to the work that lies ahead of us.
If we are to reap the rewards – and counter the challenges – of quantum technology, we need to form a strong and trusted transatlantic community.
And with the DIANA initiative here in Copenhagen. We have a solid foundation to build on:
We have a unique research environment.
Some of the world’s very best scientists – many of you are sitting here in front of me.
We have the set-up and infrastructure.
Interested investors. The NATO Innovation Fund.
And visionary companies.
Yesterday, the Danish government launched Denmark’s first National Strategy for Quantum Technology.
The aim is to lift Denmark and Allies further into the quantum future.
Strengthen our world leading research. And bring this research into practical use.
To pave the way for NATO quantum security. 

Before I pass on the stage. Let me end, where I began.
With Niels Bohr. Who is the main reason we are all here today.
The story goes that Niels Bohr had a horse shoe hanging over his front door – for good luck.
One day, a visitor asked Bohr why he believed in this old tale. Bohr answered:
“Of course, I don’t believe in it. But I understand it brings you luck, whether you believe in it or not.”
Ladies and gentlemen.
Let’s take Bohr’s belief with us today.
Maybe not in horse shoes.
But the firm belief that we can make great progress. And do even what might seem unbelievable.
If we put our minds to it. And work together.
Thank you!



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