The progress of information science has substantially changed our lives, and this process is still going on at a high pace. We are just ahead of another change of fundamental importance, which originates from the application of quantum technology in the physical systems used for processing, storing and transmitting the information. Specific quantum phenomena, the quantum superposition and entanglement, being exploited as novel kinds of resources, result in a leap in quality within communication, computing and information technologies. The effect of quantum technology will extend to metrology and medical diagnostics, as well. The new technology goes inherently beyond the limitations of traditional methods concerning security, efficiency, precision and sensitivity. Scientific and technological development has reached the level where research results can be transferred step-by-step into practice and be used in everyday life devices. This progress involves revolutionary new possibilities for the society and economy, this is why the current epoch is referred to as the "second quantum revolution".
The "second quantum revolution" amounts to an intellectual, technological, economical and societal challenge for Hungary, which demands for the close collaboration of the best Hungarian scientists and engineers in this field. In the national research institutes and universities, a considerable number of internationally highly acknowledged research groups (cc 15-20) including the best scientists are active in various fields of quantum information. The Quantum Information National Laboratory integrates these human resources, - physicists, engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians -, so that their activities can be better focussed on certain specific, fast developing theoretical and applied topics of quantum information science. In the framework of the National Laboratory, well-thought and well concerted developments can lead to a maximisation of the significance and impact of Hungary in the rapidly unfolding broad horizon of quantum information.
Recognising the significance and timeliness of quantum technology, the European Union has launched a large-scale Quantum Technologies Flagship Program within the framework of the Horizon 2020, and continues it in the Horizon Europe framework programme. Within this latter, there is an initiative to establish European infrastructures based on quantum information, for example, that is the quantum internet for transmitting quantum information, and a joint effort to build a European quantum computer. It is substantial for the Hungarian research and development sector that it can be successfully integrated into the joint research, development and innovation programmes, and can be an active participant in the dynamic evolution of the field. The National Laboratory with its enforced human and infrastructure resources provides for a solid background to this challenge.