Over the last decades, the economic development has been driven to a large extent by the developments in data processing and communication. During the same time, the efficiency of microelectronic components improved exponentially. If this trend continues in the future, severe roadblocks within 10 to 20 years:at that stage, quantum mechanical effects will cause the circuits to behave differently from today's systems. On the other hand, such quantum mechanical effects can be used for constructing a new generation of computers that would be substantially more powerful than any system that can be built on the basis of present technology. To realize this potential, it is necessary to improve the understanding of quantum mechanical dynamics in various systems, develop the technology to build suitable devices, but also to develop new concepts of information processing.