Qilimanjaro Quantum Tech, the spin-off of UB, BSC and IFAE, pioneers quantum computing in Europe

Barcelona, 29th July 2020.- Quantum computing is a new technology with great transformative potential that is coming into our lives faster than we anticipated and, in less than a decade, it might completely transform the way in which we process information.

A team of researchers led by Prof. José Ignacio Latorre, from the Faculty of Physics of the Uni- versity of Barcelona (UB), and including Dr. Pol Forn Díaz, from the Institute for High Energy Physics (IFAE), and Dr. Artur Garcia Sáez, from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), have created Qilimanjaro Quantum Tech SL, a spin-off of the University of Barcelona, the Barce- lona Supercomputing Center, and the Institute for High Energy Physics. The founding team is completed by Victor Canivell and Jordi Blasco, who have executive experience in the IT and M&A sectors respectively. This innovative spin-off also has the support of world-leading advisors from the quantum technology sector.

Qilimanjaro has all the ingredients for success: a team of top-level researchers and high-potential technology within a privileged ecosystem. Through a unique combination of hardware and soft- ware, Qilimanjaro promotes a leading initiative in Europe. José Ignacio Latorre explains that, “in the long term, Qilimanjaro aims to be one of the companies that develops quantum computers, while at the same time offering quantum algorithmic solutions for other companies”. He adds, “we are currently focused on developing quantum algorithms and creating the necessary infrastruc- ture for a quantum computer, including the design and manufacture of quantum chips”. Pol Forn Díaz explains that, “the differential feature of Qilimanjaro’s quantum hardware is that it is based on high quality, coherent quantum bits –or qubits– to perform calculations using adiabatic quan- tum computing, a technique with the potential to offer actual optimization applications in this early period of the quantum technology era”.

Cloud-Accessible Technology

The objective of this spin-off is to offer a complete service and democratize this revolutionary technology, since the new computer, a quantum variational device, will be accessible from a cloud service. This will allow companies and users to explore the possibility of applying quantum algo- rithms to real-life problems.

Qilimanjaro develops the software needed to exploit the potential of quantum computing using tools such as the MareNostrum supercomputer. “The first steps of quantum computing will be made in contact with supercomputing centres that will allow us to complement such a new tech- nology, which in our case will act as a speed booster for optimization problems,” adds Artur Garcia Sáez, from the BSC.

Fast start

Qilimanjaro has already signed two important contracts for over 3 million euros with international clients, and has been accepted to collaborate in the H2020 European project “AVaQus” on quan- tum computing, led by Dr. Pol Forn Díaz and the IFAE and recently selected for funding by the European Commission.

The future will be quantum

Technology companies highlight the strategic importance of quantum computing; proof of this is the exponential increase in investments in this sector. According to data provided by Deloitte –

Fast start

Qilimanjaro has already signed two important contracts for over 3 million euros with international clients, and has been accepted to collaborate in the H2020 European project “AVaQus” on quan- tum computing, led by Dr. Pol Forn Díaz and the IFAE and recently selected for funding by the European Commission.

one of the world’s leading consulting firms– it is estimated that the quantum computing market will be worth tens of billions of dollars from 2030 onwards.

Quantum computing will revolutionize society geopolitically and economically, and will potentially impact different areas of our lives: health, finance, cryptography, and security, among many oth- ers. We will see how this new generation of computers will create new industries and alter existing ones. For example, it will help us create new drugs, develop new materials, and improve vehicle navigation and the planning of all kinds of tasks in industry and society. “The advantages of quan- tum computing will benefit companies that need a lot of computing power, such as those in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and banking sectors,” explains Prof. Latorre, who adds, “end users will benefit from the advantages of this new technology, for example, when these new drugs materi- alize or when a better way of calculating investment risk becomes available.”

Part of the measurement equipment of the laboratory at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nano- technology (ICN2), where Qilimanjaro has been testing quantum bit prototypes


José Ignacio Latorre – j.i.latorre@ub.edu Facultat de Física, Universitat de Barcelona (UB)

Pol Forn Díaz – pforndiaz@ifae.es Institut de Física d’Altes Energies (IFAE) 664 654 939

Artur García Sáez – artur.garcia@bsc.es Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) 626 522 387

Alícia Labián – alicia.labian@qilimanjaro.tech Project and Communications Manager Qilimanjaro 676 683 876

As the unit for technology transfer and innovation at the University of Barcelona, the Bosch i Gimpera Foundation (FBG) is responsible for transferring research results to society through the creation of spin-offs, patent licensing, and through contracts with companies and institutions, thus contributing to the competitiveness of the business fabric and to the improvement of social well-being. In 2019, 826 projects were managed and received €33.85 M funding. Qilimanjaro Quantum Tech is the 47th spin-off created by the FBG-UB, 29 of which involve participation of the UB. www.fbg.ub.edu

The Institut de Física d’Altes Energies (IFAE) is a consortium of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) created in 1991. It has been awarded the “Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence” mention since 2012. IFAE conducts research, both theo- retical and experimental, on the frontier of fundamental physics (high-energy physics, astrophys- ics, and cosmology) and also in various areas of applied physics, such as medical imaging and quantum computing. For this, it integrates more than one hundred researchers of international origin. The IFAE is a member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST). www.ifae.es

BSC is the leading supercomputing center in Spain. It specializes in high-performance computing. It has a dual role: providing infrastructure and a supercomputing service for Spanish and Euro- pean scientists, and generating knowledge and technology to be transferred to society. It has a staff of about 700 workers, most of whom are scientists who use supercomputers to conduct research in Computer Science, Life Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Engineering. The BSC is at the service of the international scientific community through the European research infrastructure PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe) and manages the Spanish Supercom- puting Network (RES). BSC is a public consortium owned by the Spanish Government Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (60%), the Catalan Government Department of Business and Knowledge (30%) and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (10%). www.bsc.es

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