- The joint venture formed by the quantum computing startup Qilimanjaro Quantum Tech and the Spanish telecommunications group GMV will be in charge of building the first quantum computer of the Red Española de Supercomputación, which will be installed this year 2023 at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS).
- The construction of this pioneering infrastructure is part of the objectives of the Quantum Spain initiative, promoted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation through the Secretary of State for Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence (SEDIA) and coordinated by the BSC.
The temporary joint venture (UTE) formed by the startup Qilimanjaro Quantum Tech and the Spanish technology company GMV, and led by Qilimanjaro’s CTO, Manel Martinez, has won the public tender of last July 2022 to build the first gate-based quantum computer for public use in southern Europe with 30 qubits. It will be installed at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS).
The development of this new infrastructure is part of the 22 M€ Quantum Spain initiative, promoted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation through the Secretary of State for Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence (SEDIA) and coordinated by the BSC. The initiative, financed with Next Generation funds from the European Commission’s Recovery Plan for Europe, is part of the España Digital 2026 programme and the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (ENIA).
The first Spanish quantum computer will be based purely on Spanish and European technology and will be installed at the BSC in 2023. For the project, Qilimanjaro and GMV are partnering with first-level European tech companies. Qilimanjaro shall calibrate and install gate based quantum processing units from IQM Quantum Computers and QuantWare. The qubit control and cloud access software of this quantum computer is developed also by Qilimanjaro with the open source Qibo stack. The UTE builds on the expertise and technology of the European quantum startups Qblox, Delft Circuits, Silent Waves, Leiden Cryogenics, Connecta and Rohde&Schwartz, to provide key complementary elements for the quantum installation. GMV provides all the required conventional server and networking elements to manage the quantum computer.
The new 30 qubit quantum computer will be integrated in the new MareNostrum 5 supercomputer, which is currently being installed and will be operational later this year. This integration will have the potential to significantly increase the impact of research and innovation by enabling solutions that complement the capabilities of existing supercomputers. The new infrastructure will be available to the research community, companies and public organizations, thus strengthening technological and industrial development in Spain and the creation of highly qualified jobs.
“The quantum computer that we provide to the Quantum Spain project allows us to extend the computing capabilities of the Red Española de Supercomputación to the new quantum computing paradigm, constituting a pioneering example in Europe of an advanced hybrid supercomputing and quantum computing setup. We are proud to implement this innovative system based purely on Spanish and European technology, and we hope that it will position us at scientific, technological and business level at the forefront internationally in this emerging field with clear disruptive potential,” said Victor Canivell, co-founder of Qilimanjaro.
The first quantum chip will be available in the second quarter of 2023 at the Qilimanjaro facilities, while the new quantum computing infrastructure is expected to be installed at the BSC in the third quarter of 2023 to complement the new MareNostrum 5.
Qilimanjaro was selected in 2022 by StartUs Insights as one of the five startups worldwide with the potential to influence the quantum computing industry. Beyond the current Quantum Spain project, Qilimanjaro’s goal is to develop the next generation of flux qubit superconducting quantum computers with easy-to-use cloud access to effectively tackle complex optimization problems in sectors such as logistics, finance, and energy, among others, as well as the simulation of physical and chemical processes, which are very present in the pharmaceutical and materials research industries. To support the development of this future analog flux superconducting qubit quantum computer, Qilimanjaro was awarded a 2.5 M€ EIC grant in early 2023. All this is done with a tight collaboration with first level research centers, such as the Institute for High Energy Physics (IFAE), where the basic components for the quantum technology for Qilimanjaro are developed.
“For the joint venture formed by Qilimanjaro and GMV, the construction and commissioning of the two units of the quantum computer that we will install at the BSC is a first-order technological challenge, which we face with the commitment that this project will be a complete success and will provide the right platform to decisively boost the development of quantum computing in Spain,” says Manel Martinez, technical leader of the joint venture.
GMV is a Spanish technology group founded in 1984, privately owned and with an important international presence, with a staff of 3,000 professionals in 12 countries. The company’s growth strategy is based on continuous innovation, devoting 5% of its turnover to R+D+i. In this initiative, GMV complements Qilimanjaro’s quantum technology by taking charge of the conventional systems and network infrastructure needed to operate the quantum computer.
“GMV’s commitment in this pioneering project in Spain adds to our important commitment in the field of quantum computing, where we are already leading the project Misiones Grandes Empresas CUCO of the CDTI for the business development of the use of quantum computing, in which we already collaborate with Qilimanjaro, and which we are now extending jointly to the context of excellence in the academic world”, says José María Legido, director of GMV’s international area of Secure e-Solutions.
The announcement of this news was made on February 27th in the framework of the Mobile World Congress 2023 in Barcelona, in an event led by the Secretary of State for Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence, Carme Artigas, together with Victor Canivell, CBO and co-founder of Qilimanjaro, Jose Maria Legido, director of GMV’s international area of Secure e-Solutions, Mateo Valero, director of the BSC and Alba Cervera Lierta, project leader of the Quantum Spain initiative.
“The first quantum computer in southern Europe is now a reality. This milestone demonstrates once again that high-impact technologies are bearing fruit and placing Spain at the European forefront of future emerging technologies,” said Carme Artigas, Secretary of State for Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence.