Spain intends to rub shoulders with world leaders in quantum computing with three ingredients of proven traction: Talent, money and public-private collaboration. The first is presupposed, the second will be possible with the reconstruction funds, and the third will have to be worked on in the coming years. With such wickers, the Government has set out to create the first quantum computer in southern Europe, the location of which has yet to be decided.
The first step in that direction was led by the Council of Ministers with the recent approval of a grant of 22 million euros this year -expandable to 60 in the next triennium-, to “promote the creation of a quantum computing ecosystem in Spain.”
This project, called Quantum Spain, is in tune with the strategy outlined in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, with the Digital Spain 2025 agenda and the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (Enia). The objective consists of “giving access to companies and the public sector to develop a high-performance quantum computer that will be made available to the research community for the development of Artificial Intelligence, strengthening technological and industrial development in Spain and the creation of highly qualified employment “.
Moncloa’s assignment to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, through the Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence, consists of “guaranteeing the development of quantum algorithms with an approach aimed at solving real cases.”
Among the expected fruits, the future independence of Europe in the new generation of chips (of quantum architecture) stands out, as well as the positioning of Spain in the technological vanguard, in addition to “the creation of quality employment, territorial structuring and attraction and retention of talent throughout the country “, according to sources from the Secretary of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence, led by Carme Artigas.
Among the strengths of the initiative, the pioneering use of the cloud stands out to, in this way, democratize access to the computing capacity of the next generation of computers, remotely and accessible to end users, both for companies and for public entities .
Artigas announced this week some of the details of a State project that will have its application on real problems in sectors such as chemistry, finance, optimization of production chain processes and cryptography, among others.
Impact on the entire economy
The Quantum Spain project has been designed in a decentralized way with the participation of 25 centers distributed in 14 autonomous communities. All of them are coordinated by the Spanish Supercomputing Network (RES), an entity that will act as channel of the subsidy to all participating entities. In turn, the National Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS) will manage the participation of all entities.
As these centers are deployed throughout the national territory, -promoted or led by national researchers-, Quantum Spain will have a positive impact for the whole of the Spanish economy and the creation of quality employment, territorial structuring and the attraction and retention of talent across the country.
Four years of quantum gambling
The starting gun of the Spanish quantum race began last Tuesday, with the approval of the Quantun Spain project. The next milestone is scheduled for autumn 2022, when the construction of a large laboratory in Spain with the first 1 and 2 qubit computers is expected to be completed. By the end of 2024, we can ambition 5-qbit computers with access through the cloud, while 20-qubit computers will wait until 2025.