VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is launching a project to acquire Finland’s first quantum computer. The first phase of this three-phase project is seeking to bolster Finland’s ability to design and build quantum computers, and to create a competence base for future applications. The design and construction of the quantum computer will be carried out as an innovation partnership.
Quantum technology will revolutionise many industrial sectors, and will already begin spawning new, nationally significant business and research opportunities over the next few years. Advancements in quantum technology and, in particular, the technological leap afforded by quantum computers – aka the quantum leap – will enable unprecedented computing power and the ability to solve problems that are impossible for today’s supercomputers.
Building this quantum computer will provide Finland with an exceptional level of capabilities in both research and technology, and will safeguard Finland’s position at the forefront of new technology. The goal is to create a unique ecosystem for the development and application of quantum technology in Finland, in collaboration with companies and universities. VTT hopes to partner with progressive Finnish companies from a variety of sectors during the various phases of implementation and application.
The development and construction of Finland’s quantum computer will be carried out as an innovation partnership that VTT will be opening up for international tender. The project will run for several years and its total cost is estimated at about EUR 20–25 million.
The project will progress in stages. The first phase will last for about a year and aims to get a minimum five-qubit quantum computer in working order. However, the ultimate goal is a considerably more powerful machine with a larger number of qubits.
“In the future, we’ll encounter challenges that cannot be met using current methods. Quantum computing will play an important role in solving these kinds of problems. For example, the quantum computers of the future will be able to accurately model viruses and pharmaceuticals, or design new materials in a way that is impossible with traditional methods,” says Antti Vasara, CEO of VTT.
Through this project, VTT is seeking to be a world leader in quantum technology and its application.
“The pandemic has shocked not only Finland’s economy but also the entire world economy, and it will take us some time to recover from the consequences. To safeguard economic recovery and future competitiveness, it’s now even more important than ever to make investments in innovation and future technologies that will create demand for Finnish companies’ products and services,” says Vasara.
VTT has lengthy experience and top expertise in both quantum technology research and related fields of science and technology, such as superconductive circuits and cryogenics, microelectronics and photonics. In Otaniemi, VTT and Aalto University jointly run Micronova, a world-class research infrastructure that enables experimental research and development in quantum technologies. This infrastructure will be further developed to meet the requirements of quantum technologies. Micronova’s cleanrooms are already equipped to manufacture components and products based on quantum technologies.