Quantum computing, the revolutionary technology that harnesses the principles of quantum mechanics to process information exponentially faster than classical computers, has emerged as one of the most promising fields of research in recent years. As nations worldwide vie for supremacy in this rapidly evolving industry, Spain has firmly established itself as a notable player in the quantum computing race. With a strong focus on research, significant government support, and a thriving private sector, Spain has positioned itself as a quantum hub in Europe.
Spain’s commitment to quantum computing is evident through its strategic investments and initiatives supported by the government. The Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation has been at the forefront of promoting quantum research and development.
An important initiative is Quantum Spain, promoted by the Ministry of Economy through the Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence and financed with the Recovery Funds and founded in 2021. The goal of Quantum Spain is to promote and finance the development of a competitive and comprehensive quantum computing infrastructure in Spain.
Spanish research institutions and universities have made significant strides in advancing quantum technologies. The Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) — QUANTIC — has been actively involved in quantum computing research. In collaboration with IBM, the BSC launched the “IBM Q Hub Spain” in 2021, becoming part of IBM’s global quantum network. This partnership allows Spanish researchers and businesses to access IBM’s quantum computers and collaborate with the broader quantum community.
The Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona is another vital player in Spain’s quantum research landscape. Research at the Institute covers a very broad range of topics, from theoretical quantum physics to applied medical optics. An integral part of the institute’s mission is to train new scientists and technologists.
The Spanish government’s investment in research is also evident through the creation of quantum labs across the country. The Quantum Information and Computation group at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) is one such example.
The Spanish private sector has actively embraced quantum technologies, fostering partnerships with research institutions and startups. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the main players in the country.
One notable company is Qilimanjaro Quantum Tech. Founded in 2018 by José Ignacio Latorre, a professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Barcelona, Qilimanjaro is working on developing quantum processors based on superconducting qubits. Qilimanjaro Quantum Tech is not alone in its pursuit of quantum applications.
Another to note is aQuantum. Based in Madrid, aQuantum is a research, development, consulting and services firm specializing in quantum software engineering and programming. With expertise in quantum software engineering and programming, aQuantum works in the fields of hybrid classical-quantum computing, software quantum quality, governance and management, quantum software workforce, development tools, and machine learning (ML).
Inspiration-Q helps forward-looking companies in their quantum-ready journey through agile adoption of the future quantum revolution and benefits from the short-term advantages of quantum computing. Based in Madrid, the company provides SaaS solutions for quantum-inspired and quantum algorithms, as well as specialized finance applications.
Moving to Catalonia now, we have LuxQuanta, a spin-off company from the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona. As well as providing mathematical cryptographic techniques on top of quantum-safe systems and technologies, LuxQuanta strives to integrate Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) systems into existing network infrastructures.
One of the more high-profile companies in Spain, Multiverse Computing hails from the Basque region and provides software to companies in the financial industry as well as other verticals seeking to gain an edge through quantum computing. Among the company’s areas of expertise are portfolio optimization, risk analysis and market simulation.
Quantum Mads specializes in examining, both theoretically and practically, the inherent dynamics of complex financial systems, and to create solutions that will disrupt current modelling techniques and allow us to have unique insight that will be valuable to our clients. The company is based in Vitoria-Gasteiz.
Like Multiverse Computing, Quanvia’s headquarters are in the Basque region, but it has a presence in Washington D.C., US and Santiago, Chile. Through the integration of quantum computing and artificial intelligence, Quanvia provides innovative quantum products in training, research, and consulting.
Finally, we have Barcelona-based Quside, a startup that provides high-quality components for all connected devices using quantum technologies. The company designs ultrafast, quantum random number generation solutions for mobile, IoT and data centres using their proprietary quantum entropy sources.
As with any field, choosing the most important individuals is challenging, but we were able to select two individuals whose contributions are driving the country forward in quantum technology.
Spain’s quantum industry owes much of its success to the dedicated individuals who have paved the way for advancements in the field. Notably, Enrique Solano, a Professor at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), has been recognized for his groundbreaking research in quantum computation and quantum simulations. Solano’s research group at UPV/EHU collaborates with other institutions to explore the frontiers of quantum technologies.
Another notable individual whose contribution to Spain’s quantum journey is significant is Elías Combarro, a co-founder of QSpain and Professor of the Computer Science Department of the University of Oviedo. As well as holding these two positions, Combarro is an Associate collaborator of CERN and its Quantum Technology Initiative and a SheQuantum Board Member. His current projects include working with companies like E.ON and Cambridge Quantum Computing as well as institutions like CTIC and CERN.
Spain’s quantum computing industry has rapidly evolved into a force to be reckoned with, thanks to substantial government support, cutting-edge research, and a dynamic private sector. Collaborations between academia and industry have been pivotal in bridging the gap between theoretical concepts and practical applications.
As the quantum industry continues to grow, Spain remains committed to pushing the boundaries of quantum computing and exploring the endless possibilities it offers. With innovative companies, world-class researchers, and a supportive government, Spain is poised to make significant contributions to the global quantum revolution.
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