IBM and Ikerbasquethe Basque Foundation for Science in the Basque Countryhave offered more details of the agreement they have signed and which, among other things, will lead to the implementation of the IBM-Basque Quantum Computational Center. It will be a Quantum Computing Center, IBM’s sixth in the world and the second in Europe, which will have a 127-qubit IBM Quantum System One quantum computer.
For the implementation of this ambitious project, the Basque government has invested 90.5 million in an action that includes the construction of a center that will not be fully active until 2025, as well as for the development of projects associated with the development of quantum computing. . In addition, and as highlighted by the lendakari, Inigo Urkulluthe investment is expected to increase to 120 million euros by 2028.
In presenting this project, Darío Gil, Vice President and Director of IBM Research highlighted the new quantum computing center “it places the Basque Country at the forefront of quantum technology” and went further by ensuring that this milestone could be as important for the development of quantum, “as Silicon Valley was for the development of Internet”.
for his part Horace Morell, president of IBM Spain, congratulated himself on the fact that the installation of this center in our country “will allow the Basque Country to respond to the great challenges that exist in the world. Here we are anticipating and designing the future of technology.” Íñigo Urkullu, yes, has been somewhat more cautious when assessing the new program and has assured that “although it is very risky to say what future quantum computers will bring us, what we do know is that we have to be prepared for a future that yes or yes, it will arrive ”.
Collaboration with universities and companies
The IBM-Euskadi Quantum Computational Center, which will be developed as part of the Ikur 2030 vision of the Basque Government on the leading role of quantum computing in the future, will promote the use of advanced technology throughout the Basque Government and in the three Provincial Councils General (Bizkaia, Álava and Guipúzkoa). This will improve the level of Basque research institutions, thanks to the expansion of international research collaborations, top-level basic scientific research, and the increase in talent with experience in quantum computing in the area.
To achieve these goals, this new quantum computing center will focus on facilitating collaborations in several crucial areas. Among them, the investigation of materials. It will also develop a first-rate quantum ecosystem in southern Europe. To this end, based on their strengths, the three Basque councils will promote the advancement of science and technology.
The IBM-Euskadi Quantum Computing Center will offer computing infrastructure to Fundación Ikerbasque researchers, as well as to its partners, in order to meet the objectives of improving the level of research institutions in the region. Scientists will be able to run quantum programs to explore complex problems. Among them, the modeling of new materials, as well as the study of the use of quantum computing to cover sustainability problems more broadly.
As highlighted in the press conference that served to present the center in San Sebastián, the IBM-Euskadi Quantum Computational Center has already signed tractor agreements to develop projects that can explore some of the possibilities that computing can offer quantum. In this sense, financial entities such as BBVA, chemical entities such as Petronor, technological entities such as Telefónica and even retailers such as Inditex stand out.
With this step, Ikerbasque will join the more than 200 members of the IBM Quantum Network, a global community made up of Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups, academic institutions and research laboratories that work to advance quantum computing. Also in exploring its practical applications. All members of this network have access to IBM’s Quantum Computing as a Service resources, which are currently delivered through more than 60 quantum computers for external use deployed by the company.
The IBM Quiskit Runtime services available through this partnership will take advantage of the IBM Quantum System One quantum computer, which will be located in the Ikerbasque building in San Sebastián. On the other hand, IBM and Ikerbasque will also collaborate in the development of the workforce and construction programs and establishment of top-level talent in the Basque Country. The programs launched by the IBM-Euskadi Quantum Computational Center will promote awareness, education and the development of internal and external skills through the development of immersive and integrated learning programs.