Finland has big plans for quantum computing applications

The QuTI project will develop new components, manufacturing and testing solutions, and algorithms for the needs of quantum computing applications.
25 January 2022

Quantum computing applications are expected to be adopted by more industries this year as organizations around the world begin testing the use cases for the technology. While organizations are the ones most looking forward to making the most of the technology, a few governments are also hoping quantum computing applications can improve their services.

In Finland, their first-ever quantum computer was commissioned at a research center near the capital. Scientists are expected to use it to study next-generation computing power. The 5 quantum-bit computers were developed to learn how to build a quantum computer, how to program one, and how to operate one in the future.

The state-owned VTT Technical Research Center (VTT) plays a crucial role in ensuring researchers learn in a range of scientific domains and making quantum computing applications ready for the industry. According to a report by Computer Weekly, the Finnish government believes that the best way to be ready for the quantum computing industry is to build a working quantum computer.

Computer Weekly also highlights five areas for quantum computing applications. They are in drug and materials discovery, supply chain and logistics, financial services, artificial intelligence, and cloud security.

For drug and materials discovery, Computer Weekly reports that a separate team in VTT which is the quantum algorithm team is developing algorithms to be used on the quantum computer. They are looking at two broad types of quantum computing applications. The first is to solve complex optimization problems that exist in many industries. This includes energy distribution, process control, and fleet management. The second is to predict the structures and properties of molecular formations more accurately and effectively. This will help accelerate drug discovery and the development of new materials.

While other countries are also developing quantum computer ecosystems, with the majority focusing on topics and platforms. Tech vendors like IBM and Google, who are also developing quantum use cases are not government-linked or owned and are mostly testing industry use cases.

Compared to the rest of the world, Finnish researchers focus almost exclusively on the superconducting qubit approach, which they have been using for years and know very well. In fact, a new research project has just been launched to accelerate the progress of Finnish quantum technology.

The QuTI project, coordinated by VTT, will develop new components, manufacturing and testing solutions, and algorithms for the needs of quantum technology. The QuTI consortium, partly financed by Business Finland, consists of 12 partners and has a total budget of around EUR 10 million.

For Professor Mika Prunnila, QuTI project’s coordinator, from VT, “Quantum technology is a multidisciplinary and rapidly advancing field. The QuTI consortium provides an ideal starting point for strengthening the international competitiveness of Finnish technology and industry in this fast-growing field.”

The quantum computing, communication and sensing devices to be developed in the QuTI project are largely based on expertise in microsystems, photonics, electronics, and cryogenics. The project develops customized software and algorithms hand in hand with the hardware, strengthening the Finnish quantum computing infrastructure. In addition, new tools will be created for quantum technology product development that will serve the needs of the QuTI project as well as the entire field of quantum technology.

As China and the US continue to battle each other for quantum computing supremacy, Finland is definitely building their presence in the industry as well. With the government supporting quantum computing initiatives, Finland might just have a quantum computing ecosystem on the horizon.