Today, the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EC EuroHPC) announced the selection of six sites to host Europe’s first quantum computers. These sites are in the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Italy and Poland. They will be integrated on site into existing supercomputers and form a large network throughout Europe. The total planned investment amounts to more than 100 million euros, half of which comes from the EU and the other half from the 17 countries participating in the EuroHPC EC. Academic researchers and industry, wherever they are in Europe, will be able to access these six quantum computers based on cutting-edge European technology.
The new quantum computers will also help meet the growing needs of European industry and academia for quantum computing resources and potential new services. They will be able to solve complex problems related to fields such as health, climate change, logistics or energy use in a few hours, whereas current systems require months or even years, while consuming much more energy.
Margrethe VestagerExecutive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said: “Here is an example of a European project par excellence. By pooling resources and know-how, we can play a leading role in an area that is essential for the future of our digital society. This contributes to our fight against climate change. And it is an essential step in our drive to deploy a world-class supercomputing and quantum computing infrastructure in Europe accessible across the EU.”
The new quantum computers are expected to be available at the six aforementioned sites by the second half of 2023. They will support a wide range of applications of industrial, scientific and societal interest for Europe:
· Much faster and more efficient development of new drugs, with the creation of a “digital twin” of a human body on which, for example, virtual drug trials will be carried out.
· Solving complex logistical and programming problems to help companies save time and fuel.
· Development and testing, in a virtual environment, of new materials such as polymers for airplanes, catalytic converters for cars, solar cells or room temperature superconductors that could store energy indefinitely.
These new quantum computers will help us achieve our digital decade goals of having our first quantum-accelerated computer by 2025 and being at the forefront of quantum capabilities by 2030.
This is a purely European initiative: these machines will be made entirely of European hardware and software, taking advantage of European technology developed through EU-funded quantum initiatives, national research programs and private investments.
Today’s announcement is part of a larger effort in which the EU is working to integrate European quantum computers and simulators as accelerators of its supercomputing infrastructure. Other quantum computers will be purchased in the future. To further the development of quantum computing, and specifically quantum software, the Commission plans to create centers of excellence for science and industry focusing on both academic and industrial use cases for simulators and quantum computers.
These centers, which are aimed at all players in industry, academia and more broadly all users of quantum technologies, will serve as a reference for academic and industrial quantum applications, will provide services, support and libraries. to organizations in Europe, such as the current Centers of Excellence for High Performance Computing.
The 17 EuroHPC Joint Undertaking countries participating in this quantum initiative are: Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden and Norway.
European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking
The Joint Undertaking for European High Performance Computing (EC EuroHPC) is a legal and financial entity created in 2018 to allow the EU and the countries participating in EuroHPC to coordinate their efforts and pool their resources with the aim to make Europe a world leader in supercomputing. In July 2021, the Council adopted the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking Regulation, which provides for an additional investment of €7 billion.
The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking has already funded the Hybrid High Performance Computing and Quantum Simulator (HPCQS) project, which started at the end of 2021. This project aims to integrate two quantum simulators, each controlling more than 100 quantum bits (qubits), in two already existing supercomputers:
GENCI’s Joliot Curie supercomputerthe French national organization for supercomputing, located in France;
the JUWELS supercomputer at the Jülich Supercomputing Centerlocated in Germany.
By doing so, HPCQS will become a unique incubator in the world for hybrid supercomputing-quantum computing.
Flagship initiative on quantum technologies
In 2016, European quantum stakeholders published the Quantum Manifesto, leading in 2018 to the launch of the EU-funded €1 billion Collaborative Research and Innovation Initiative over 10 years: the flagship initiative on quantum technologies.
The next phase of the flagship initiative on quantum technologies (funded under Horizon Europe) is launched. It will consolidate and develop European research leadership in quantum technologies and bring research results closer to industrial exploitation. Quantum Technologies Flagship Initiative projects create and develop technologies for downstream activities, such as the deployment of quantum computers and simulators in EuroHPC or the deployment of a quantum key distribution (QKD) infrastructure as part of the EuroQCI (European Quantum Communication Infrastructure) initiative.
To know more
EC EuroHPC press release: Selection of six sites to host the first European quantum computers
Flagship initiative on quantum technologies