May 27, 2022 4:24 am

Quantum transformation finds the key to collaboration



Studying the application of quantum computing in five strategic industries is the mission of CUCKOO, the first major public-private collaboration project in Spain on this disruptive technology that would allow solve calculus problems that today are impossible to decipher. “We are looking to solve existing industry use cases that cannot currently be solved efficiently with classical computing. The goal is to identify or create quantum algorithms equivalent to the classical ones and implement them in different types of quantum computers,” he says. Victor Gaspar, responsible for business development at GMV, a Spanish company coordinated by CUCO, in which six other companies, five research centers and a university participate.

“While a classical algorithm can take years to run, a quantum one could take seconds,” says Gaspar.

That powerful calculation speed translates into lower power consumption, higher efficiency and more accurate results. With the intention of advancing the application of quantum computing in practical uses, CUCO will carry out industrial research to bring this technology from a level of technological maturity TRL 2 to TRL 3. This means that some quantum computing experiments would advance in its development. and they would begin to go through laboratory settings.

We currently do not have the ability to calculate everything exactly. For example, accurate satellite tracking of an oil slick in the sea would require the processing of thousands of gigabytes. “Today we work with simplified models to get very useful approximations of these calculations, but they are still approximations,” he says. Victor Canivell, co-founder of Qilimanjaro Quantum Tech, another of the companies that are part of the consortium in which BBVA, Repsol, Amatech, Multiverse Computing and DAS Photonics also participate.

With a budget of 7.3 million, CUCO has received a grant that covers 60% of its total cost through the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI), a public entity dependent on the Ministry of Science and Innovation. “The big European players, both business and government, are very involved with quantum computing. It is therefore crucial, in Spain, to jump on the bandwagon and dedicate efforts to catch up on this issue», says the co-founder of Qilimanjaro, a Spanish startup that develops quantum computers.

disruptive technology

Around the world, the development of quantum computing could eventually generate a $850 billion annual economic impact by 2040, according to a report by the consulting firm Boston Consulting Group. By making it possible to solve hitherto indecipherable problems, this disruption could unlock companies’ access to solutions that don’t currently exist. For this reason, CUCO focuses on possible applications for five strategic industries of the Spanish economy: energy, finance, space, defense and logistics.

“We will analyze its implications from the point of view of the financial sector,” he says. Scholastic Sanchez, head of research and patents at BBVA, a bank that has been working on an open line of research in quantum computing for more than three years. As a result of this process, BBVA has collaborated with several companies to carry out six proofs of concept on various possible use cases detected in their lines of business.

With CUCO, the bank’s initial objective is to optimize mathematical calculations so that the investment portfolios execute a diversification of assets that manages to minimize risks and maximize returns. “The goal is broader. We want to investigate cases of use of this technology in the financial sector. After these years of research, we believe that in optimization problems (minimization of risk in a portfolio, for example) and in simulation problems of financial variables (for example, the profitability of certain assets) the quantum advantage may be close”, he explains. Sánchez, who hopes that management decisions will be better, faster and with better risk as a result of these lines of research that they will develop at CUCO.

in good position

Quantum computing is one of those areas in which Spain enjoys a good position, compared to other countries in the European Union. «We have great experts in the academic world and a budding network of startups that focus on quantum technologies», says Canivell, from Qilimanjaro, who emphasizes the fact that there are several Ibex companies that have started quantum projects, as is the case with BBVA. Meanwhile, at the government level, support has been given to projects such as CUCO and Quantum Spain, coordinated by the National Supercomputing Center (BSC). The Polytechnic University of Valencia and the research centers BSC, CSIC, DIPC, ICFO and Tecnalia also participate in CUCO.

However, possibly the greatest challenge to continue advancing in this scientific field is the Difficulty retaining and attracting talent from abroad. “If it is already difficult to find professionals in cybersecurity or artificial intelligence, in quantum computing it is extremely complicated”, says Gaspar, from GMV.

Another problem that hinders its development is the widespread ignorance about the possible disruptive effects that this incipient wave of technological change brings. “The effective use of these technologies requires the availability of experts at a national level, so it is crucial to encourage their development and training,” concludes Canivell.

See them

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.