IMB-CNM researchers work on an international project to accelerate the commercialization of quantum technology
They collaborate in Qu-Pilot, an initiative financed with 19 million euros that will favor the development of companies in design, development and validation processes and quantum hardware. It will improve quantum technology infrastructures and respond to the demand of companies that need this knowledge.
Quantum technology is one of the key areas of development in the European Union (EU). To further enhance and accelerate the commercialization of quantum technology, it is important that European companies have a faster path from lab to market with optimal technology and product development capabilities. The Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM, CSIC) collaborates in the Qu-Pilot project, which has 24 organizations from 9 countries, to accelerate the commercialization of European quantum technology.
Production Capabilities for Quantum Technologies (Qu-Pilot) is a pilot line initiative to strengthen the development of quantum in Europe. It has received funding under the Horizon Europe of 19 million euros to improve existing European micro, nano and quantum technology infrastructures and respond to a growing demand for pilot manufacturing services from quantum technology companies. The initiative, led by the Technical Research Center (VTT) of Finland, involves 9 countries, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Austria, Italy, Spain and the Czech Republic, including 11 research and technology centers, 11 technological companies and 2 non-technological companies.
“It is essential to have a scalable technology for manufacturing semiconductor qubits to obtain quantic computers that can provide answers to those real and practical problems that are unapproachable by classic computers. At this time there is a significant effort in research and development that has allowed us to gain more than the current capabilities of the semiconductor industry", explains Francesc Pérez-Murano, principal investigator of the IMB-CNM in the project.
Precisely, to achieve a real quantum computer capable of solving practical problems, the IMB-CNM contributes by providing the EU community involved with a platform for experimentation in new device concepts and manufacturing processes that allow accelerating the achievement of a real quantum computer capable of solving practical problems. Through the Nanonems Group of the IMB-CNM and staff from the Micro and Nanofabrication Clean Room, work is being done to internally establish a pilot line for the manufacture of semiconductor quantum bits.
"Our participation in the Qu-Pilot project will provide the necessary boost for the CSIC Clean Room at the IMB-CNM to have this capacity, which we will develop jointly with the main European semiconductor technology centers", adds Pérez-Murano about this Unique Scientific and Technological Infrastructure (ICTS).
A boost to business development
The initiative will favor the development of companies, by providing a direct path to design, develop and validate their hardware products and processes on a pilot scale. This, in turn, will speed up the commercialization of these products. Among the companies involved in the project are the Spanish companies Qilimanjaro Quantum Tech and LuxQuanta. In addition, the main institutions in Europe with the capacity to manufacture quantum technologies participate in the project, such as iMEC in Belgium, CEA-Leti in France and Fraunhofer in Germany.
To advance in quantum research, and in line with the Qu-pilot project, the CSIC has the QTE+ Interdisciplinary Thematic Platform, which encompasses more than 30 research groups in the development of a new generation of communication devices. In addition, the IMB-CNM coordinates the Spanish Q-Tech project with the aim of developing new manufacturing processes for semiconductor-based quantum computing.