Finland-based IQM, a pan-European leader in building quantum computers, has been granted €35 million from European Investment Bank (EIB) The loan is part of the European Guarantee Fund’s venture debt product introduced to provide liquidity to small and medium-sized companies affected by the pandemic.
The investment will be used by IQM to accelerate the development and commercialisation of its quantum processors built at Europe’s first quantum-dedicated fabrication facilities in Espoo, Finland. Also, the company will have full control over quantum processor development and strengthen its European leadership.
Prior to this, in November last year, the company opened its first fabrication facility in Finland. The initial tranche of the EIB funds will be used for expanding the facility, accelerating material research and developing quantum processors.
Besides this, IQM benefited from EIB Advisory Services support in preparation for the EIB financing application.
IQM’s Chief Executive Dr Jan Goetz said, “Today’s chips shortage has exposed just how dependent the world is on semiconductor manufacturers in Asia. Quantum processors give us an opportunity to learn from this and become self-reliant first, and a global provider for quantum chips in the future. This EIB loan supports us in building more balanced and resilient quantum development in Europe. We are already working on the most advanced quantum technology in Europe and this loan will also help us create the next-generation European quantum ecosystem.”
EIB President Werner Hoyer said: “Quantum computing is still at an early stage. However, it has the potential to revolutionise many sectors, from drug and vaccine development to cybersecurity. Given the scale of the potential impact, global competition in quantum computing is fierce. Ensuring that companies such as IQM are well-funded is key to positioning Europe as a technological leader worldwide.”
EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros added: “As we consider quantum computing as a sector of strategic importance, we are glad to support the Finland-based company IQM. With our financing, we not only sustain and create jobs within a highly innovative industry, but we also place ourselves squarely behind technological know-how. Europe has a strong tradition of quantum research, and funding IQM ensures that the results of this research will be put into practice in real-world innovations.”
Next-gen quantum computers
IQM was founded by Kuan Yen Tan, Jan Goetz, Mikko Möttönen and Juha Vartiainen in 2018 with the mission to build the next generation of quantum computers. Its quantum computers are developed in a unique hardware-software co-design approach. The next-gen quantum processors use proprietary on-chip components to increase the QPU clock speed for error correction.
IQM’s co-design strategy aims to deliver quantum advantage to its customers, using novel chip architecture, application-specific processors, and ultrafast quantum operations.
The company provides on-premises quantum computers for supercomputing data centres and research labs and offers full access to its hardware. For industrial customers, IQM delivers a quantum advantage through a unique application-specific, co-design approach.
IQM is building Finland’s first commercial 54-qubit quantum computer with VTT, and an IQM-led consortium (Q-Exa) is building a quantum computer in Germany. The computer will be integrated into an HPC supercomputer to create an accelerator for future scientific research.