The hosting agreement for the acquisition and operation of a quantum computer by the international LUMI-Q consortium was signed in Luxembourg in June 2023. It will be installed at the premises of one of the ACROSS partners – IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Center, in Ostrava, Czechia, in 2024 and become the first Czech quantum computer, which will also be available to the European research community.

The hosting agreement was officially signed for the acquisition and operation of the quantum computer of the European LUMI-Q consortium at the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Centre in Ostrava, Czechia, which is part of the VSB – Technical University of Ostrava and the national e-infrastructure e-INFRA CZ. The signed agreement with the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking governs the roles, rights, and obligations of the parties. The procurement process for the quantum computer will be managed directly by the EuroHPC JU and launched shortly. The investment costs for the procurement of the quantum computer are planned to amount to a maximum of EUR 7 million. They will be 50% co-financed by the EuroHPC JU budget under the Digital Europe Programme (DEP) and 50% from the contributions of the member countries of the LUMI-Q consortium.

“Signing the agreement to host the LUMI-Q quantum computer in the Czech Republic is an important milestone not only for the Czech research community in the field of quantum computers and algorithms but also represents a significant step towards developing European quantum computing resources. Together with other European partners, we are creating an important element of future scientific progress in quantum computing and its applications,” said Vit Vondrak, Managing Director of IT4Innovations.

The LUMI-Q consortium, which brings together 9 European countries: Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Sweden aims to provide academic and industrial users with a quantum computer based on superconducting qubits with a star-shaped topology. Its advantage is that it minimises the number of so-called swap operations and thereby enables the execution of very complex quantum algorithms. The assumption is that it will contain at least 12 qubits. This quantum computer will be directly connected to the EuroHPC supercomputer KAROLINA, located at IT4Innovations in Ostrava. In addition, the plan is to connect it to other EuroHPC supercomputers, especially those hosted by other members of the LUMI-Q consortium, such as the most powerful European supercomputer, LUMI, or the supercomputer Helios, which will be located in Krakow, Poland. 

 “We expect that not only the Czech scientific community will gain access to our quantum computer through e-INFRA CZ, but also all consortium members. As 50% of the cost of the LUMI-Q quantum computer is covered by EuroHPC JU, users from all over Europe will also have access to it. Finally, our goal is to make quantum computing available to industrial companies,” says Branislav Jansik, Supercomputing Services Director at IT4Innovations and the LUMI-Q consortium Coordinator.

Quantum computers have the revolutionary potential to bring a new approach to computing and solving computationally extremely complex problems. Unlike classical computers that work with binary bits, quantum computers use quantum bits (qubits) to perform parallel computations and manipulate quantum phenomena such as superposition and quantum entanglement. This gives them a unique ability to efficiently solve some problems that are too difficult for classical computers. These may include optimisation problems for solving the electronic structure of new materials or traffic and port management logistics. Several other applications are currently being developed and can be found in almost all scientific and computational domains, such as the automotive industry, the development of new electric batteries, energy, finance, pharmaceutics, quantum chemistry, cryptography, quantum machine learning and many more. Quantum computers have the potential to dramatically shape scientific research and technological development in all fields, from physics and chemistry to artificial intelligence and bioinformatics.

“As part of the LUMI-Q consortium, we are committed to contributing to this development and providing the scientific community with a quantum computer capable of solving complex computational problems and pushing the boundaries of modern science,” adds Branislav Jansik.

For more details, see the IT4Innovations website.