Spain has the talent and technology to become a quantum power, but experts demand patience

Quantum is said to be one of “Most transformative” and “revolutionary” technologies At all times, with influences present in all fields, from security to meteorology. In this development, Spain stands as one of the regions to lead their development.

However, the road to this scenario still seems long, as highlighted by the associate director of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Josep M. Martorell, during a round table held at the annual AMETIC congress, a trend that has “very scientific implications”. powerful”, but “They will not see each other today or tomorrow” because it is still In a very emerging stage.

Martorell has highlighted that this aspect, unlike other initiatives such as Digital Kit, which has just opened its second phase and whose results are seen “more immediately”, is underway for the “long term”.

Thus, although programs such as Quantum Spain are underway, promoted by the Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence (SEDIA) within the recovery plan and with a budget of more than 20 million, their results will not begin to be appreciated. Even in many years.

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Specifically, the basic objective of this scheme is “Build and strengthen the quantum computing ecosystem in Spain”That is to say, within three or four years the digital sector of this sector will have very few infrastructures set up in this case.

“In 12 or 18 months we will already have two, three or four open access machines working”, said the associate director of BSC.

At the same time, he said that there should have been progress in that period in terms of the programming model and the development of a “community of trained people” in the area.

“In short, a national effort coordinated by SEDIA, the Spanish Supercomputing Network, is necessary, all under the umbrella of the recovery plan, to achieve tangible results within three or four years that translate into in infrastructure, access, algorithms and training”Martorell specified.

Quantum Ring of the Community of Madrid

In this sense, Sandra Cerrato, responsible for R&D&i and communications projects of the General Subdirectorate of Information and Communications Systems for Security (SGSICS) of the Ministry of the Interior, has advanced some of the initiatives that are being carried out at the institutional level.

Cerrato points out that, among the one hundred innovation plans underway at the Technical Security Center, the most relevant Formation of the Quantum Ring in the Community of MadridSomething that would allow “being at the forefront of technology and promoting Spanish science”.

At the same time, they have announced that, together with AMETIC, they are working on another project that complements the physical part of quantum communication and that it will come out “in a relatively short future”. As he specified, it will focus on the security of economic transactions.

For her part, Paloma García, director of standardization programs and interest groups of the Spanish Association for Standardization (UNE), pointed out the need to introduce standardization elements in the field of quantum technologies. ,To understand each other the first step is to talk the same“, summarized.

Thus, within the work plans of the body he presides over, the “architecture of quantum technologies” is contemplated in applications such as communication, simulation, computation or methodology. In addition, they have anticipated that in the long term they will also address other issues such as algorithms or the quantum internet.

García highlighted the importance of working on future certification plans in this technological area that are built on recognized norms or standards so that everyone can operate “on a transparent basis of consensus.”

Spain could be a quantum power

And the fact that, according to Martorell, Spain is in a good enough position to become a quantum power A national plan “that can be tolerated and harmonized”“When you sit in Brussels with your German or French colleagues, you see that (the program) is of the same order of magnitude as the planned investment and the pillars touch,” he explained. He explains that everything is based on current talent.

At the same time, the associate director of BSC has said that he also has to see that area. “This emerging technology has permeated over time”Something that, he specified, “does not always happen”, because “it is difficult to be guided by the rhythm at which the giants of the world move”.

However, in this case, he pointed out that Spain has managed to catch up and, in fact, in the European strategy on quantum technology of the 15 authors cited, three of them are Spanish, adding that this country has “The best supercomputing center in Europe”.

“I think the path is marked, you just have to have a little patience, it is not a technology that is going to be implemented in the industrial world in a short time with great results, has to mature“, he explained.

Cerrato agrees with Martorell and specifies that it is time to support this technique “so that it does not catch offside”. “We are in one Very good position at the country level With top-level scientists and with a presence in all projects at an international level”.

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In this context, the person in charge of R&D Projects and Communications at SGSICS details some of the future challenges of the Ministry of the Interior in this area, Among them, training. As he explained, being such a niche market, it is difficult to find people with the necessary training to work in it, including the difficulty of retaining talent.

is added to Companies must support Being able to attend to specific use cases that encompass quantum communications so that they are secure.

For his part, Martorell ended his speech by pointing out that we should try to prevent the same thing from happening in quantum computing as happened with artificial intelligence, where An expectations curve in the late 1990s This took many years to materialize, and recalls the need to commit to European technological sovereignty, which is also relevant in the region.

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