(HelsinkiTimes) The construction of Finland’s first-ever quantum computer is now fully underway. The project is a public-private collaboration, with € 20.7 million in funding from The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment having been granted to the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and their co-innovation partner IQM.
The mammoth project, currently underway at the Micronova research facility jointly owned by VTT and Aalto University, aims to put Finland at the forefront of an emerging technology that has powerful implications for AI, defence technology, transport infrastructure, and more.
While the project has been billed as a Finnish success story, one aspect that can be easily overlooked is the diverse and international team behind it.
Around half a dozen nationalities are represented in the project team, which is overseen by Himadri Majumdar, an Indian-origin project manager who has lived and worked in the Helsinki region for more than eight years.
Majumdar came to Finland because the research group in Turku was arguably one of the best in the world for his research field at the time. In 2012, he joined VTT as a senior scientist, before later moving onto the more commercial side of things.
Majumdar explained, “It is worth emphasizing that this current project is only the first series of quantum computers we are building. This project is designed to be a showcase that will demonstrate the capabilities of Finnish innovation in quantum.”
The project is a strategic initiative by the Finnish government that aims to highlight Finland’s ambition and capabilities. Although Finland is not one of the countries that has made the biggest investments in this realm, the goal is to pave the way for more fruitful public-private partnerships such as ours and help to establish Finland’s long-term presence in quantum computing.
Majumdar explained, “Finland is at the forefront of innovation in many regards and working culture definitely has a role to play. Character traits such as honesty are massively valued here, while accountability and personal responsibility are at the heart of every project, which definitely aids delivery.”
Majumdar says “Specifically for our project, the biggest challenge is to maintain the speed of development and enable the application of the technology for the betterment of businesses and society as soon as we can.”