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Finland leads quantum activities at home, abroad

IQM has established offices in five prominent European countries dedicated to quantum research, as well as in the US and APAC regions.


Finland's quantum computing sector continues to grow exponentially, with the news that the LUMI supercomputer has been named Europe’s most powerful just one of many recent quantum-related developments to make headlines.

Much has changed in Finland since the 1960s, when the Low Temperature Laboratory (nowadays located at Aalto University) was established in the city of Espoo and began exploring quantum technologies.

Indeed, nowadays Finland hosts the fastest supercomputer in Europe.

Located in the city of Kajaani, the LUMI supercomputer was recently once again named the most powerful in Europe, with a measured High-Performance Linpack (HPL) performance of 379.7 petaflops. Announced at the ISC24 conference in Hamburg, Germany held in May, it was also listed fifth globally on the Top500 list.

“Both academic and industrial users have been able to make use of LUMI’s computing power to make significant progress with, for example, large language models, digital twins and quantum technologies,” said Kimmo Koski, managing director of CSC – IT Center for Science, which hosts the computer at its datacentre.

“In line with LUMI’s status as one of the most advanced platforms for AI in the world, more than half of LUMI’s capacity has been used for AI-related research and innovation,” he added.

The LUMI system is hosted by a consortium of 11 European countries. It is supplied by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and is owned by the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking.

“Not only does LUMI showcase impressive computational power, but its exceptional energy efficiency serves as an example for sustainable computing,” said Anders Dam Jensen, executive director of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking. “Since its inauguration in 2022, LUMI has been instrumental in driving European research, innovation, and discoveries to the forefront of the global stage.”

A quantum leap for IQM

Hewlett Packard Enterprise also features in another recent Finnish quantum headline, after it was announced that it and IQM Quantum Computers were hosting joint demo of quantum computing and high-performance computing (HPC) integration at ISC High Performance 2024. The announcement foreshadows future integrated offerings between the two companies.

IQM has raised a number of significant funding rounds in recent years including 128 million euros in 2022.


IQM has also recently announced plans to build a fabrication facility in France. The facility will be designed to accommodate a high-throughput production process specifically tailored for large-scale quantum processors.

These headlines come on the back of an eventful year for IQM in 2023, which saw it successfully complete a 20-qubit superconductive computer with VTT and also announced the launch of IQM Spark, a product bundle consisting of a five-qubit quantum computer and tailored learning experiences for universities and research laboratories worldwide.

Funding future developments

Another development in the Finnish quantum space is at an earlier stage of its growth journey. Vexlum, a spinoff from the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at Tampere University of Technology, has been awarded a 2.4-million-euro grant from the European Innovation Council (EIC). The new SEMIQLEAP-project (Novel Semiconductor Lasers for the Industrial Quantum Leap) set to advance the company's semiconductor laser platform for quantum technology applications.

Vexlum was one of only 42 companies to receive funding from 1083 applicants.


The platform aims to progress quantum computers and ultra-high precision optical atomic clocks. The EIC funding will bolster system performance enhancements to meet industrial scaling needs, with a focus on trapped ions and neutral atoms to improve metrics including system size, laser power and cost-effectiveness.

“This grant is a pivotal opportunity to mitigate the risks in commercialization and scale-up of Vexlum technology,” said Mircea Guina, executive chairman and CSO of Vexlum. “Our comprehensive expertise on III-V semiconductor technology and advanced laser systems, coupled with the resources provided by SEMIQLEAP-project propel Vexlum in an ideal position to create disruptive products and trigger European leadership in the global quantum and lasers markets.”

By: James O’Sullivan