InstituteQ Forges Nordic and Cross-Atlantic Connections

The Finnish quantum institute, InstituteQ, has geared up its international collaboration during the autumn of 2022. Finland is a small country, but one that is punching above its weight in the fields of quantum science and technology. The Institute is increasingly cultivating partnerships with Nordic and European countries as well as the United States.

InstituteQ’s activities take place in three domains: research, education, and business. The Institute holds that international collaboration has to happen in all relevant domains, including quantum outreach, education, and business opportunities. Quantum technology is expected to be a significant overhaul of life as we know it in the coming decades, but none of it can happen without the right people and the right facilities. Ensuring the availability of both is the main driver of international collaboration.

Two exciting examples of InstituteQ’s increasing internationalization recently took place. Each demonstrated an encouraging reciprocity of interest between InstituteQ and its international partners.

Shaping the Nordic Quantum Bloc

The first was the two-day Nordic Quantum Connection event in late September. The event saw quantum experts from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland gather and forge connections. Ranging from computing to life science to education, the Nordic Quantum Connection featured Highlight Talks where the experts shared the state-of-play for their field.

The Nordic Quantum Connection event demonstrated that the Nordic countries are key players in quantum technology. The Highlight Talks demonstrated new developments and innovations, such as Jeroen Danon’s discussion of solid-state spin qubits as building blocks of quantum computers, Sabrina Maniscalco’s talk of quantum simulation research, and Peter Lodahl’s presentation about deterministic single-photon sources for processing quantum information.

In addition to the science, EU-wide policies and quantum education to meet the workforce-related challenges in the quantum industry were also hot topics.
Doctoral researcher Bayan Karimi and Director Jukka Pekola of InstituteQ showcased the cryostats at the Low-Temperature Lab to Ambassador Hickey. The LTL is part of the OtaNano research infrastructure. Photo: InstituteQ.

Entangling Across the Atlantic

The second example demonstrated the partnership between InstituteQ and the United States as the U.S. Ambassador to Finland, Douglas Hickey, visited the Aalto university campus and made a stop at InstituteQ in late October. Acting Director Jukka Pekola gave a tour of the cryostats, quantum computers, and cleanrooms found on campus, nearly all of which belong to the national research infrastructure OtaNano. Ambassador Hickey was extremely impressed with the people, the facilities, and the seamless connection of business and research – over 60 companies, ranging from IQM to Microsoft have made use of the OtaNano infrastructure since 2013.

“Ambassador Hickey’s visit was a great way to showcase the mutual interest and collaborative ties that exist between the Finnish quantum community and its U.S. counterpart. InstituteQ works together with many American universities and research organisations and is helping to shape international quantum collaboration. As another example, earlier this year we participated in an international White House roundtable on quantum information,” Pekola says.