On July 15, 2022, the First Vice President and Minister of Economy, Industry and Innovation, Francisco Conde, presented the Galician Quantum Technologies Hub, which already has €30 million in execution and aims to multiply this investment by five, up to €150 million, through European funds.
Conde pointed out that the first step that the Xunta de Galicia has already taken within the framework of this initiative was to acquire, with an investment of €13.9 million, a quantum computer for Cesga, which is going to be one of the most powerful in the south of Europe. This milestone, he said, will mark a turning point for the digital transition in Galicia and positions Cesga as a locomotive and fundamental technological partner of the Galician R+D+i ecosystem in this field.
In this context, the next steps to be taken will be to create a quantum computing research group at Cesga; three experimental quantum communication laboratories at the Vigo Quantum Communication Center (VQCC); deploy a QKD system connecting Cesga and the VQCC; and bring this technology to the Galician aeronautical sector through the Galician Aerospace Hub, to push the development of secure quantum communication systems for unmanned aerial vehicles or for air traffic management.
Conde explained that the Galician Quantum Technologies Hub was born from a collaborative approach because the design of this entire strategy was carried out after consulting more than thirty agents from the Galician R+D+i system; starting from Cesga, the three universities of Galicia, the technology centers plus the CSIC, the ICT Cluster, companies and professional associations, and also had the contributions of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, which today is a benchmark throughout Europe.
The goal, he said, is for Galicia to be a European and international reference in quantum computing and communication by 2030, both at an academic and research level, as well as at a business and commercial level. For this, the Quantum Technologies Hub is going to rely on four pillars: the Universities, which have to attract talent and train the professionals of the future; the R+D+i centers, leaded by Cesga, which will generate new knowledge as well as new products and services based on quantum technologies; companies and the economy, with whom we will work to promote innovation and the use of these technologies; and society, to make it known the usefulness of this technology and the benefits achieved by investing in it.
Conde concluded by also highlighting the Xunta de Galicia’s willingness to collaborate with the central government, as it is already doing, within the framework of the complementary R+D Plan in quantum communication. Secondly, he acknowledged, Galicia is aware of the relevance that quantum communication has in this digital age to solve the growing scientific-technical demands of sectors ranging from medicine to logistics, through telecommunications, finance and industry itself.