Gitex Global: Demand for quantum computers growing in UAE, says IQM chief

The Finland-based company can help build an ecosystem for quantum computing in UAE


Waheed Abbas

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Photo: M Sajjad/KT
Photo: M Sajjad/KT

Published: Tue 17 Oct 2023, 4:02 PM

Last updated: Tue 17 Oct 2023, 9:15 PM

Finland-headquartered IQM, which builds quantum computers for research laboratories and companies, sees good business growth opportunities in the UAE as demand for quantum computing is growing in the Emirates.

In an interview with Khaleej Times, Dr Jan Goetz, a quantum physicist and co-founding CEO of IQM, said they are looking to engage with more local universities and other institutions to develop an ecosystem in the country as well as achieve its vision.

Quantum computing is a disruptive technology that enables solutions to highly complex problems that cannot be solved with other computers. IQM builds such quantum computers that universities, research institutes and other public and private companies can use to advance their programmes.

Employing around 300 people and offices in Munich, Madrid, Paris, Singapore and soon in the United States, IQM provides both hardware and software solutions.

“For us, the UAE is a very interesting market because it is growing and very much future-focused on digitalisation and new technologies. This market also focuses on talent and education and these are the areas we have strong offerings. Hence, we see here a very good fit between where the UAE is going with technology and also what we can bring to the table,” Dr Goetz said on the sidelines of the Gitex Global, the world’s largest technology exhibition taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre with over 6,000 companies and startups showcasing their latest technologies.

IQM is working with the Abu Dhabi-based Technology Innovation Institute (TII) to support them in their quantum computing efforts.

“We are looking to engage with more local universities and institutions to deliver quantum computers. We can also help build an ecosystem, talent tool and strategy on how to deploy quantum computing across the UAE,” said Dr Goetz.

Manufacturing in UAE?

IQM currently has a chip manufacturing factory for quantum computers in Finland. But as the industry grows, IQM co-founding CEO sees more such production facilities for quantum computing around the world in the coming years.

“We will assess which is the best location and UAE has something to offer. But we have to evaluate when the time comes. It could be possible in the next five years.”

He said the UAE has some strong research institutes which will build the talent and then hopefully that talent will end up in the Finnish company.

He added that interest and demand for quantum computing is increasing in the UAE as the country focuses on digitalisation and new technologies and quantum will be a big fraction of this in the future.

“As the focus of UAE shifts more and more into technology, digital and data science, there will be more and more demand for quantum computing here locally on the ground,” he added.


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