In an exclusive interview with ECO, the president of IBM Portugal, said that the Quantum Innovation Center will have "a neuralgic connection" to the group's quantum computing centre in Poughkeepsie (USA). Ricardo Martinho hopes that the project will help Portugal to take steps in this emerging technology, becoming more competitive.

“I want to open a Quantum Innovation Center in Portugal this year”, revealed the Portuguese manager during an interview with ECO. The plan is to “create, not only for educational institutions but also for the business ecosystem, the key conditions for them to start having contact with quantum computing and experiment with use cases that can make a difference”, he detailed.

According to Ricardo Martinho, IBM is still “looking for the best way” to bring this project to fruition. “I will start my talks with the government, which is fundamental here. The business was done. There is interest and investment. We are also starting a conversation with relevant educational institutions that can make a difference”, underlined the president of IBM Portugal.

The leader of IBM's Portuguese unit explains that a centre with these characteristics "only works if it is a complete network", involving Government, local administrations, and universities, with a common vision to put Portugal on the map of quantum computing. “This has to be linked to a set of educational institutions, which are the ones that typically manage the centre” he added.

“Now, there has to be a will and the first step has to be taken. The first step will be taken in 2023: are we going to open this Quantum Innovation Center in 2023, yes or yes? What I would hope is that this has wide acceptance and that it is common cause. It has nothing to do with IBM. This is more than just being IBM”, stressed Ricardo Martinho.

The manager did not reveal how much IBM Portugal has to invest in this centre, nor where it will be located. As for human resources, he only said that it will be necessary to "hire a lot of people", although IBM is also counting on the connection to universities and companies so that they "dedicate resources to this initiative".