Government & Politics  February 17, 2022

Finnish ambassador visit highlights Boulder’s place in quantum ecosystem

BOULDER — After signing a memorandum of understanding with Colorado to partner on economic development and technological innovation projects in Denver this week, Finland’s ambassador to the United States Mikko Hautala zipped up U.S. Highway 36 on Wednesday for a tour of Boulder’s ColdQuanta Inc. facilities, highlighting the increasingly important role the region plays in the global quantum ecosystem.

“We see it holds a great potential for the future,” Hautala said of quantum technology, “and obviously we want to be  a part of that future. In Finland, we certainly punch above our weight in quantum technologies.”

Likewise, Quantum computing companies in the Boulder Valley region believe they’re punching above their weight compared to more established technology hubs such as California’s Silicon Valley.

Finland’s Ambassador to the United States Mikko Hautala (center) and his team met Wednesday with employees of ColdQuanta in Boulder. Lucas High/BizWest.

“We assessed the potential of Colorado before we started all of this and obviously the conclusion was that Colorado, when it comes to quantum computing, is certainly the partner for us,” Hautala told BizWest.

The partnership between the Nordic nation and the Centennial State creates “collaborative opportunities regarding bilateral foreign direct investment, bilateral research and development projects, and company exchanges and expansion opportunities,” according to Gov. Jared Polis’ office. “The MOU specifies development and commercial sectors on sustainable and advanced technologies, including but not limited to computing technologies, including quantum tech, green economy advancements and aerospace technology and applications.”

Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade executive director Patrick Meyers said in a statement that the “relationship Colorado has cultivated with Finland will create mutually beneficial opportunities in aerospace, computing technologies, climate resilience and more.”

Over the past three decades, Colorado — and specifically the Boulder Valley region, led by the University of Colorado and the National Institute of Standards and Technology — has emerged as a quantum power house, and in recent years companies have sprung up in an attempt to commercialize the technology.

ColdQuanta is developing technology to freeze individual atoms to near-absolute zero, a point at which they produce minimal vibration. In this state, those atoms can be used to create sensors with extremely granular accuracy for use in satellite navigation, scientific research and other cutting-edge technological pursuits.

“This company has been around for a while, but we’ve had some rapid growth since about 2018. We doubled in size last year and now have 130 [employees]. We’re on a path hopefully to make commercialized products,” ColdQuanta chief technology officer and co-founder Dana Anderson said.

The technology is also applicable to quantum computing, a field of research that replaces the current model of computers that encodes data that take the value of 1 or 0 with a model that would allow data to be stored in more than one state at a time.

“When you’re dealing with these kinds of really important and sensitive technologies, I think it’s important to have trusted partners,” Hautala said.

In addition to ColdQuanta, the Finnish team visited the University of Colorado Boulder, Louisville-based developer of all-solid-state batteries for electric vehicles Solid Power Inc. (Nasdaq: SLDP) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

BOULDER — After signing a memorandum of understanding with Colorado to partner on economic development and technological innovation projects in Denver this week, Finland’s ambassador to the United States Mikko Hautala zipped up U.S. Highway 36 on Wednesday for a tour of Boulder’s ColdQuanta Inc. facilities, highlighting the increasingly important role the region plays in the global quantum ecosystem.

“We see it holds a great potential for the future,” Hautala said of quantum technology, “and obviously we want to be  a part of that future. In Finland, we certainly punch above our weight in quantum technologies.”

Likewise, Quantum computing companies in the…

Related Content