Speech by President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö at the launch of the VTT and IQM’s 20-qubit quantum computer in Otaniemi, Espoo, on 10 October 2023

Kuva: Riikka Hietajärvi/Tasavallan presidentin kanslia

Ladies and Gentlemen

In the era of rising great power tensions and uncertainty, Finland must rely on its strengths: technology expertise, innovation and resilience.

Technology has long been at the core of foreign and security policy. Today critical technologies and minerals have also increasingly become an arena for great power competition. The race for superiority mostly takes place between the United States and China. But it affects us all.

In this context, quantum technology is critically important. It enables revolutionary advances in computing power and computer simulation. In the future, it can and will be utilised in many different sectors, from the development of new vaccines to defence. It will bring both opportunities and threats. Together with our partners, we must see to it that we take full use of the opportunities and manage the threats in an effective way.


Many of you here today can explain Planck’s constant much better than me. But as far as I understand, it testifies to the fact that even the smallest factors can have a critical role to play in our physical reality. On a global scale, Finland is a small country. But in the emerging quantum sector, we truly can play a critical role.

Finland is one of the few countries that can build a quantum computer with fully domestic expertise. This, combined with other capabilities, such as Europe’s most powerful supercomputer (LUMI), places Finland in a unique position. Today, we are inaugurating a twenty-qubit quantum computer. I want to warmly congratulate the VTT and everybody involved.

It is extraordinary for a small country to have this kind of a position in a field so critical for our future. How did it happen? I think the answer is a combination of hard work and visionary thinking. We have done quantum research more than half a century. We have managed to successfully combine basic research, applied research and industry. I would like to thank VTT, Bluefors and IQM, universities and all the scientists and students for building a world leading quantum ecosystem in Finland.


The 20-qubit computer is an important milestone. But it is not the final destination. Finland is aiming to develop the computer towards 300 qubits. This work will not be done alone. By definition, these are international efforts and cooperation with like-minded partners is crucial. Based on what we have seen and heard, and will hear today here, I am sure we will succeed.

Once again, congratulations and all the best for your important work in the future.