The first in-person meeting for OpenSuperQPlus100 (OSQ+) took place in Bilbao, Spain from 30th May to 1st June 2023, hosted by the project partners Universidad del País Vasco – University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) at the Faculty of Science and Technology. This three-day long Kick off meeting gathered more than 80 partners from 28 partner institutions who managed to discuss their scientific progress and future action points. Since the introductory consortium meeting was already held virtually in March, this in-person meeting was envisioned as the opportunity for real interaction and practical work, which is why there were numerous breakout sessions with working groups.
On the first day, the programme started with an introduction speech from the Coordinator, Prof. Dr Frank Wilhelm-Mauch (Forschungszentrum Jülich – FZJ). Afterwards, OSQ+ project officer Oscar Diez from the European Commission briefly presented the Quantum Flagship and the general status of the European Quantum Community, while Dr Pieter Vermaas, project member from Technische Universiteit Delft (TU Delft) presented the ethical issue of the project, which will further be discussed within Work Package (WP) 9 (task Ethics and RRI – Responsible Research and Innovation). After these plenary sessions at the Auditorium, members of WPs 1 - 7 split into groups, each moving into one of the previously assigned classrooms. These parallel WP sessions were intended as the starting point to establish current progress and detect main upcoming milestones and challenges. After the break, members split again into five working groups to discuss cross-topics (points of collaboration between different WPs). The formal programme ended in the evening when a bus took all the participants to the city centre.
The second day was very interactive and discussion-oriented. First breakout sessions with four working groups started in the morning and another round of breakout sessions followed after the coffee break. After lunch, work package members reconvened in their Day 1 groups (WP 1 - 7) and discussed their WP activities again. In the afternoon, a poster session took place, whereby 12 partners presented their poster containing information on their work in the project or otherwise in the quantum field. This turned out to be a great opportunity for networking and scientific, but also informal discussion. At the same time, the project’s first General assembly session took place at the Auditorium, where team leaders and deputies (at least one representative per institution) discussed and voted for important project matters. After this formal part of the programme, a real treat followed: the visit to impressive Guggenheim Museum, organised by the meeting hosts. The participants had free time to explore the exhibitions, walk around the city and then enjoy an incredible dinner at Aizian Jatetxea restaurant.
The third and last day started with highlights and conclusions from WP discussions. Each WP leader had the chance to briefly present the main points of discussions during the last two days and action points for the future. Some good collaboration opportunities were identified and partners agreed it was a very productive and valuable meeting concept. After the Coordinator’s debriefing and meeting summary, wrapping up three full days of serious project-related discussions as well as enjoyable informal conversations and networking, some partners departed, while others stayed for further events. In the afternoon of 1st June, there was an event organised by the local government, involving the Basque Quantum Ecosystem. On 2nd June those partners who were still on site had the chance to take part in an International Workshop on Quantum Computation in Superconducting Circuits – NQuire workshop, organised by UPV/EHU.
The OSQ+ consortium very much enjoyed the productive three-day meeting in great company and is looking forward to the next face-to-face meeting.