Europe’s quantum sector is poised for massive growth

Europe’s quantum computing sector may be the most exciting area of ​​technology. Funding is at an all-time high and the number of quantum startups is increasing year by year. However, global media tend to paint the EU and the UK as runners-up in the supposed quantum computing race.

To understand Europe’s position in the global quantum computing market, we need to turn back the clock a few years.Investors and entrepreneurs began flocking to the quantum COVID-19 technology boom And despite expected declines post-pandemic, analysts forecast Significant expansion of market size 5-15 years from now. That optimism, however, is somewhat tempered by the fact that quantum computing is still a nascent technology.

some scientists We believe that quantum computers will never be as useful as the companies building them hope.yet afraid of others Delays in development could lead to a “quantum winter” in which investment and research funding freeze and the field stalls. Fortunately, these opinions seem to be in the minority.

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Industry analysis and peer-reviewed research largely show that quantum computing is on the verge of breaking out in Europe, similar to the deep learning explosion that began in 2014.

This shouldn’t be shocking news to anyone. Europe where quantum was born. This is not imported new technology. This is basically a continuation of his century-old work that began in Germany.

The first quantum revolution was described by German scientist Max Planck asblackbody radiationDecember 1900. A few years later, Planck helped young Albert Einstein improve his theory of relativity, which became part of the foundation of our understanding of physics today. Simply put, without European scientists there would be no quantum computing industry.

The industry is valuable today about 500 million eurosThe comprehensive view of the EU and the UK includes state funding from nearly every European country, the participation of hundreds of academic institutions, and 69+ quantum computing focused startupsBut before we delve into these companies and institutions, it’s important to understand. why They are investing in quantum computing.

What’s so special about quantum computing?

The grounds for optimism surrounding this field involve a concept called “quantum supremacy.” The technology is expected to reach the following stages of development: quantum computer It can perform computations and execute algorithms that cannot or cannot be performed in the time that is feasible on a conventional computer. Currently, “quantum advantage” is a rather vague term. Quantum computing is still in its infancy, and there are no agreed-upon benchmarks that can compare one kind of quantum computer to another, or even to a conventional supercomputer.

Due to the capabilities of quantum computers, it is not possible to tell which system is better simply by measuring clock speed or CPU performance. Researchers typically run incredibly complex algorithms on computer systems to compare their top abilities. However, these algorithms are usually of no use other than giving the computer a hard problem to solve.

Ultimately, quantum computers are predicted to show a clear advantage over classical computers in performing more than just complex puzzle-like algorithms. At this point, early entrant investors and start-ups may begin to see the return on investment.

What does this mean for Europe? hurry up When it comes to quantum technology, it’s on the market. While there are certainly ancillary efforts in the field of quantum technology, such as quantum programming and algorithm development, that have the potential to outperform market hardware, there is currently a global effort to develop a useful quantum computer. is required.

This will forestall the impending fear of a quantum winter, when entrepreneurship and investment in quantum technology will freeze while researchers around the world work to improve the current generation of basic systems.

However, whether it will lead to ROI for VCs and entrepreneurs is another question entirely.

boots on the ground

There are dozens of European startups focused on quantum computing. 1 report The exact number for 2020 is 69, and several new companies have been established since then. I’d love to cover them all, but to keep this article at a readable word count, I’ve narrowed my focus to his three movers and shakers in this area.

#1: IQMs

IQM is a spin-out company from Aalto University and VTT Finland that builds quantum computers and what they call “co-engineered” quantum systems built for specific industrial applications. One of Europe’s leading quantum computing start-ups with custom-built superconducting quantum processors, proprietary chipsets, and novel software and algorithmic solutions.

The systems IQM builds are full-stack quantum computers designed to be implemented on-site for customer applications. While IBM, Intel, Google, and other research institutions build quantum systems for use in cloud-based research and B2B applications, IQM’s systems are built where customers live. For this reason, IQM clearly serves a research-centric market.

In July 2022, IQM will Received €120 million in funding from the Global Fund It aims to use quantum computing to fight the climate crisis. Dr. Jan Goetz, his CEO and co-founder of IQM Quantum Computers, said:

#2: Pascal

The next stop on our tour of the European quantum computing scene is France, the spin-out of the Institut d’Optique. Pascal Build a quantum processing unit (QPU) from atomic arrays. One of the company’s goals is to build a hybrid quantum system that leverages his QPUs for advanced quantum simulations.

Pasqal’s system differs from the superconducting and gate-based systems being created by labs such as Google and IQM. They use atomic arrays in what they call the “Neutral Atom Architecture”. Basically, the company uses a laser and a tool called “atomic tweezers” to trap individual atoms with the intention of modulating them. This allows scientists to use trapped atoms as qubits for quantum computing purposes.

According to the company, Pasqal’s has raised 40 million euros. As for how that money will be spent, the company just opened another lab in Canada where it plans to bring European technology to the North American market.

#3: Oxford Quantum Circuit

Do you know which university OQC Spin out from. Build a superconducting quantum circuit that boasts the company’s unique “Coaxmon”. This patented invention is at the heart of Amazon’s quantum-as-a-service offerings, including ‘Lucy’, Europe’s first quantum computing system on his AWS.

Back in 2017, Oxford researchers announced breakthrough research They described what they called “a coaxial circuit QED architecture in which the qubit and resonator are fabricated on opposite sides of a single chip, with control and readout wiring provided by coaxial wiring running perpendicular to the plane of the chip.” . In the same month, OQC was established.

Five years later, OQC has just closed Series A funding round investing €38 million From Lansdowne Partners and University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners. The company plans to use the raised funds to expand into the Asia-Pacific market and increase its internal R&D budget.

Europe’s quantum future

Industry analysts predict that the quantum computing market will grow to almost six times its current size. This is the upper limit he exceeds 3 billion euros. And if the startups above are any indication, we can be confident that at least some European companies will get a piece of the pie. There has never been a better time for donors to jump into the quantum sector (if they have some knowledge of physics and an idea worth funding, of course).

However, there are some challenges that cannot be overlooked for both entrepreneurs and investors. first, identified by experts Lack of education and brain drain (aka talent export) are both major problems for the global quantum sector. And secondly, science and technology have no guarantees.

In addressing the first problem, Europe has an edge over the United States and other competitors in producing master’s and doctoral level physicists.For example, Denmark More physicists per capita than any country, a staggering 635 alumni per million citizens. But what makes up for it in academia is arguably lost to Silicon Valley and Big Tech in the graduate brain drain. It extends to investments that are invested in companies.

Regarding the lack of scientific guarantees, it’s important to reiterate that quantum computing is still in its early stages. Scientists have demonstrated that the technology works, but to date there are no truly useful quantum computers. Quantum computers are almost certain to mature to the point of being useful. But I’m not exactly sure how useful they are. Especially when he tries to measure with ROI.

That said, current investment trends, coupled with expert industry analysis, suggest that today’s European quantum computing startups could eventually become a backbone technology as ubiquitous as AI. It seems to indicate that it is a pioneering pioneer in the industry.

https://thenextweb.com/news/analysis-europe-quantum-sector-poised-massive-growth Europe’s quantum sector is poised for massive growth

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