Inside Quantum Technology

Quantum News Briefs: December 14, 2023: IQM announces expansion to the US, signs partnership with UC Berkeley; Qubit Pharmaceuticals strengthens its commitment to DistriQ – Quantum Innovation Zone by partnering with the PINQ2 platform; Stanford Law School (SLS) Introduces a First-of-its-Kind Center for Responsible Quantum Technology; and MORE!

Quantum News Briefs looks at news in the quantum industry.

Quantum News Briefs is a news series that looks at news in the quantum computing industry.

Quantum News Briefs: December 14, 2023: 

IQM announces expansion to the US, signs partnership with UC Berkeley to develop advanced quantum processors

IQM Quantum Computers, a Finnish company specializing in building quantum computers, has announced its expansion into the United States, beginning with a strategic partnership with the University of California, Berkeley. This collaboration will focus on advancing Quantum Information Science (QIS) by developing advanced superconducting quantum processors. The move is part of IQM’s broader strategy to promote quantum education and research and collaborate with high-performance computing (HPC) service providers in the US. The partnership with UC Berkeley involves the creation of novel quantum processors with high quantum coherence and minimal crosstalk. This initiative is the first outcome of a declaration between the US and Finnish governments to foster cooperation in quantum information science and technology. Dr. Juha Vartiainen of IQM highlighted the company’s mission to democratize quantum technology and address the shortage of quantum talent in the educational sector. The collaboration is seen as a significant step in leveraging academic and commercial strengths to accelerate quantum computing advancements.

Qubit Pharmaceuticals strengthens its commitment to DistriQ – Quantum Innovation Zone by partnering with the PINQ2 platform in order to accelerate pharmaceutical research through quantum computing

Qubit Pharmaceuticals, specializing in drug discovery through molecular simulation and modeling using hybrid HPC and quantum computing, has announced a significant partnership with the Platform for Digital and Quantum Innovation (PINQ2) in Quebec. This collaboration, part of Qubit’s involvement with DistriQ – Quantum Innovation Zone, marks a new phase in applying quantum computing to medication discovery. Utilizing the IBM Quantum System One computer operated by PINQ2, Qubit Pharmaceuticals gains access to unparalleled computing power. This initiative, including the establishment of facilities at Espace Quantique 1 within DistriQ, enhances Qubit’s research capabilities in molecular analysis and simulation. The company, as one of the first users of this advanced hybrid quantum infrastructure, aims to accelerate its R&D activities in designing quantum computing-based chemistry algorithms and discovering new molecules for treating rare diseases and complex targets.

Stanford Law School (SLS) Introduces a First-of-its-Kind Center for Responsible Quantum Technology

In 2019, Mauritz Kop, a Transatlantic Technology Law Forum Fellow at Stanford Law School (SLS), recognized the potential of quantum technologies in various industries and their resulting legal and policy implications. On December 6, 2023, Kop and SLS Professor Mark Lemley announced the launch of the Stanford Center for Responsible Quantum Technology. This center, the first of its kind, focuses on the ethical, legal, social, and policy aspects of quantum technology, including quantum artificial intelligence (QAI). It aims to address the challenges and opportunities presented by quantum technologies, such as encryption, computing, and sensors. The center, under the Stanford Program in Law, Science & Technology, hosted a quantum technology conference in May 2023 and is actively involved in projects like the Congressional Quantum Bootcamp. These initiatives reflect Kop’s vision of blending science and art to make quantum technology more accessible and to foster a quantum literate society. The center’s launch coincides with a visit from Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, symbolizing its global and interdisciplinary approach to addressing quantum technology’s impact on law, society, and public policy.

University of Arkansas Physicists Discover New Quantum Phases in Low-Dimensional Polar Systems

A team of physicists at the University of Arkansas has published a significant paper in Nature Communications, revealing the discovery of new quantum phases in low-dimensional systems. The study, titled “Quantum criticality at cryogenic melting of polar bubble lattices,” was conducted by postdoctoral researcher Wei Luo, research associate Alireza Akbarzadeh, and research assistant professors Yousra Nahas and Sergei Prokhorenko, under the guidance of Distinguished Professor Laurent Bellaiche. The research focused on the impact of quantum fluctuations on topological patterns in ferroelectric nanostructures. The team discovered that quantum fluctuations can induce a quantum critical point that separates a hexagonal bubble lattice from a liquid-like state with polar bubbles at very low temperatures. This phenomenon leads to unusual properties like negative piezoelectricity. Luo highlighted the potential applications of these findings in advancing neuromorphic computing, which models the functioning of the brain through spiking neural networks and offers advantages over conventional computing, including energy efficiency, parallel processing, adaptability, and fault tolerance.

In Other News: Denver Post article: “Colorado battles Illinois to become nation’s quantum tech hub with $1B at stake”

A recent Denver Post article highlights that Colorado is vying against Illinois to become the nation’s leading hub for quantum technology, competing for up to $1 billion in federal support under the CHIPS and Science Act. The act, aiming to boost U.S. competitiveness in advanced technologies, has allocated $10 billion for developing up to 10 technology hubs across various fields including quantum technology. Colorado, through the coalition Elevate Quantum, has successfully advanced in the first phase of selections, but faces stiff competition from Illinois’ Bloch Tech Hub, backed by major tech companies like IBM and Google. While first-phase designation doesn’t bring direct funding, the second phase could grant between $40 million to $70 million to selected hubs. The initiative is significant for Colorado, not only in terms of federal funding but also in establishing its dominance in an industry expected to drive substantial economic activity. Elevate Quantum plans to launch over 50 companies, draw significant capital investments, and train thousands in the region, aiming for inclusive growth. The final decision for the tech hubs, which will shape the future of quantum technology development in the U.S., is expected in the middle of the year.

In Other News: Physics World article: “Toby Cubitt: why algorithms will speed up applications of quantum computers”

In a recent Physics World article, Toby Cubitt, co-founder and chief technology officer of Phasecraft, emphasizes the importance of quantum algorithms in the development of quantum computers in a recent interview with Hamish Johnston. Phasecraft, which started in 2019 from University College London and the University of Bristol, focuses on creating algorithms that work on early-stage, small-scale quantum devices. Cubitt highlights that while hardware is crucial, significant progress is more likely through improved algorithms than hardware advancements. Phasecraft’s team, comprised of experts in quantum computing, materials science, and computer programming, is currently engaged in research and development, with a shift towards commercial applications expected as practical uses of quantum computing emerge. The company, which has received £13m in private funding, aims to tackle the challenges posed by noisy quantum hardware, focusing on making algorithms efficient and less susceptible to noise. Despite the current limitations of quantum hardware, Cubitt believes that practical applications of quantum computing could be realized in the next few years, potentially leading to breakthroughs in fields like material properties simulation.

Kenna Hughes-Castleberry is the Managing Editor at Inside Quantum Technology and the Science Communicator at JILA (a partnership between the University of Colorado Boulder and NIST). Her writing beats include deep tech, quantum computing, and AI. Her work has been featured in Scientific American, Discover Magazine, New Scientist, Ars Technica, and more.

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