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Quantum News Briefs February 17: The United States and the Netherlands sign joint statement to enhance cooperation on quantum, Quantum sensing readies to be the 21st century’s surveillance leap, Wisekey’s semiconductor subsidiary SEALSQ announces first demonstrator of its quantum resistant technology + MORE

By Sandra Helsel posted 17 Feb 2023

Quantum News Briefs February 17:  The United States and the Netherlands sign joint statement to enhance cooperation on quantum, Quantum sensing readies to be the 21st century’s surveillance leap, Wisekey’s semiconductor subsidiary SEALSQ announces first demonstrator of its quantum resistant technology + MORE.

The United States and the Netherlands sign joint statement to enhance cooperation on quantum

On February 15, 2023, the United States and the Netherlands signed a Joint Statement on Cooperation in Quantum Information Science and Technology (QIST) in The Hague. Quantum News Briefs summarizes.
The statement underscores robust bilateral ties in emerging technologies. It also builds upon a strong history of friendship between the two nations that dates to the American Revolution and is based on a common dedication to individual freedom, democratic principles, human rights, and free trade.
Related: IQT The Hague March 13-15
Shefali Razdan Duggal, U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, signed the joint statement for the United States. “We are thrilled to join forces with the Netherlands on quantum sciences and we are genuinely hopeful that this collaboration will be an influential opportunity to learn and expand,” said Ambassador Razdan Duggal. “I am personally very excited about this cutting-edge endeavor. Working together, with a focus on our shared values, will certainly guide us in developing a host of applications which provide real benefits to everyone.”
Guido Biessen, Director-General of Enterprise and Innovation at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, signed the joint statement for the Netherlands. “As quantum technology gradually matures, we need the brightest people to deliver the next R&D milestones,” said Biessen. “Building on our 400-year history of collaboration with the United States, we are looking forward to strengthening the ties between R&D experts in this field, connecting eco-systems, and building bridges for trans-Atlantic policy dialogue between the United States and the Netherlands.” Click here to read the announcement in-entirety.

Quantum sensing readies to be the 21st century’s surveillance leap

Alison Snyder, of Axios Science is author of article that begins with “Quantum sensing devices that can gather ultra-precise data are being readied to test in the sky — and could define warfare and intelligence gathering in the 21st century.” Quantum News Briefs summarizes her broad discussion below.
Snyder explains, “Quantum computing usually gets the attention — and most of the funding — but quantum sensors are advancing quickly and are expected to be deployed sooner.”
The U.S. Air Force recently awarded SandboxAQ a contract to develop its quantum navigation technology that the company says would act as a complement to GPS. The plan is to demonstrate the technology on U.S. Air Force aircraft. Other companies — including Rafael Advanced Defense Systems in Israel and Q-CTRL in Australia — as well as NATO, the U.S., China and other militaries are developing quantum sensing devices.

Quantum sensors are being developed for a range of applications from smart building monitoring and oil prospecting as well as intelligence gathering and navigation. These devices, which are in general more precise than their classical counterparts, include next generation atomic clocks as well as:
Quantum gravimeters: When mass decreases, so does gravity — an often subtle change that these devices can measure.
Quantum inertial navigation: Quantum-based measurements of acceleration, rotation and time could provide extremely accurate positioning information that doesn’t drift like existing classical devices.
Quantum radio frequency sensors: Leveraging quantum properties, these devices aim to use one receiver tuned to many frequencies across the spectrum.
Some of these technologies, like navigation systems, may be ready in two to five years,whereas others may be 10 years out.
Where it stands: Quantum sensing devices are being developed and tested outside of the lab by militaries and companies around the world.
The intrigue: Quantum sensors can be tested on satellites, drones and aircraft.
What to watch: Quantum sensors will encode lots of quantum data.
That data generation could actually fuel the development of quantum computing by offering those systems information that is already in quantum form, says Robert Sutor of quantum technology startup Infleqtion, which is developing quantum RF antennas, overcoming the problem of converting classical data into quantum data for computing.
Quantum sensing progress requires making the devices smaller and less expensive.  Click here to read Axios article in-entirety.

Wisekey’s semiconductor subsidiary SEALSQ announces first demonstrator of its quantum resistant technology

WISeKey International Holding Ltd. (“WISeKey”) (SIX: WIHN, NASDAQ: WKEY), a leading global cybersecurity, AI, Blockchain, and IoT company,  announced  on Feruary 16 that its wholly-owned subsidiary SEALSQ Corp (“SEALSQ”), has successfully built a demonstrator unit running two NIST selected Post-Quantum Algorithms, a significant milestone within the implementation of the QUASARS project.
The Post-Quantum engineering team has been able to carry both Kyber and Dilithium CRYSTAL quantum-resistant NIST selected algorithms and the appropriate APIs on the MS6003, a WISeKey Common Criteria EAL5+ Certified secure hardware platform powered by an ARMSC300 core and featuring an USB interface, thus creating the first Quantum-Resistant USB Token demonstrator. This demonstrator marks a substantial milestone for the QUASARS project and takes the team one step closer to achieving their goal of building a Post-Quantum Hardware Security Module and Root-of-Trust.
WISeKey, through SEALSQ, has taken affirmative steps to implement its QUASARS project. The QUASARS project, is a radically innovative solution, based upon the new WISeKey Secure RISC V platform that is paving the way for the Post Quantum Cryptography era, offering hybrid solutions compliant with ANSSI’s (“Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information,” the National Cybersecurity Agency of France) recommendations. Of note, SEALSQ has received strong support from the French SCS (Secured Communicating Solutions) Cluster for its QUASARS project. Click here to read announcement in-entirety on GlobeNewsWire.

Quantum-based tool searches quadrillions of materials to optimize catalysts

For the first time, a quantum-computing-inspired tool has been used for catalyst discovery — specifically for the investigation of a new catalyst for the production of hydrogen via electrolysis. Created jointly by scientists from Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo; www.fujitsu.com) and the University of Toronto (www.utoronto.ca), the Digital Annealer platform is designed to solve combinatorial optimization problems that require determining an optimized configuration from a large set of possible options. “In our project, we used it to identify catalysts with optimal properties for green-hydrogen production. It works by encoding the problem into a set of binary variables and using quantum-inspired algorithms to search for the optimal solution,” explains researcher Jehad Abed.
To evaluate potential catalyst candidates, the Digital Annealer can look at many properties, including catalytic activity selectivity and stability. “Our goal was to identify catalysts that are not immediately apparent using traditional methods, such as heuristic searches or other machine-learning approaches,” adds Abed. Using the “cluster expansion” technique, the team estimated that they used the Digital Annealer to analyze potential catalyst-material designs in the range of hundreds of quadrillions. This analysis led them to a potential catalyst-material family that is believed to be previously unexplored, comprising ruthenium, chromium, manganese, antimony and oxygen. The team synthesized samples of the discovered compounds and found that one of the candidates demonstrated a mass activity around eight times higher than other electrolysis catalysts, and also showed promising operation in acidic conditions.


Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990.  She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.


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