Quantum News Briefs July 6: Oxford Quantum Circuits Raises $46 million Series A, Four Recommendations to Ensure Quantum Scaleup in Europe, QunaSys Co-Hosts Pistoia Alliance to Spur Innovation in Life Sciences, and MORE

By Sandra Helsel posted 06 Jul 2022

Quantum News Briefs opens today with the announcement from Oxford Quantum Circuits that it has raised $46 M in the first close of an on-going Series A. This is followed by QunaSys’s co-hosting of the Pistoia Alliance Global Knowledge-Sharing event that will bring together scientific, business and government leaders from Japan and around the world to improve innovation in health and the life sciences.  Quantum News Briefs today also summarizes Sifted’s analysis of Europe’s competitive position in the global quantum technology race and shares the four recommendations made to keep Europe from falling behind.  AND MORE from Basel and Hamburg.

Oxford Quantum Circuits Raises $46 million Series A

Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC) has announced raising £38 million (US $46.45 million) in the first close of an on-going Series A. The investment is the UK’s largest ever Series A in quantum computing and will accelerate research and development and fuel expansion in Asia-Pacific. The round was co-led by Lansdowne Partners, one of Europe’s leading investment firms, and The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTEC), Japan’s largest deeptech VC fund. British Patient Capital and existing investors Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE) and Oxford Investment Consultants (OIC) also participated.
This Series A investment will be used to further scale the company’s quantum systems and its private quantum computing as-a-service offering. It will also consolidate OQC’s position in Europe and accelerate international expansion in Asia-Pacific, including the Japanese market – a hotspot for financial services eager to realize the advantages of quantum computing.
Ilana Wisby, CEO of OQC, said “This initial close is the UK’s largest ever Series A in quantum computing, demonstrating the confidence our investors have in our ability to lead the global quantum industry. It’s testament to the significant technological and commercial progress we have achieved in recent months, thanks to our world-class team. It is also the first step in our international expansion, bringing quantum to our customers’ fingertips – wherever they are in the world.”

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QunaSys Co-hosts Pistoia Alliance Global Knowledge-Sharing Event to  to Improve Innovation in Health and Life Sciences

QunaSys, a global leader in the development of innovative quantum algorithms in chemistry and a Pistoia Alliance member company, will co-host the Pistoia Alliance Global Knowledge-Sharing event held on July 7, which will bring together scientific, business and government leaders from Japan and around the world to improve innovation in health and the life sciences.
The Pistoia Alliance is a global, not-for-profit alliance that works to lower barriers to innovation in life science and healthcare R&D. The Alliance has organized these webinars to provide specific examples of where its pre-competitive collaboration model of shared-risk and shared-reward can bring value and support to improve life sciences and health through science and innovation.
Keynote sessions are:
**Government Perspective on Emerging Science & Technology in Japan Life Sciences – Kenkichi Sakoda, Planning Director for Integrated Strategy, Secretariat of S&T and Innovation Policy, Cabinet Office / Director, Office for Quantum Science and Technology
**Emerging Science & Technology in Japan Life Sciences, a Japan-based Pistoia Alliance member company perspective – Hisafumi Yamada, Executive Vice President, Research and Translational Research, Chugai
Register now for free here.

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Quantum Network Nodes with Warm Atoms

Physicists at the University of Basel have now developed a network node for quantum communication networks that can store single photons in a vapor cell and pass them on later. Communication networks need nodes at which information is processed or rerouted.
Researchers at the University of Basel in the group of Prof. Philipp Treutlein have now developed a quantum memory that is based on an atomic gas inside a glass cell. The atoms do not have to be specially cooled, which makes the memory easy to produce and versatile, even for satellite applications. Moreover, the researchers have realized a single photon source which allowed them to test the quality and storage time of the quantum memory. Their results were recently published in the scientific journal PRX Quantum.  Results summarized here in Science Daily.
The quantum memory developed by the Basel researchers can already be employed for interesting applications. For instance, it can synchronize randomly produced single photons, which can then be used in various quantum information applications.

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Sifted: Europe at Risk of Falling Behind in Quantum Computing Race

Quantum computing could create up to $850bn of value globally over the next 15-30 years — but Europe is in danger of falling behind the US and China according to this article from the always-excellent Sifted news out of Europe. Quantum Briefs summarizes below:
The past two years have seen a big step up in global investment in quantum. In 2021, equity investment into quantum computing startups increased 8x in comparison to 2019.  A wave of quantum startups will be heading to market in the next decade, making now the time to strike if European governments want to avoid becoming dependent on quantum innovation from the US and China.
The US is the clear frontrunner in the quantum race, according to a recent Boston Computing Group report. But the EU, China and the UK do still have the opportunity to play a leadership role. In Europe, public support for quantum is strong. Investment levels (when looked at on aggregate) are twice that of the US and can credibly rival China. In 2018, the EU launched the Quantum Flagship fund, a 10-year €1bn research commitment.
Four central recommendations to ensure quantum tech scaleup in Europe are made:
1 EU needs to get more involved in connecting the dots between national initiatives and coordinating efforts across the region.
2 Defence, military and intelligence players need to become much more centrally involved in quantum efforts.
3 Europe needs to connect supply and demand, and actively encourage private companies’ early adoption of quantum.
4 Europe needs to massively scale up the amount of private investment heading towards European quantum startups.

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Characterizing Materials for Next-Generation Quantum Computers with Nonlinear Optical Spectroscopy

Researchers at the Department of Physics and the Cluster of Excellence “CUI: Advanced Imaging of Matter” of Universität Hamburg and the University of California at Irvine have recently proposed a new way to characterize topological superconductors by means of multi-THz-pulse experiments.
Scientists around the world are working to build scalable quantum computers based on solid-state matter. One such class of materials are topological superconductors. They are purported to host a particular kind of collective quantum state, the non-abelian anyons in the form of Majorana fermions at their boundaries. By shuffling these quasiparticles around in networks of quantum wires, researchers can construct logical quantum gates, the building blocks of quantum computers.
This opens a pathway to unambiguously identifying predicted exotic states of matter and can aid in the design of novel materials for future devices that carry and process quantum information.

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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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