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Quantum News Briefs: March 7, 2024: LuxQuanta wins the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator program, receiving €2.5M grant to continue innovation on Quantum Cryptography; Chevron Joins Oxford Quantum Circuit’s $100 Million Round; Terra Quantum Researchers Say New Algorithm Outperforms Existing AI Compressors in Accuracy and Reduction of Computational Demands of GPT-2; Open Quantum Institute Scientists launch hub to channel quantum power for good; Aqarios Joins NVIDIA Inception

IQT News — Quantum News Briefs
By Kenna Hughes-Castleberry posted 07 Mar 2024

Quantum News briefs: March 7, 2024

LuxQuanta wins the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator program, receiving €2.5M grant to continue innovation on Quantum Cryptography

Luxquanta - Graphic Design for Science and Technology

LuxQuanta, a leading European Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) manufacturer, has emerged victorious in the fiercely competitive European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator program, securing a significant €2.5 million grant and matching funding to assist in closing its current investment round. This achievement highlights LuxQuanta’s innovation in QKD technology. It marks it as one of the 42 winners selected from 1,083 proposals, standing out as the only Catalonian and one of five Spanish companies to win this year. The EIC Accelerator’s blended finance approach, combining grants with equity investments up to €15 million, aims to propel high-risk, high-impact startups from development to market readiness. This support is pivotal for LuxQuanta as it embarks on scaling operations, entering new markets, enhancing its R&D activities, optimizing its NOVA LQ® system, and integrating its QKD technology into a Photonic Integrated Chip for better scalability and cost efficiency.

Chevron Joins Oxford Quantum Circuit’s $100 Million Round


OQC, a pioneer in quantum computing-as-a-service (QCaaS), announced a significant boost to its Series B funding with an investment from Chevron Technology Ventures, highlighting a notable foray by an energy supermajor into quantum computing. This investment aligns with expectations for a rapid growth in quantum computing within the energy sector, forecasted at a CAGR of 37.9%, driven by a demand for enhanced optimization and simulation. Chevron’s move is part of its Core Energy Fund initiative, which invests in high-growth tech startups and technologies that could enhance its core operations and open new growth avenues. OQC, which recently unveiled OQC Toshiko, a 32-qubit upgradable platform heralded as the world’s first Enterprise Ready Quantum Computing Platform, is at the forefront of integrating quantum computing into commercial data centers, promising to revolutionize the energy sector with potential applications in catalyst development, transportation efficiency, and the discovery of new materials for reduced carbon footprints. This funding round, led by SBI Investment and other significant investors, represents the UK’s largest ever Series B in quantum computing, positioning OQC to advance its R&D and bring quantum computing closer to achieving quantum advantage for global businesses.

Terra Quantum Researchers Say New Algorithm Outperforms Existing AI Compressors in
Accuracy and Reduction of Computational Demands of GPT-2

Terra Quantum Welcomes Investcorp as New Investor | Business Wire

Terra Quantum has introduced TQCompressor, a groundbreaking algorithm designed to significantly reduce the size of large language models (LLMs) like GPT-2 while maintaining or enhancing performance, which is crucial for advancing generative AI technologies. The compression method showcases a remarkable 35% reduction in parameters for the GPT-2 small model, utilizing up to 97% less data without compromising on speech generation capabilities. This innovation addresses the critical issue of the vast computational and energy resources required for training and running LLMs and opens up new possibilities for using quantum-inspired techniques in making AI and natural language processing (NLP) applications more efficient and sustainable. The TQCompressor performs superior language tasks over existing compressed models, demonstrating its potential to revolutionize the field by enabling more expressive, efficient, and environmentally friendly AI models. Terra Quantum’s research underscores the possibility of integrating such models into broader applications, promising a significant impact across various industries without the extensive carbon footprint associated with traditional AI model training.

Open Quantum Institute Scientists launch hub to channel quantum power for good


The Open Quantum Institute, inaugurated in Geneva, aims to harness the vast potential of quantum computing for global benefit, inviting researchers worldwide to explore its most promising applications. Established under the auspices of the GESDA platform and housed within CERN for its three-year pilot, the institute seeks to ensure quantum computing advancements are open and accessible. With quantum computing poised to be significantly more powerful than current technologies, concerns about its governance and potential risks are paramount. The technology, which allows for processing information in qubits rather than traditional bits, could revolutionize various fields by solving complex problems beyond the reach of today’s computers. However, with commercial quantum computers a decade away and full development expected by 2050, there’s a critical window for ethical deliberation and ensuring it doesn’t become monopolized by tech giants. The institute also aims to align quantum computing applications with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, exploring solutions for climate change and antibiotic resistance. To expedite identifying impactful applications, GESDA has partnered with Google and XPrize to launch a $5 million competition for innovative research proposals.

Aqarios Joins NVIDIA Inception

Aqarios: Quantum Computing for Real-World Impact

Aqarios, a startup spun off from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, has recently announced its partnership with NVIDIA Inception, a program designed to foster startups at the forefront of technological innovation. This collaboration represents a significant step forward in Aqarios’s mission to harness quantum computing for real-world applications, marking a pivotal moment in the company’s growth. With its flagship platform, Aqarios Luna, the company aims to make quantum computing accessible across various sectors by offering solutions for complex optimization problems, ranging from logistics to financial modeling. This partnership with NVIDIA will expedite Aqarios’s development by integrating AI with quantum technologies, enhancing its ability to provide groundbreaking solutions. Furthermore, leveraging NVIDIA’s advanced AI and machine learning tools will refine Aqarios’s recommendation engine within LunaSolve, offering precise, tailored quantum computing solutions. This move underscores Aqarios’s commitment to democratizing quantum computing. It highlights the potential for quantum and AI technologies to revolutionize industry standards, backed by the substantial support and resources provided through NVIDIA Inception.

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 National Geographic, Scientific American, Discover Magazine, New Scientist, Ars Technica, and more.

Categories: cybersecurity, quantum computing, research

Tags: Aqarios, Chevron, EIC, LuxQuanta, NVIDIA, Open Quantum Institute, OQC, Terra Quantum

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David Shaw, Chief Analyst at Global Quantum Intelligence (GQI) is an IQT Nordics 2024 Speaker in Helsinki.