SEEQC announced a partnership with chemical giant BASF that will see the company join the SEEQC-led QuPharma project, which also involves pharmaceutical giant Merck, as well as Riverlane, Oxford Instruments, and others.
Under the partnership, SEEQC and BASF also will work on chemical-focused quantum research, including specific research around the potential of quantum in dissolved catalysts, otherwise known as homogeneous catalysis.
SEEQC said in a statement that it “will use its proprietary digital chip-based quantum computer to scale support of commercial simulations in industrial catalysts. The industrial catalysts targeted in this project are particularly challenging to simulate with today’s computers, yet they form the basis of one of the largest homogeneously catalyzed reactions in the industry, producing nearly 10 million metric tons of oxo chemicals each year.”
“SEEQC is addressing the bottlenecks of scaling by integrating critical system functionality on a unique system-on-a-chip quantum computing platform,” said Horst Weiss, vice president, Next Generation Computing at BASF. “By partnering with SEEQC, we can investigate how to map our specific use-case to its unique technology, achieving an earlier advantage in the NISQ era and exploring how it can scale with fault-tolerant quantum computing.”
BASF was an early investor in the quantum computing space through a 2019 investment its venture arm made in Zapata Computing, but really began to ramp up its explorations of quantum last year, working with Pasqal on a weather modeling project, and with Multiverse Computing on a foreign exchange trading project.
Along with Merck (a SEEQC investor) the involvement of another industry heavyweight in QuPharma should give that group’s efforts a boost. As IQT has reported, there is interest from the pharmaceutical industry in quantum, but use cases are still in a developmental phase.
“We are excited to have BASF join the project,” said Global Head of Group Digital Innovation, Philipp Harbach, at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “This complements our work with SEEQC and the QuPharma partners and will ultimately push the chemical and pharmaceutical industry towards realizing a quantum advantage earlier.”
Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.