Seven young quantum physicists from all over the globe presented their quantum technology business ideas to a panel of experienced entrepreneurs and investors at an event hosted by Nature, together with its partners Entrepreneur First and Innovate UK, on Friday 6 May.
We were very proud to have two teams from NQIT shortlisted in this "Dragon's Den" style event.
As governments and companies in Europe and elsewhere have committed to major investments in the commercialization of quantum technologies, it may be time for quantum-technology start-ups to transform global business. However, as shown in the presentations of the seven young physicists, the devil is in the detail.
Amir Feizpour and Kris Kaczmarek from the University of Oxford presented LinQ, a business idea based on technology to easily link quantum computers. Promoting a silicon-based qubit architecture with their start-up QuLeap, Guilherme Tosi and Vivient Schmitt from the University of New South Wales have the ambition to compete with tech giants like Google and IBM in building hardware for a universal quantum computer. Ying Lia Li from University College London presented a novel type of optomechanics-based accelerometer, which could find use in the defence industry for damage monitoring or in the space industry. As current digital signatures could become unsafe once we have quantum computers, Ryan Amiri from Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh promoted a business idea based on quantum-safe unconditionally secure signatures. Finally, Andrea Rocchetto from the University of Oxford presented a start-up idea that aims to develop quantum machine-learning algorithms.
As the comments from the critical panel members and the discussion of these business ideas showed, commercialization of quantum technologies is by no means straightforward and it will take bold and brilliant young entrepreneurs to rise up to this challenge.
The expert panel of advisors included the following members from the academic and business world:
- Professor Polina Bayvel (University College London, Head of Optical Networks Group)
- Professor Khaled Karrai (Co-founder and Scientific Director of attocube)
- Sir Peter Knight FRS (The Kavli Royal Society, Imperial College)
- Dr Richard Murray (Emerging Technologies and Industries, Innovate UK)
- Dr Hartmut Neven (Director of Engineering at Google, Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory)
- Dr Gregoire Ribordy (Founder and CEO of ID Quantique)
- Dr Frances Saunders CB FREng FRInstP (President of the Institute of Physics 2013–2015)
Story from NQIT website