Imagine that a pharmaceutical company was able to cut the research time for innovative drugs by an order of magnitude. It could expand its development pipeline, hit fewer dead ends, and bring cures and treatments to market much faster, to the benefit of millions of people around the world.
Or imagine that a logistics company could dynamically manage the routes for its fleet of thousands of trucks. It could not only take a mind-numbing range of variables into account and adjust quickly as opportunities or constraints arose; it could also get fresher products to store shelves faster and prevent tons of carbon emissions every year.
Quantum computing has the potential to transform these and many more visions into reality — which is why technology companies, private investors, and governments are investing billions of dollars in supporting ecosystems of quantum startups.1 Much of the quantum research community is focused on showing quantum advantage, which means that a quantum computer can perform a calculation, no matter how arbitrary, that is impossible on a classical, or binary, computer. (See “A Quantum Glossary.”) Running a calculation thousands of times faster could create enormous economic value if the calculation itself is useful to some stakeholder in the market.
Check out the full Magazine Spring 2023 Issue by MIT Sloan here.