November 07, 2023

Who Is Investing In The $850 Billion Quantum Tech Market And Why


Unlike previous digital innovations, quantum technologies cannot be created by a founder quixotically working alone in a garage. Even with the right machines and years of well-funded research programs from large institutions, quantum technologies will face numerous challenges including the development of use cases that provide business value. Nevertheless, Olivier Tonneau, partner at VC firm Quantonation, said that some researchers expected quantum computing to create $850B in market value by 2040.

“Quantum is in its infancy but there has been tremendous progress in developing this technology,” said Tonneau. “Early-stage investors need to understand the science and know what’s possible to assess if the technology roadmap is reasonable and sound. The key question is how many resources the company will need in terms of people and investments to deliver on the roadmap.”

Tonneau was among the keynote speakers during a recent webinar organized by The European Quantum Industry Consortium (QuIC). The session unpacked some remarkable discoveries from innovation startups along with investor insights on quantum’s amazing potential.

Quantum use cases are growing

QuIC members consist of companies of all sizes, as well as research organizations and institutes from Europe. QuIC has established the International Council of Quantum Industry Association (ICQIA) with partners in Japan (QSTAR), US (QED-C) and Canada (QIC). The webinar brought people from all these groups together. After watching it, I talked with Laure Le Bars, research project director at SAP and president of QuIC, for her perspectives on market progress and potential opportunities to date.

“It’s exciting to be on the ground floor of innovation driven by the kind of community-building we’re fostering among QuIC members,” said Le Bars. “Although European-based, we are exchanging ideas with an international cohort of quantum innovators who are exploring use cases and delivering solutions that also could help solve some machine learning and generative AI challenges. This latest event is a great example of what’s possible when we work together.”

QuIC members introduce quantum-based products

The growing quantum market opportunity covers a lot of ground between sensing, computing hardware, software, and communications. Here’s a sampling of solutions and growth opportunities from three of the webinar panelists.

Quantum Sensing: At Exail Technologies, easy-to-use quantum sensing technology is behind a new breed of precision sensors developed to help customers monitor natural resources in severe environmental conditions.

Vincent Menoret, quantum sensing expert at Exail, said the company’s culture revolves around making long-lasting and reliable products designed for non-technical people in the field. Its customers are geophysicists with little knowledge of lasers and atomic physics. All they need to do is plug in a few cables and press start in the software and everything runs automatically. Having demonstrated its systems in the field throughout the world in volcanoes, Antarctica, and other harsh conditions, Exail’s next step is using sensors on ground infrastructure, ships, and mobile vehicles to monitor different environments.

Quantum Computing: Quandela has developed a photonic quantum computer that runs quantum machine learning, optimization, and simulation algorithms. The startup launched a 6-qubit machine in 2022 and has sold a quantum computer to a European cloud provider.

Arno Ricou, applications lead at Quandela, said that the company’s machines give customers a quantum advantage in cryptography for highly secure data encryption. Quandela also develops cutting-edge algorithms aimed to offer customers a practical competitive advantage in solving differential equations, classifying data points, and tackling graph problems using permanent computation.

Quandela opened a quantum computer manufacturing facility in France and has ambitious targets to increase qubit capabilities of its machines during the next few years.

Quantum software: Multiverse Computing offers a quantum-based software platform for different sectors such as finance, energy, manufacturing, cybersecurity, and chemistry. Alba Villarino, a quantum software engineer at Multiverse, discussed a successful pilot solution for a manufacturing company that improved production line efficiency in defect reduction compared to traditional methods. Multiverse is also working with a Spanish energy company in a quantum computing project targeting power grid optimization, specifically the optimal placement of batteries in the electrical network.

These innovators are just a few of the noteworthy product launches from the fast-growing quantum tech ecosystem that’s destined to turn this artisanal sector into a billion-dollar market engine of industry disruption.

Full article by Forbes here.