Good morning, Archer recently attended The Quantum Computing Summit as part of London Tech Week. Representatives from the UK Government, the deep-tech industry, and academia provided insights to strategies being employed to capture the early-stage commercial potential of quantum computing – the scale of which is rapidly becoming difficult to contain.
The quantum computing economy is real and growing
IBM (NYSE: IBM) is a headline sponsor of London Tech Week, with Bob Sutor, VP IBM Quantum Ecosystem Development, IBM Research, emphasising the collaborative approach of IBM’s Q Network towards continued development of the quantum computing ecosystem.
Archer is a member of the global IBM Q Network, and as part of an agreement with IBM, plans to use Qiskit as the software stack for its 12CQ qubit processors. Archer aims to build the 12CQ chip for quantum computing operation at room-temperature and integration onboard modern electronic devices.
Sutor sent a clear message to sceptics of quantum computing, highlighting some extraordinary stats of the rapid user uptake of IBM’s quantum tech solutions: in 4 years IBM’s Qiskit quantum development platform has grown to 250,000+ registered users, and over 1 billion quantum hardware circuits are now being run on IBM’s quantum computers each day!
Other giants are also involved in the quantum economy, and Daniel Franke from Merck Ventures, the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of the pharmaceutical giant Merck (NYSE: MRK), updated delegates on their efforts to integrate with the emerging global quantum research ecosystem.
Merck’s approach saw the formation of numerous partnerships with start-ups, industry peers and academia with over 50 staff dedicated to a quantum computing taskforce focused on what they dubbed “performance materials” in the life sciences and pharmaceutical arena.
A positive quantum disruption to entire economies
UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Science, Research and Innovation Amanda Solloway, highlighted the UK’s National Quantum Technology Programme, which is set to attract more than £1 billion (A$1.8 billion) of public and private investment over its 10-year duration.
Much of this investment over the next 5 years is to boost the UK’s thriving technology ecosystem post-COVID19 and infrastructure that is ‘quantum best-in-class’ globally, to develop the UK’s first commercially available quantum computer, and new infrastructure including the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC).
Quantum hardware: the new ‘Smart Tech’
There was a bold consensus among panellists involving UK-based start-ups and a number of global players in the quantum computing space: a move to ‘hybrid computing’ over the next 5 years and ‘full quantum computing’ over the next 10 years.
The time horizons come with the caveat of the need to progress quantum computing technology, including potential solutions to practical quantum computing, e.g. overcoming commercial limitations posed by excessive cooling requirements of current quantum computers.
Progress in technology development a key market catalyst
A year ago, delegates (including Archer) at the Quantum.Tech conference in Boston USA, heard a myriad of venture capitalist concerns of a “quantum winter”, and the inconvenience of quantum technology’s deep tech time-to-market – all compounded with uncertainties in market size.
Now, at the Quantum Summit, corporate venture challenges appear to be shifting to a potential need to reframe a 1 to 2-year risk appetite towards a deep tech value-driven 5 to 10-year framework. This is to better capitalise on the global-scale of opportunity that quantum computing is now beginning to rapidly validate.
It is clear that quantum computing is not ‘just a faster computer’. Even though early-stage quantum computing applications are not yet general purpose, examples of disruptive enterprise-scale solutions are spanning globally relevant industries of life sciences, finance, and telecommunications.
We are excited in participating in the upcoming sessions of London Tech Week, and particularly as invited delegates of the Virtual Mission (Australian companies) which begins tonight, and I look forward to updating our shareholders on key outcomes at the conclusion of London Tech Week.
Dr Mohammad Choucair, FRACI FRSN GAICD
Chief Executive Officer
Archer Materials Limited (ASX:AXE)