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Supply Chain Security Seen as Key Quantum Success Factor

Advancing quantum technologies also requires closer industry collaboration and greater access to government funding

Berenice Baker, Editor, Enter Quantum

May 23, 2024

2 Min Read
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A group of 40 quantum company founders and investors has concluded that quantum technologies need more diverse and secure quantum supply chains, more industry collaboration and greater access to government funding to advance.

The attendees, from companies based in the U.S., Europe and Asia,  took part in an event convened in San Fracisco by In-Q-Tel (IQT) and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a division of First Citizens Bank.

The discussions examined the opportunities presented by quantum technologies, as well as the role of applications like ultra-secure quantum communications to national security networks at a time when China is making significant quantum advances.

“We’re on the cusp of the greatest shift in computing since the advent of the PC,” said SVB managing director Gerald Brady.

“However, the technology lead in quantum that the U.S. has relative to China has halved over the last five years, given the level of state support for quantum research and startups in China. The degree of collaboration and openness to come together as a group of startups and investors is a great start, but we are in an intense technology race which requires capital.”

Quantum supply chains are at risk because startups often rely on sole suppliers for some key components and on suppliers from countries competing in technological advancements. The ecosystem needs to develop new and more reliable sources of key components, such as cryogenic refrigerators, that can be used by multiple companies.

Related:DOE Awards $7M for Innovative Quantum Projects

Participants also identified a need for greater collaboration in the quantum industry despite the challenge of interoperability between quantum systems is hard.

They noted that only a small proportion of U.S. Government funding makes its way to startups via official programs, whereas public funding to support quantum innovation is more readily available in Europe.

“Quantum technology holds immense promise for groundbreaking advancements in fields like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and materials science,” said IQT executive vice president of Investments George Hoyem.

“With China projected to allocate over four times the amount of money towards quantum than the U.S. is currently targeting, we must double down on supporting quantum companies as well as research and development in the next five years.”

Venture-backed quantum technology companies in attendance were AOSense, Atom Computing, Atomionics, IonQ, Maybell Quantum, memQ, Q-CTRL, QC Ware, QphoX, QunaSys, Qunnect, Rigetti Computing, SandboxAQ and Universal Quantum.

Related:US Invests $285M in Digital Twins for AI Chips to Boost Supply Chain

These companies develop quantum computing, quantum networking and communication and quantum sensing technologies and have raised a total of $1.4 billion in funding.

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About the Author(s)

Berenice Baker

Editor, Enter Quantum

Berenice is the editor of Enter Quantum, the companion website and exclusive content outlet for The Quantum Computing Summit. Enter Quantum informs quantum computing decision-makers and solutions creators with timely information, business applications and best practice to enable them to adopt the most effective quantum computing solution for their businesses. Berenice has a background in IT and 16 years’ experience as a technology journalist.

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