Posted on November 7, 2021, 11:28 AM
French specialists in quantum computing feel they are growing wings. A quick glance at the record fundraising that companies IonQ or Psyquantum have recorded on the other side of the Atlantic is enough to elevate their ambitions somewhat. “Processes like this push us to move forward faster on our side as well,” asserts Charles Beigbdeer, co-founder of Quantonation, an investment fund that specializes in quantum technologies.
The classic, training phenomenon that pushes competitors in a well-funded startup to acquire similar means could interest many of the 15 youngsters (including 11 Europeans) in the French fund’s portfolio. “For the next round of Pascal’s financing, for example, to be relevant, it must exceed 100 million euros,” explains Olivier Tunio, one of the fund’s partners. For a futuristic quantum computer based on cold atoms, Pascal barely managed to raise €25 million last June.
American takeover bids
“So far, we haven’t had a hard time financing ourselves, but now it will be played to stay in the race against the Americans,” warns Charles Beigbdeer, who remembers that Europe must be able to rely on local players for sure. Quantum computations with a strategic dimension. While France intends to invest 1.8 billion euros quantitatively by 2025 through public and private financing, the mobilization of public authorities is reassuring him. But in addition, the entrepreneur is already seeing American companies trying, unsuccessfully, to buy start-ups that Quantonation has staked.
Regardless, optimism reigns in the French quantitative ecosystem. “The topic of funding has been decided, it’s a good sign,” notes Philip Dulock, director of technology at Atos’ Big Data and Security entity. For the French IT group, the progress of several quantum startups seems to be good news.
Atos monitors the quantum horizon of 2023
I don’t know about quantum processor technology, Bezon – which eventually wants to provide quantum computers to its customers – sees the possibilities open. To assess the effectiveness of various technologies and guide clients in its consulting activity, Atos has developed a unique scoring system called Q-Score.
The next step will be to integrate the quantum processors of their customers’ choice into a hybrid system, combining traditional supercomputers and quantum computing. “For us, this is the future of quantum. We are the only ones working on it, and we expect to have it for our first customers by 2023,” explains Philippe Dulock.
Meanwhile, sales of a quantum computing simulator, called QLM, are taking off. It helps reduce breakage in company accounts that have been abused in other markets. In addition to several customers named Atos, the Galician Supercomputing Center purchased the first QLM to be installed in Spain. The Swiss laboratory at CERN, where the web was invented, was also equipped.
“Certified tv guru. Reader. Professional writer. Avid introvert. Extreme pop culture buff.”