People and Companies applying Quantum Technology in industry.

Quantum Computing is a relatively new industry with much of what is known about the industry being theoretical. This hasn’t stopped the individuals and companies on this list from driving the application of quantum computing in their various industries in order to solve problems, as well as to drive innovation and industry growth.

Amira Abbas at IBM (Quantum Machine Learning)

Amira Abbas had always loved mathematics, but one YouTube video comparing stock market movement to particle movement in space and time via the core equation of quantum mechanics fascinated Abbas so much, that she spiraled into thinking about quantum physics all the time.

After quitting her role in the financial services industry, Amia went back to school for a master’s degree in Physics. Today, she works as a research advocate on IBM’s Quantum Machine Learning (QML) Team where she conducts research with the rest of the IBM QML team on applying the potential of quantum computing to boost the performance of machine learning systems. She not only works on her research, but she is an IBM Qiskit research advocate as well.

The quantum machine learning team at IBM is working to supercharge the value that machine learning algorithms create in other sectors like healthcare, finance, commerce, and more, through the application of quantum computing to machine learning. Abbas first joined the team as an intern in March 2020 before coming on as a full hire in November of the same year, whilst pursuing her Ph.D.

“I wonder whether one day quantum computing can offer the financial industry something completely different or new. What if there were an entirely new asset class, like cryptocurrency but quantum-computing linked? It sounds speculative now, but these kinds of questions are still interesting directions to pursue.”

AMIRA ABBAS

Abbas has published papers with some of her QML team members at IBM, including her research paper on the power of neural networks with colleagues David Sutter, and Stefan Wörner. Much like Abbas’ research focus, the article centered around the quantum advantage in machine learning.

Steve Flinter at Mastercard (Quantum Technology in Financial Services)

Steve Flinter is a Vice President of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at Mastercard. What Steve Flinter and his team of researchers at Mastercard R&D are doing can be described as taking a leap into the future of banking and financial services. Steve and his team are exploring ways that quantum computing could push payment systems into new frontiers.

Flinter’s team at Mastercard in a $13 million Ireland-based initiative are working with IBM, the Tyndall National Institute, University College Dublin, and others to speed up the research on quantum computing applications in financial services.

According to Flinter, one of the applications of quantum computing in payment services could be to enable card transactions to move more efficiently through a payment network which most transactions currently do not.

Although much of the work in this space is theoretical at the moment, the funds and the prospects of what this could achieve are very real to Flinter and his team. Their goal is to turn their research and the potential of a quantum computing-backed financial services industry into a commercially viable product that could transform the industry all through the application of quantum computing.

DunnHumby (Quantum Technology in Retail)

A customer data science company that is looking to demystify the world of quantum computing and bring its application into commerce and retail, Dunnhumby. The goal of the company is to apply quantum computing to data science and Dunnhumby is making investments in research and development to do just that.

In 2021, the data science giant announced its investment in creating a new Ph.D. program at Durham University focused on helping to identify the viable applications of quantum technology to provide solutions to data science problems.

The company published a whitepaper in July 2021 titled ‘demystifying quantum computing for commercial companies’ aimed at bringing the understanding of quantum computing to the world of commercial companies and not just academics.

Much of Dunnhumby’s investment in quantum research is targeted towards exploring Quantum-as-a-Service (QaaS) and helping these companies explore various applications of quantum computing to the work that they do.

Lead Data scientist at Dunnhumby, David Hoyle is a member of the team pushing Dunnhumby’s vision of bringing quantum computing into the retail space. He announced the partnership between Dunnhumby and Durham Quantum Light and Matter (QLM) section of the Physics Department of Durham University, calling it the company’s next step to bringing quantum computing to the retail space.

Volkswagen (Quantum Technology in Routing)

If there’s a company that’s already making moves in bringing quantum technology into industry on this list, it’s Volkswagen. In 2019, Volkswagen show the world how they were using quantum computing in their cars.

In 2019, Volkswagen launched a team focused on finding how quantum computing can specifically be applied to solving challenges in the automotive industry.

“Many challenges in the automotive industry can benefit from the inherent power quantum computing can generate.”

Florian Neukart, Director, Volkswagen Group Data:Lab in Munich.

The company teamed up with D-wave in 2019 to create and show the world the first-ever real-time traffic routing system that relied on quantum computing. What they had created made use of horses in Lisbon, Portugal to predict traffic volumes and route and route trips to minimize wait times for passengers and travel times for these buses call mom making traffic flow more efficiently and reducing the advent of traffic jams.

In this, Volkswagen showed the world just a little snippet of what is possible with quantum computing. The members of the Volkswagen team expressed the company’s interest in being different from all the academics doing theoretical research but instead, Volkswagen was interested in real products and results, and in taking quantum computing from the classroom to the factory.

“We are focused on output, on trying things, on bringing applications into use.”

David Von Dollen, Lead data scientist for Volkswagen Group of America.

One example of the scientists currently behind Volkswagen’s quantum push is Dr. Gabriele Compostella, currently the Lead scientist of Quantum Computing at Volkswagen in Germany.

Multiverse (Quantum Technology in Financial Services)

In January 2022, European quantum startup, Multiverse, launched its second product that would apply quantum computing and engineering to the financial services industry. For €100,000 a year, multiverse customers and clients can make use of ‘Fair Price’. This quantum computing-backed financial service product, according to Multiverse, delivers a higher accuracy in fair price calculations for financial institutions over what currently exists using classical computing methods. Fair Price is the second product in the company’s product offering package called Singularity.

Multiverse boasts products that run on several different Quantum hardware platforms. According to Multiverse, the rationale behind this it’s to match a set of problems to the best set of solutions using the best quantum platform tailored to provide these solutions.

Multiverse was founded by a group of four mathematicians and/or physicists; Roman Orus, who serves as the company’s chief security officer, Samuel Mugel, serving as the CTO of the company, Alfonso Rubio, the CMO of the company, and finally Enrique Lizaso Olmos, serving as the CEO.

Samuel Mugel, the company’s CTO is a notable name in the quantum computing industry, with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics and a Ph.D. in mathematics, Mugel is an expert in quantum computing and quantum machine learning. Under his belt are over fifteen publications, many of which are on quantum computing. These include Quantum Portfolio Value Forecasting, Hybrid Quantum Investment Optimization With Minimal Holding Period, Dynamic portfolio optimization with real datasets using quantum processors, and quantum-inspired tensor networks, among others.

Other members of the Multiverse team include the head of quantum engineering, Gianni Del Bimbo; quantum software developer, Cristina Sanz, Quantum Software Developer, Victor Onofre, among other talented individuals.

A trend seems to be forming in this article so far where the financial services industry seems to be taking a lead in the application of quantum computing to actual industry products and services.

Ford (Quantum Technology in Automotive Industry)

Automotive giant, Ford, has teamed up with the likes of Microsoft and NASA to bring real-life applicable quantum technology solutions to the manufacturing and automotive industries. Their collaboration with NASA which started in 2018, focused on creating solutions to the optimization problems faced by commercial fleet managers in energy consumption.

The collaboration between Ford and NASA was spearheaded by the then Vice President of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering and Chief Technology Officer of Ford, Dr. Ken Washington. Washington explained that regular computers faced certain limitations, that necessitates the creation of quantum solutions for quantum-sized problems.

“Beyond route planning, we believe quantum computing can make an impact in a number of other areas as the technology evolves, including materials development, manufacturing and battery chemistry optimization.”

Dr. Ken Washington, Chief Technology Officer, Ford (2018)

In 2019, Ford was looking to use Quantum Computing to tackle a different problem, that of mass navigation problems faced by navigation systems run on common computers. In partnership with Microsoft, Ford set out to solve the mass traffic jams that occur in Seattle, Washington, using a quantum solution. The problem presented was that a regular navigation system could not handle sending optimum routes to hundreds of users at once, but there was a solution to be found in Quantum Computing.

Boehringer Ingelheim (Quantum Technology in Drug Discovery)

Boehringer Ingelheim, a leading health solutions manufacturer is one of the latest companies to throw their hat in the quantum computing ring. Recognizing the potential of quantum computing to greatly increase the success of drug discovery, Boehringer Ingelheim teamed up with Google in late 2021 to research and implement trailblazing use cases for quantum computing in pharmaceutical research and development (R&D), especially in the field of molecular dynamics simulations.

“Quantum computing has the potential to significantly accelerate and enhance R&D processes in our industry. Quantum computing is still very much an emerging technology. However, we are convinced that this technology could help us to provide even more humans and animals with innovative and groundbreaking medicines in the future.”

Michael Schmelmer, Member of the Board of Managing Directors of Boehringer Ingelheim with responsibility for Finance and Group Functions.

Boehringer Ingelheim put together a multi-national, multi-disciplinary team consisting of several quantum computing researchers to work on bringing real-life medical solutions from quantum computing in the Boehringer Ingelheim Quantum Lab. Members of the team include quantum computing scientists Raffaele Santagati, Elica Kyoseva, Michael Streif, among others.

Elica Kyoseva, in a recent article by Boehringer Ingelheim celebrating women in STEM, explains that her role involves creating quantum algorithm applications for the drug discovery process, which help to explain molecule dynamics, improve prediction accuracy, and speed up drug design and development.

Lockheed Martin (Quantum Computing in Software Programming)

Lockheed Martin is another company moving full speed ahead with quantum technology applications, and like most others on this list, they understand that quantum computing should be applied to areas of difficulty, problems they call ‘intractable’ that regular computers cannot solve.

The company is aiming to use the power of quantum computing to improve the process of creating one of the most important things in the world – software. Lockheed Martin is working to develop solutions to the problem of bugs in code by using the possibility of quantum computing to look through lines of code in a short amount of time and identify these bugs. This is something programmers and software engineers have struggled with for a long time, and with what Lockheed Martin explained, quantum computing could solve this problem.

Kristen Pudenz is the corporate lead for quantum at Lockheed Martin. She has several publications under her name including several recent ones about quantum annealing. She is a Ph.D. scientist and researcher, leading Lockheed Martin’s voyage into quantum applications.

Conclusion

Quantum Computing and Technology even in its nascent stages is already showing signs of being the key to solving critical challenges across industries. Companies in a bid to improve what they do are picking up on the need for solutions that supersede what traditional computers can do, and while, quantum computers will not replace regular computers, they will be the key to finding specific problem-driven solutions to industry challenges.