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IBM in quantum leap with Finnish software company

Sabrina Maniscalco.jpg

IBM has formed an alliance with Helsinki quantum software company Algorithmiq, a US$4 million start-up.

Observers are hailing the new partnership as “the biggest quantum computing announcement since Google established quantum supremacy”.

The initial partnership is related to drug discovery, long said to be one of the main potential markets for quantum computing, but the significance of the deal could have ramifications across the telecoms and security industries.

Sabrina Maniscalco (pictured), CEO and co-founder of Algorithmiq, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be collaborating with a giant of the technology industry in our pursuit of this mission, placing ourselves at the forefront of innovation and the race to prove useful quantum advantage in the space.”

Maniscalco professor of quantum information, computing and logic at the University of Helsinki, has been working on quantum technology for over 20 years, focussing on noise in quantum devices, complex quantum systems and quantum simulations.

She serves on the scientific advisory boards of several international institutions, such as the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (Austria) and the Quantum Technology initiative at CERN.

Guillermo Garcia Perez, CSO and co-founder of Algorithmiq, said it will require fault-tolerant quantum computers to unleash “the full power of quantum simulations”, but he added: “Near-term devices like those developed by IBM, combined with our novel algorithms based on informationally complete data, are today already showing progress toward the demonstration of a quantum advantage for chemistry.”

IBM’s Ivano Tavernelli, global leader for advanced algorithms for quantum simulations, said Algorithmiq has already shown “promising results … in improving the performance of near-term quantum algorithms”, and said he believes “that the company’s work could be pivotal in carving a path towards demonstrating quantum advantage with near-term quantum algorithms”.