As investments pour in, World Economic Forum brings out first quantum computing guidelines

WEF said that the governance principles are grouped into nine themes and fall under a set of seven core values.

Quantum computing, though still not very mainstream, can find usage in a variety of fields – manufacturing and industrial design, logistics, and finance, among others. Seeing the rise and interest of companies and the huge investment happening in the space, it becomes important to bring out a set of guidelines that will effectively list the best-practice governance principles to guide future design and adoption. Just a few days back, the World Economic Forum has launched the first Quantum Computing guidelines

WEF added, “In adapting to the coming hybrid model of classical, multi-cloud, and soon quantum computing, the Forum’s framework establishes best-practice principles and core values. These guidelines set the foundation and give rise to a new information-processing paradigm while ensuring stakeholder equity, risk mitigation, and consumer benefit.”

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Need to build guidelines

WEF said that the need to bring in guidelines is threefold. They are:

  • Quantum computing is a new technology
  • Quantum computing will not be used in isolation but in combination with classical computing technology 
  • Quantum computing requires significant resource investment

WEF said that the governance principles are grouped into nine themes and fall under a set of seven core values.

  • Transformative capabilities: Use the capabilities of quantum computing for the good of humanity while managing the risks that come with it as well.
  • Access to hardware infrastructure: To look at the wide availability of access to quantum computing hardware.
  • Open innovation: Encouraging effective collaboration that will lead to faster development of the technology.
  • Creating awareness: To make sure that the general population and quantum computing stakeholders are aware and informed to have ongoing responsible dialogue and communication.
  • Workforce development and capability-building: To build a quantum-ready workforce.
  • Cybersecurity: To provide a method of transition to a quantum-secure digital world.
  • Privacy: Work on potential data-privacy violations through theft and processing by quantum computers.
  • Standardisation: Promote standards to accelerate the development of quantum technology.
  • Sustainability: Work on a sustainable future with and for quantum computing technology.

Money pouring in

Image: PitchBook

Due to the massive power that quantum computing holds in transforming industries, investors have taken notice and pumped in huge investments to companies that are bringing innovations to this transformative area. 

A PitchBook report of September 2021 said that investors had put in $1.02 billion into quantum computing companies till September of last year. It added that this was more than what has gone into the industry during the previous three years combined.

In September last year, PsiQuantum said that it had raised $450 million in Series D funding. With this, it plans to build the world’s first commercially viable quantum computer. The funding was led by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock and saw participation from Baillie Gifford and M12 and new investors, including Blackbird Ventures and Temasek. The company focuses on building a fault-tolerant quantum computer that is supported by a scalable and proven manufacturing process.

Xanadu, last year, had raised $100 million in Series B funding. It was led by Bessemer Venture Partners along with participation from Capricorn, Tiger Global, BDC Capital, and In-Q-Tel. 

Xanadu said that this round of funding puts it closer to achieving building a fault-tolerant quantum computing module. Christian Weedbrook, founder and CEO, said that the fault-tolerant module will be the building block to reaching one million qubits. It will lead to the opening up of a new global market.

Tel Aviv based Quantum Machines specialising in quantum processors, had raised $50 million in Series A funding. It was led by ed Dot Capital Partners and saw participation from Exor, Claridge Israel, Samsung NEXT, Valor Equity Partners, Atreides Management LP, TLV Partners, Battery Ventures, and 2i Ventures. It plans to use the money raised to grow its Quantum Orchestration Platform further and release new technologies this year.

Closer to home

India, too, is taking its progress in the area of quantum computing seriously. It is taking steps to ensure that it benefits from early adopter advantages of embracing this technology.

Just a month ago, research firm Innogress announced the plans to set up ‘Greater Karnavati Quantum Computing Technology Park’ (GKQCTP), a multiparty SPV in quantum computing technology park India at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
Last year, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had released a quantum computing simulation toolbox (the first ‘Quantum Computer Simulator (QSim) Toolkit’ in India). It saw IISc Bangalore, IIT Roorkee, and C-DAC collaborate to work on the issue of expanding the capabilities of quantum computing research in the country.

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Sreejani Bhattacharyya
I am a technology journalist at AIM. What gets me excited is deep-diving into new-age technologies and analysing how they impact us for the greater good. Reach me at sreejani.bhattacharyya@analyticsindiamag.com

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