Aussie quantum leader sets up shop in Europe, UK

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

Sydney quantum company Q-CTRL has opened research and product development offices in Berlin and the UK to capitalise on global expertise, investment and the AUKUS security pact, as it develops “software-defined” quantum sensors and infrastructure.

Q-CTRL this week announced the expansion into the UK and Germany, with the Berlin office to be led by its head of Quantum Control Solutions, Dr Andre Carvalho, who completed his early quantum research in Germany.

The Berlin office will help the company tap into more skills, partners and customers, and also add Q-CTRL to an emerging community of European startups, including several quantum leaders in Berlin.

Germany this year announced a €1 billion DeepTech & Climate Fonds, a government co-investment fund for validated business models that have the potential to become global market leaders.

Professor Michael Biercuk

A new office in the UK — where Q-CTRL already has a commercial relationship with the UK’s innovation funding agency’s quantum centre — has been slated as a way of taking advantage of the local finance sector’s interest in quantum computing and AUKUS pact, which includes quantum among its technology focus.

The company is developing a new class of “software-defined” quantum sensors that enable navigation without GPS. Q-CTRL says this “aligns directly” against the AUKUS objectives of quantum technologies and undersea capabilities, which the three nations have agreed to partner on.

Q-CTRL was founded by University of Sydney Professor Michael Biercuk in 2017, pioneering the quantum infrastructure software segment. It touts a software product and training that helps solve the Achilles heel of quantum technologies, hardware stability and error.

It has since expanded into quantum sensing, and now claims more than 8,000 users and made bookings of $15 million last year.

In February, the company announced it was on the hunt for more staff after raising an additional A$38.5 million, taking its total funding raises to more than A$100 million.

Q-CTRL now employs around 90 people but is looking to grow to 120 this year with the new funding and offices.

“The team at Q-CTRL is proud of the long-standing commercial and research partnerships it has built with European Universities and Industry — from Chalmers and Liverpool to Alice&Bob, Pasqal and the UK Research and Innovation,” Professor Biercuk said.

“We’re now excited to be establishing a vibrant physical presence across key European markets as we work to make quantum technology useful through our unique solutions. It’s very exciting to be able to engage more directly with key customers and contribute meaningfully to the exceptional local research community.”

According to the company, the European offices will focus on research, strategic technology development, and technical product development. The company is now recruiting for researchers, engineers, strategy and talent community roles.

Professor Biercuk is bullish on the potential of quantum for Australia and has called on the federal government to back the sector with investment and procurement in the lead up to the release of a national quantum strategy this month.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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