From the development of more powerful batteries to highly efficient solar cells, finding new materials with specific predefined properties is of critical importance. So far our ability to design new materials using simulation tools has been limited by the lack of sufficient computational power. Designing new materials requires us to understand material properties on the atomic level where the laws of physics are governed by quantum mechanics. Even supercomputing centers can at most solve tiny quantum problems. However, with the rise of quantum computers, our capability to design completely new materials will change drastically. HQS provides the software to facilitate the coming revolution in computationally supported material design. HQS is a spin-off from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and provides software for quantum computers. It was founded in 2017 by Dr. Iris Schwenk, Dr. Sebastian Zanker, Dr. Jan Reiner and Dr. Michael Marthaler.
The four founders had worked together for four years at the KIT and then took the step to bridge the gap between academia and industrial applications. Initially backed by Angel investors Friedrich Hoepfner and Manfred Ziegler, HQS has now closed a seed round of €2.3 million with experienced deep-tech investors UVC Partners, HTGF, and btov.
“At HQS we drive innovation by bringing together a group of exceptional scientists from physics, chemistry, and quantum information in a working environment that combines creativity with a clear focus on product development”, says COO Iris Schwenk. HQS seeks to substantially expand its team in the coming quarters and invites top talents with domain expertise to apply.
„HQS’ broad expertise in quantum decoherence, noisy quantum gates, and solid-state physics makes them ideally suited to bring quantum chemical and advanced material simulations to medium-term available NISQ processors. We are looking forward to these simulations eventually yielding superior results demonstrating quantum advantage”, says Christian Reitberger from the btov Industrial Technologies team.
HQS has well established collaborations with BASF, Bosch and Merck. These collaborations connect the chemistry industry, which has been hugely successful in Germany for more than a century, to a highly innovative field of the future. Quantum computers can massively enhance the speed of material development and is therefore a critical technology for the chemical sector.
“The close proximity of HQS to strong innovative companies in the chemical industry has been hugely beneficial. It has allowed us to develop our products with a clear view of what our customers actually need. We are very happy that our development is now supported by three investors that have the patience which is necessary for a complex field like quantum computing”, says CEO Michael Marthaler.
“The team of HQS unites leading technical and entrepreneurial skills and thus is well-positioned to make quantum computing accessible for its industrial customers,” states Benjamin Erhart, Partner with UVC Partners.
Yann Fiebig, Senior Investment Manager with HTGF continues: “The developments of recent years in the field of quantum computing showed the way for undreamt-of opportunities in various industries. With this strong investor consortium, HQS has found the right partners to open up quantum simulations for business.“