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France now has a quantum plan

Quantonation, the first innovation VC fund dedicated to quantum technologies, welcomes the publication today of MP Paula Forteza’s report.

Press release from Quantonation
January 9th 2020 | 3470 readers

Quantonation's team
Quantonation's team
Entrusted by the Prime Minister in April 2019, the mission on quantum technologies has ended with the publication of the report written by MP Paula Forteza, former Safran CEO Jean-Paul Herteman, and researcher Iordanis Kerenidis. The report entitled "Quantum: the technological shift that France will not miss" was presented in the presence of Florence Parly, Defense Minister, Bruno Le Maire, Economy and Finance Minister, Frédérique Vidal, Higher Education, Research and Innovation Minister, and Cédric O, Secretary of State for Digital Affairs. They will now define the concrete actions that will result for their ministries from the 37 proposals made in the report.

Quantonation was consulted and has actively contributed to the report, and welcomes this announcement, which places France among the world leaders in the quantum field. Quantum technologies take advantage of the non-intuitive properties of quantum physics to achieve unprecedented performance in the fields of computing and detection, as well as in telecommunications. Sectors set to benefit from this "quantum advantage" include cyber-security, drug development, finance and industry, among others. 

France has among some of the top researchers in the field, with many prestigious international awards recognizing this excellence. There is a real dynamism within the ecosystem of start-ups that are moving in this direction. Moreover, as Mr Cédric O, Secretary of State for Digital Technology, pointed out: "We have Quantonation, one of the leading funds in the sector". In this ecosystem, Quantonation supports and finances start-ups to move on to implementation once their technology has reached maturity.

Created in 2018, and actively supported by Audacia, the investment company headed by Charles Beigbeder, Quantonation has accomplished 8 seed investments in start-ups around the world (UK, Switzerland, Canada, USA), including 3 in France which have the potential to become world leaders :

- Pasqal is developing a quantum computer based on technology developed at the Institut d'Optique Graduate School (IOGS) in Palaiseau aimed at manipulating individual atoms in light arrays. The objective is for Pasqal's quantum processors to be marketed and hybridized as early as 2021 with the best supercomputers in France and Europe, in order to give them a performance gain for certain fundamental research tasks, with lower energy consumption than conventional alternatives.

- LightOn has developed an original method at the interface between the optics of scattering media, signal processing and statistical learning, to accelerate artificial intelligence algorithms on very large masses of data, with lower energy consumption. The platform is already available on the cloud for the first industrial customers.

- CryptoNext Security offers a B2B software solution that can now protect sensitive data from the threat posed by the quantum computer when it reaches industrial maturity. CryptoNext Security's offer is based on 15 years of know-how from INRIA and Sorbonne University.

Several projects are currently being examined in France, notably in the field of software for supercomputers and quantum computers, which should lead to additional investments in the coming months. Quantonation has positioned itself as a world leader in this segment and is currently in the fund-raising phase to consolidate it and also prepare with additional investments the growth of the most promising and mature companies. 

In addition, with BPI France, Quantonation has been involved in the emergence of an ecosystem through its contribution to the organization of the conferences "Quantum Computing for Business" (June 2019) and "Quantum Cybersecurity: Impact and Challenges" (coming on March 11, 2020). With "Le Lab Quantique", Quantonation has launched an original initiative to animate the ecosystem, with 2 hackathons and 4 workshops organized in 2019, with 42 School, Station F, CNRS and others. As the report rightly mentions, it is imperative to create a high-performance innovation environment in order to position ourselves at the global level.

Quantonation is led by Charles Beigbeder, Olivier Tonneau and Christophe Jurczak, with Jean-Gabriel Boinot-Tramoni, and is supported by a team of leading international scientific experts.

Charles Beigbeder: "I am delighted that the quantum plan brings together politicians, scientists and investors. France now has a quantum plan and by the end of March the interministerial roadmap will detail the sources of state, private and European funding.  Ultimately, this second quantum revolution will permeate all sectors of the economy."

Christophe Jurczak: "We are able to identify the best projects around the world thanks to partnerships with incubators such as the Creative Destruction Lab in Toronto. What is important for us is to have a global vision on the one hand, and on the other hand, portfolio companies working on different horizons, from the short (sensors, high-performance computers) to the medium term (quantum communications and computers).

Olivier Tonneau: "We are seeing a sharp increase in capital requirements in this segment, which is not covered by traditional VCs. France and Europe are fortunate to benefit from a very dynamic ecosystem that has nothing to envy the US in this area."

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