Whether or not the smaller countries of the world get to show what they can offer the QC world will depend very much on groups such as one in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia
If you’re a technologist, futurist or just a boffin for all things futuristic, 2020 is an exciting year to be living in. Okay, the pandemic and racially motivated police attacks and subsequent protests have put a dampener on everything, but we can’t let spoil things, at least in the long term.
Augmented Reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Quantum Computing (QC) are some of the most exciting technological disciplines on the planet. Of the three, however, it is the last one that holds the promise of achieving something truly revolutionary (and allowing AR/AI to possibly reach their full potential). The emergence of QC as an industry has spawned a plethora of startups, academic research groups off the work done by the huge multinationals in the development of hardware and software in the space.
As expected, the main players in both the budding startup ecosystem and university research have come from the United States, China, Canada, Russia, the UK, the EU (Germany/France/the Scandinavian countries), the Gulf States, Japan, and Australia.
But that doesn’t mean other countries/regions of the globe have nothing to offer: India, Colombia, South Africa, Nigeria, Bulgaria, Uruguay, and Greece have startups and research groups active, too. Some of them just starting out; others a little further down the line in regards to development.
So it should come as no surprise that even in some obscure region of the world QC is being researched and studied.
Gate42 is an Armenian scientific research group of physicists, computer scientists and developers whose interest in the space covers quantum information theory, near-term applications of QC, quantum algorithms, quantum simulation and quantum ML.
The core team of the initiative are Hakob Avetisyan, Hayk Sargsyan, Arshak Hovhannisyan, and Misha Aghamalyan.
To date, the team has fifteen Github repositories, ranging from ‘GNet’, a quantum encrypted chat application to ‘Basic Arithmetic on Quantum Computer’, a repository to collect the group’s implementations of some basic arithmetic operations on Rigetti’s QVM.
All this has been made easier off a grant from the Unitary Fund, a non-profit organization founded by Will Zeng which is working to create a quantum technology ecosystem that benefits most people.
Gate42’s chief advisor physicist Hrant Gharibyan, a postdoctoral Fellow at Caltech.
With partnerships with YerevaNN Research Lab, based in the country’s capital Yerevan and SmartGateVC, a Silicon pre-seed venture capital fund backed by Tim Draper, Gate42 has the right people on its side to create the first QC initiative in the Caucasus.
And that’s what the industry needs, really. Small countries, with little or no budget for scientific research, doing something about the changing tide.
It’s good to see, and shape a pattern that will — time and money permitting — see groups and startups pop up in other unlikely places around the globe.