French National Quantum Update: October 2022

Sponsored by the French National Quantum Initiative

Executive Summary

The French quantum ecosystem is built on the solid foundation of decades of research excellence. In this update, we celebrate the past of the nation’s quantum pioneers — such as the recent Nobel-prize winning work of Alain Aspect — while reporting on significant steps toward France’s quantum future. The nation’s businesses also reported large fund raises — including Aqemia’s €30 million raise — along with new research advances, including Quandela and C2N’s paper that suggests a major advancement in quantum entanglement systems.


EuroQCS-France Proposal Success in EuroHPC Program
France was one of the sites selected by the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) to host and operate the first EuroHPC quantum computer.  A EuroQCS-France proposal led by GENCI together with CEA, FZJ (Germany), ICHEC (Ireland) and University of Bucharest (Romania) will explore the path of photonic-based QC through multiple use cases (EDF, TotalEnergies, Thales, ONERA) or European (ESA, ECMWF, Airbus, BMW) and tailored support provided to end-users. The EuroCQS-France also had strong connections with three others granted proposals.


Aqemia Raises €30 Million in Series A Funding

Aqemia, a Paris, France-based pharmatech company, raised €30 million in Series A funding in a round led by Eurazeo and Bpifrance with the participation from Elaia. The company intends to use the funds to scale drug discovery and its proprietary therapeutic assets pipeline, with a first emphasis on oncology and immuno-oncology.


WAINVAM-E Among 8th EDF Pulse Awards Finalists

WAINVAM-E was listed among finalists of the EDF Pulse Start-up Awards, which includes 265 start-ups from 33 different countries tha have chosen to present their innovative solutions to achieve carbon neutrality faster. The company presented NV diamond-based magnetometry as a new corrosion detection method for Non-Destructive Testing as the innovative solution entered in the category, “Making the company easier and safer.” Well-being and safety is at the heart of our innovations.

Quandela and CEA partnership for the development of a sovereign quantum processor, with the first chips ready for early 2023

French start-up Quandela has signed a partnership with the Electronics and Information Technology Laboratory of the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA-Leti) to produce a 100% French high-performance photonic chip. As part of this partnership, CEA-Leti is making its expertise and manufacturing platform available to Quandela. The first chips will be available in early 2023.

 3 Quantum Startups Among The First Edition of France’ DeepNum20 Ranking

The Mission French Tech contributes to national support actions for DeepTech start-ups with several support programmes dedicated to start-ups that propose disruptive innovations, as part of the France 2030 strategy. After a competitive call for proposals where more than 400 applications were received a first list of 22 laureates startups has been announced by Jean-Noël Barrot Minister of Digital Transition and Clara Chappaz head of French Tech. Among these 22 startups 3 are coming from the quantum computing domain : Pasqal, Quandela and Alice&Bob.


Alain Aspect won Nobel Prize For Entanglement

One of France’s pioneering quantum scientists was recognized with the world’s most prestigious awards for physics. Alain Aspect was one of three quantum physicists who were awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize for Physics. Aspect — of the Institut d’Optique Graduate School – Université Paris-Saclay and École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France — joined John Clauser and Aton Zeilinger in the recognition. The three researchers work in quantum entanglement built the backbone of today’s emerging quantum industry, award committee members noted.

Quandela, C2N Announce Entanglement Advance

Quandela and C2N announced a major research advance. The research team was able to demonstrate that Quandela’s source technology can be used to generate clusters of several entangled qubits at uniquely high-rate rate. The initial experimental results indicate that the system is promising for future scalable applications, according to the companies.

Collaboration Explores Photonic Quantum Computing for Aerospace Industry
Quandela and ONERA join forces to study the applications of photonic quantum computing to the simulation of combustion for aerospace
The objective of this study is to reduce the computation time by exploiting the so-called Quantum Machine Learning technique. This is a new opportunity for Quandela to leverage its technology for concrete industrial applications.

Two-Qubit Entangling Gate Protocols Step Toward Fault-Tolerant Quantum Computing

University of Strasbourg researchers report that work on new two-qubit entangling gate protocols for atomic qubits can overcome two current experimental challenges – intensity inhomogeneity and dephasing due to atomic motion. This could lead to higher fidelity quantum gates, adding that the protocol is compatible with quantum erasure conversion for fault-tolerant quantum computing. Sven Jandura and Guido Pupillo at the University of Strasbourg, in collaboration with Jeff Thompson from Princeton University, led the work.


Quantum hackathon in Grenoble

Minalogic and its partners — Atos, CEA, HQI, Giant and QuantAlps — hosted a hackathon in Grenoble, organised by QuantX and hosted in Atos’ brand new Echirolles offices. The event teamed up students and tech enthusiasts with mentors and experts to solve targeted real-life problems submitted by industry players such as Thales, Schlumberger, CACIB, EDF and the French Ministry of Defence. These use cases covered a wide range of applications revolving around combinatorial optimization, chemistry and linear algebra. The objective of this hackathon was to provide a quantum formulation of these use cases and implement a solution using myQLM and the Atos Quantum Learning Machine. 

Minalogic Hosts Quantum Technology Overview

Minalogic organised the third edition of its annual event dedicated to quantum technologies. It gathered several local and national stakeholders to provide an update on different technological fields such as quantum computing, quantum sensors and cryptography. 

To stay updated on the newest quantum computing news, click here.


Matt Swayne

Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses.

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