- Multiverse Computing, Moody’s Analytics and Oxford Quantum Circuits have won funding from Innovate UK to use quantum methods to develop large-scale flood prediction models.
- Multiverse Computing is the lead contractor and software provider for the project.
- The UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is overseeing the project and will be the first customer to use this new solution.
PRESS RELEASE — Multiverse Computing, a global leader in value-based quantum computing and machine learning solutions, along with Moody’s Analytics and Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC), have won funding from Innovate UK to use quantum methods to develop large-scale flood prediction models and remove limitations of traditional modeling methods.
The UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is overseeing the project and will be the first customer to use this new solution in computational fluid dynamics in an effort to help the country better adapt to extreme weather events linked to climate change.
The three companies won a place in Phase 1 of this competitive process from the UK government’s Quantum Catalyst Fund for their joint project, “Quantum-Assisted Flood Modeling: Pioneering Large-Scale Analysis for Enhanced Risk Assessment.” The project team will use quantum computing to address the computational challenges in large-scale flood modeling studies and to make flood risk assessment and management more accurate and efficient.
Multiverse Computing is the lead contractor and software provider for the project and will deliver the technical formulation of the problem and algorithm development. OQC will supply the quantum hardware and ancillary resources, while industry partner Moody’s Analytics, a global risk assessment firm, will contribute industry expertise, data requirements, and insights on computational efficiency.
This is the first time Multiverse proposes to apply quantum algorithms to assess potential flood damage. The improvements to accuracy and effectiveness gained by the quantum approach to computational fluid dynamics problems could contribute to climate change adaptation efforts, according to Enrique Lizaso Olmos, founder and CEO of Multiverse Computing.
“Understanding the changes in flood risk will help everyone prepare for extreme weather events, from government agencies working to mitigate those risks to homeowners trying to protect their homes and properties, as well as insurance agencies quantifying these new risks,” said Lizaso Olmos.
Flood modelling involves running 2D hydrodynamical models that numerically solve Shallow Water Equations (SWE), which describe the flow of water in various scenarios such as dam breaks, storm surges, or river flood waves. The computational cost of running simulations with sophisticated models over large areas and high-resolution is a limiting factor for current methods. Simplifying the models to account for the limitations of classical algorithms compromises the accuracy and effectiveness of the results.
“To counteract these limitations, parallel computing and GPU-based computing have been employed to expedite the simulation process, and the advent of new technologies, such as quantum computing, offers an exciting avenue for advancement,” said Sergio Gago, Moody’s Managing Director of Quantum and GenAI. “Specifically, there is promising potential in the application of quantum machine learning to develop surrogate models as alternatives to traditional physics-based models.”
Researchers at the University of Bristol recently estimated that flood damage in the UK will rise by 25% even in the best-case climate scenarios. Scientists estimated that floods currently cause £740 million ($923 million) in losses each year in the country. The flood risk modeling work funded by Innovate UK could identify which areas are at highest risk as well as new areas that might be threatened.
“We recognise the urgency of addressing escalating flood risks which is why this project is so important to us,” says Dr. Ilana Wisby, OQC CEO. “By harnessing the power of OQC’s quantum computing, we’re not only breaking free from the constraints of classical computing, together we are redefining the future of flood management and helping to create a safer, more resilient world for future generations.”
The project team will use a Quantum Physics-Informed Neural Network (QPINN) algorithm to improve these risk assessment methods. The algorithm combines classical data processing with quantum processing using a Variational Quantum Circuit (VQC). The data is encoded into the quantum gate parameters of the VQC, and as the algorithm progresses, these parameters are adjusted to improve the accuracy of target function predictions.
Phase 1 lasts three months and ends Nov. 30, 2023. The second phase of the project will last up to 15 months and starts in January 2024. Approval for Phase 2 is based on a successful completion of Phase 1.
This Small Business Research Initiative competition is funded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) and Innovate UK (IUK). The aim of this competition is to explore the benefit of using quantum technologies in various areas of interest for the UK Government, accelerating the adoption of quantum solutions by the public sector and for the public benefit. Thirty projects were awarded funding in Phase 1.
Part of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) government organization, Innovate UK supports business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and regions of the country to help develop and commercialize new products, processes and services that enhance business growth.