From developing more powerful batteries to high-efficiency solar cells, finding new materials with specific predefined properties is critical. So far, our ability to develop new materials using simulation tools has been limited by the lack of sufficient computational power. The development of new materials requires the understanding of material properties at the atomic level, where the laws of physics are determined by quantum mechanics. Even supercomputing centers can solve at most tiny quantum problems. However, with the advent of quantum computers, our ability to develop completely new materials will change dramatically. HQS provides the software to facilitate the upcoming revolution in computer-aided materials design. HQS is a spin-off of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and offers software for quantum computers. We previously featured the startup as one of Europe’s 10 quantum computing startups to watch out for.
HQS Quantum Simulation predicts material properties using quantum computers to accelerate development cycles in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Quantum computers can perform impossible calculations even on the most powerful supercomputers.
Current quantum computers suffer from intrinsic errors that limit their performance. However HQS develops algorithms for quantum computers that can handle these errors, allowing its customers to benefit from the performance advantage of quantum computers earlier than their competitors. In addition, we offer custom simulation solutions for conventional computers with the integration of high-end simulation methods and the ability to use the coming quantum computers.
The four founders worked together for four years at KIT before daring to close the gap between science and industry. Originally supported by angel investors Friedrich Hoepfner and Manfred Ziegler, HQS has now completed 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 outstanding physics, chemistry and quantum information scientists in a work environment that combines creativity with a clear focus on product development,” said COO Iris Schwenk.
HQS is aiming for a significant expansion of the team in the coming quarters and invites top talents with expertise to apply.
“HQS’s broad expertise in quantum coherence, noisy quantum gates, and solid-state physics makes it ideal for transferring quantum chemical and advanced material simulations to mid-term available NISQ processors, and we look forward to seeing these simulations yield superior results and realise quantum advantage,” said Christian Reitberger from the btov Industrial Technologies team.
HQS has well established cooperations with BASF, Bosch and Merck. These cooperations combine the very successful chemical industry of more than a century in Germany with a highly innovative future field. Quantum computers can massively increase the speed of material development and are therefore a critical technology for the chemical industry.
“The proximity of HQS to strong innovative companies in the chemical industry has been of great benefit, allowing us to develop our products with a clear view of what our customers really need, and we are delighted that our development is now being driven by three investors who have the patience required for a complex field such as quantum computing,” said CEO Michael Marthaler.
“The HQS team brings together leading engineering and business capabilities, making it well positioned to make quantum computing accessible to its industrial customers,” said Benjamin Erhart, Partner at UVC Partners.
“The developments of the last few years in the quantum computing field open up unimagined possibilities in the most diverse industries,” said Yann Fiebig, senior investment manager of the HTGF. “With this strong investor consortium, HQS has found the right partners to develop quantum simulations entrepreneurially.”