Our Key Takeaways from Commercialising Quantum Global 2023

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Commercialising Quantum Global

Economist Impact’s second annual Commercialising Quantum Global kicked off in London this morning, and the EM360 Team was there to speak to attendees and ask industry leaders about the current state of quantum and its future in the enterprise. 

From qubits to profits, the two-day event explores how organisations can get the most out of quantum, covering the promise, perils, applications and limitations of promising but still-emerging technology. 

This year serves as a pivotal moment for cyber-security and the emerging quantum technology ecosystem. Driven by the need to mitigate immediate and emerging threats, public and private entities are beginning the process of migration. 

But increasing inflation and the expected global recession in 2023 will force enterprises to make tough choices about where to invest. 

Commercialising Quantum Global empowers businesses to evaluate if and when they should invest in quantum technologies and distinguish hype from reality and ascertain how to start building their quantum muscle.

Featuring an impressive lineup of speakers from major commercial enterprises and quantum tech pioneers, the event kicked off with a talk from Tom Standage, Deputy editor at The Economist and Jack Hidary, CEO of SandboxAQ.

Other notable speakers today included Dr Jay Gambetta, IBM fellow and VP of IBM Quantum, DR Thomas Zubuchen, former head of science at NASA, and Sir Peter Knight, Emeritus professor at Imperial College London. 

Tomorrow’s virtual event begins with a talk from George Freeman MP, Minister of State, Department for Science, innovation and Technology for the UK Government about helping businesses to be ready to exploit the potential of quantum. 

Following this is a talk from Dr Cathy Foley, Chief scientist for the Government of Australia about how the transformative potential of critical technologies to meet the climate challenge is being realised down under. 

Quantum: 'Exciting' but 'still-emerging'

As official media partners of Commericialing Quantum Global, our editorial team spoke to industry pioneers, experts and key vendors at the event about the current state of quantum in 2023 and its future in the enterprise landscape. 

We spoke to over 100 business leaders, industry pioneers, and quantum scientists attending the event, asking them to summarise the current state of quantum in one word as part of a survey exploring quantum computing in 2023.

Chart one word to describe quantum

Of those surveyed, just under half described quantum as an "emerging" or "maturing", while a quarter described the technology as “exciting” and "upcoming". 

Other attendees agreed that the technology was promising, but believed the technology still stands far away from transforming the enterprise anytime soon. 

15 per cent of those surveyed said that quantum is  ‘evolving’ or ‘nascent’, and 8 per cent said that it is ‘early” or “unfinished” in its development. 

A handful of respondents also gave entirely negative responses. 8 per cent of those surveyed called quantum "over-hyped", while a further 6 per cent said the quantum market is already ‘saturated” due to too much excitement. 

The complexity of quantum 

Interestingly, just under a fifth of respondents called quantum “difficult” or “confusing”, pointing to the lack of education in the field leaving businesses struggling to understand how the technology can be exploited in its current state. 

The complexity of quantum was a major talking point at the event, with many vendors and industry experts highlighting it as one of the major challenges the quantum industry is facing in 2023. 

Ben Packman, Senior Vice President of Strategy at PQShield told us that vendors are failing to find customers due to not understanding the complexity of quantum and failing to “shake the tree”. 

“Because of the complexity of the topic, you probably need to help your customers break this down a bit. If you're a big network vendor you're going to need to do this to actually make some future revenue streams for yourself. Go at it on the proactive approach.”

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Commercialising Quantum Global 2023 will continue tomorrow May 18 virtually. 

For more information on how to be part of one of the UK’s largest quantum events of the year, head to https://events.economist.com/commercialising-quantum for the event details, agenda and tickets. 

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