December 14, 2023
December 14, 2023

Research Project Successfully Completed: German Flagship Project PlanQK Sets New Course Towards Economic Utilization

Berlin, December 7, 2023 – Concluding a four-year research endeavor, the PlanQK research project, led by Anaqor AG together with University of Stuttgart and funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection as part of the AI Innovation Competition, presents its findings on December 7, 2023. Hosted at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, the consortium introduces the PlanQK platform and ecosystem connecting researchers, quantum developing organizations, and end-users, with a focus on making quantum computing accessible for organizations of all sizes.

Quantum computing is a game-changer for businesses, offering quicker and more insightful analysis for complex scenarios. However, the present hardware does not yet have the necessary capacity and accuracy to speak of a quantum advantage over classical computers. Nonetheless, researchers and businesses have started testing first use cases and proofs of concepts. Over the four-year research period, the PlanQK consortium explored over 30 use cases for quantum computing, such as fraud detection for credit card transactions or financial portfolio optimization via QUBOs.  

After the successful research period, it can be stated: The PlanQK research project has successfully modeled what the quantum value chain of tomorrow will look like. It has developed a platform that enables frictionless collaboration among researchers, quantum developing organizations, hardware providers, and end-users. Organizations of all sizes can consume quantum solutions and integrate quantum applications into their existing processes. Quantum developers can benefit from extensive platform services such as hosting, management, and billing of their quantum applications.  

With the support of more than 100 organizations and a consortium of 19 leading companies and research institutions, PlanQK has advanced to the pioneering European platform for quantum applications with international recognition. Anaqor, the consortium leader of PlanQK, expresses enthusiasm for PlanQK’s outcome. Co-founder and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Dr. Mathias Petri notes, “With the support of the BMWK funding, we've been able to address the technical and economic potentials of quantum computing in its early stages. Now, fully equipped with a proven platform and a dynamic ecosystem, we're ready to robustly initiate productization and professional marketing."  

Looking ahead to 2024, the software-based startup plans to further develop the expertise gained during the research phase and integrate additional quantum solutions into the platform. This endeavor is strengthened by a potent, globally-oriented ecosystem of major enterprises, associations, and startups, creating a dynamic and engaging environment. PlanQK users will not only benefit from cutting-edge technology on the PlanQK platform, but also engage with like-minded professionals in user group sessions and conferences that will be rolled out in early 2024.

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December 7, 2023
December 7, 2023

Quanten computing for all: T-Systems offers access to European PlanQK-Platform

T-Systems and Anaqor AG now offer an easy way to get started with quantum technology. Both companies are thus making the future technology of quantum computing easy to use for business customers. Anaqor AG operates the leading platform in Europe for quantum computing algorithms and applications: PlanQK. Customers can access ready-made algorithms on this platform and integrate them into their own projects. In addition, a large number of open-source models are freely available. T-Systems brings access to real quantum computers and consulting services to the partnership.

The PlanQK ecosystem consists of a large user and developer communityt hat unites start-ups, research organizations and industry. The platform offers companies an easy entry into quantum computing. All the building blocks of programming, consisting of algorithms and finished applications, can be obtained from the PlanQK community on an open-source basis or as commercial products. Through the partnership with Anaqor, T-Systems customers receive quantum applications and algorithms, consulting and computing power from a single source.

Both T-Systems Quantum Cloud and PlanQK customers can access the resources of the respective platform via the cloud. In addition, computing time can be booked in pay-as-you-go models or as a pre-booked bundle. T-Systems also provides support with training and consulting services. The offering ranges from one-day introductions to business case proofs-of-concept lasting several months.

An important step for Europe's technological sovereignty

The cooperation between T-Systems and Anaqor AG is an important step towards technological sovereignty in Europe in the future technology of quantum computing. Customers can use the offer to expand their quantum expertise,d evelop new business models and prepare for a future with quantum computers –all along a sovereign, European value chain.

Enabling entry into a crucial future technology

PlanQK's algorithm and implementation offering is the perfect complement to T-Systems' Quantum Cloud,” explains Adel Al-Saleh, Member of theBoard of Management of Deutsche Telekom and CEO of T-Systems. “We now offer access to ready-made quantum applications, coupled with consulting services from our experts and our targeted industry knowledge. We are thus making quantum computing accessible to all our customers and enabling European industry to adopt this crucial future technology.

David Niehaus, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Anaqor AG, says: “For us, the connection between PlanQK and the T-Systems Quantum Cloud is great news for all users and those with an interest in quantum computing. With T-Systems, we have gained a strong infrastructure partner for our vision of making quantum computing accessible to organizations of all sizes. In particular, the T-Systems approach of pay-as-you-go access to quantum hardware, coupled with the wealth of ideas and implementations provided by the PlanQK community, is a core element in realizing the potential of quantum computing.We are not only creating a direct connection between the users of our respective platforms, but also significantly strengthening the quantumecosystem to attract more users, together.

About quantum computing

Quantum computing draws on the fundamental laws of nature to carry out calculations using quantum bits — qubits. Unlike each bit on a classical computing system, which can represent either 1 or 0, qubits occupy a“superposition”, representing a probability distribution between 0 and 1. This allows for exploration of exponentially larger compute spaces, and gives quantum computers the potential to solve complex problems beyond the means of even the most powerful classical supercomputers.

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November 24, 2023
November 24, 2023

Festo strengthens PlanQK Community as a new associate partner

Festo, a globally leading innovator in automation technology, joins the PlanQK Community as a new associate partner. The partnership marks a significant step for the development and application of quantum technologies in the field of automation. Festo sees tremendous opportunities for the company in the areas of Quantum Machine Learning and optimization. Their goal is to further enhance the efficiency and precision of their automation solutions. This enables customers to maximize production performance, reduce production and energy costs, and minimize CO2 emissions.

"We are not only proud to be part of the PlanQK Community but also excited to contribute our long-standing expertise in automation technology. We believe that quantum technologies can fundamentally change the automation industry and look forward to collaborating with PlanQK on groundbreaking projects," says Daniel Spies, Machine Learning Engineer at Festo.

David Niehaus, Co-founder and COO of Anaqor, the consortium leader of PlanQK, adds: "Our mission is to make quantum computing accessible to everyone and eliminate barriers. Each new partner and use case brings us closer to this goal, and the partnership with Festo is another significant step in this direction."

PlanQK is the first open, community-based platform and ecosystem for quantum applications, connecting developers, industrial users, researchers, and providers of quantum hardware with a platform for the integration, deployment, advancement, and monetization of quantum services. With over 30 successfully tested use cases and more than 100 partners, PlanQK is a pioneer in the field of quantum platforms. PlanQK was initiated in 2019 and has been continuously developed in collaboration with leading universities and companies as part of a lighthouse project funded by the federal government.

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November 23, 2023
November 23, 2023

Quantum Connect is leading Austria’s machine learning community into the quantum age

A consortium of machine learning and quantum computing experts – Gradient Zero, Anaqor, QMware and PQML – is launching  Quantum Connect, Austria's first national quantum machine learning initiative.

The initiative aims to build an active community dedicated to the research and development of quantum machine learning applications for future use in various Austrian industries and public administration.

Developing machine learning applications that can benefit from quantum computing requires not only ML expertise, but also knowledge of the specific quantum hardware platforms and the combination of infrastructure, quantum mathematics, and machine learning. This combination of skills is difficult for individual companies to achieve, which underlines the need for interdisciplinary collaboration between all stakeholders to enable broader access to quantum machine learning. Quantum Connect brings together experts and industry partners to create a unified platform for knowledge and technology sharing.

The initiative was launched by Gradient Zero, a leading Austrian machine learning company, and funded by PQML. Through the partnership with QMware, the leading European quantum cloud company, and Anaqor, a pioneer in the European quantum ecosystem with its platform PlanQK, Quantum Connect was born.

PlanQK, a community-driven platform and ecosystem for quantum applications, with its established user base, will form the technological cornerstone of Quantum Connect and drive the exploration and development of quantum machine applications.

While Quantum Connect leverages PlanQK as a DevOps platform, QMware provides unmatched back-end efficiency by delivering its innovative hybrid quantum computing approach - a combination of classical high-performance and quantum computing resources - to run quantum applications on both simulated and native quantum hardware.

Quantum Connect offers machine learning developers direct and easy access to a fully functional quantum system. Quantum Connect is dedicated to advancing quantum machine learning and building an active community in the field.

"We are excited to launch Quantum Connect with our partners QMware and Anaqor to bring Quantum Machine Learning to Austria and beyond," says Jona Boeddinghaus, COO at Gradient Zero. "We can't wait to connect learners of all ages and experience levels and provide tutorials and infrastructure to those who want to dive into the world of Quantum and AI."

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November 21, 2023
November 21, 2023

Why Your Company Should Have QML on Its Radar

QML stands for Quantum Machine Learning and refers to the execution of machine learning tasks on innovative hardware - a quantum computer. But what does this mean in detail? What benefits can this bring to your company, and how can you take the first step into this exciting world?

Categorizing Quantum Computing (QC), Machine Learning (ML), and Quantum Machine Learning (QML)
The applications of machine learning are diverse and include identifying structures, recognizing patterns, and predicting values. This is fundamentally based on statistics and linear algebra. Interestingly, quantum computing also shares these mathematical foundations. The idea of quantum computing, processing quantum information, has been around for decades. Now, we are finally seeing the first practically usable quantum computers. Quantum Machine Learning (QML) is essentially the execution of machine learning on a quantum computer.

Seeking the Quantum Advantage
Similar to many other challenges, it is crucial to tackle the right problem with the right tool. A current focus of research is to determine which types of problems are difficult for classical computers to solve but can be more easily handled by quantum computers. This involves complexity classes, discussing how the effort to solve increases as the problem size grows. It is considered problematic if the effort to solve doubles for each minor increase in the task. It also involves the relationship between input, search space, and output. Current considerations suggest that problems with small input (e.g., a set of objects), a large search space (all possible combinations), and a small output (a subset of objects) are well-suited for quantum computing.

Finally, literature indicates that a particular advantage can be gained with quantum data, such as in machine learning with data based on (quantum) physical experiments. This may involve materials research or predicting radiation.

Examples of Practical Applications
The potential of quantum computing is carefully examined in almost every industry to determine how this emerging technology can be beneficial. The following two examples illustrate its versatility.

In the aerospace industry, the focus is on developing materials that are extremely lightweight and exceptionally resilient. Simulations at the atomic level are required for this, a task that is ideal for quantum computing. With the help of quantum computers, researchers can simulate quantum physical phenomena that were previously challenging to explore. This leads to the development of materials that not only reduce the weight of airplanes and spacecraft but also increase efficiency and safety in the industry.

In the energy sector, the focus is on the intelligent use of renewable energies, such as wind and solar power. The goal is to optimize the energy grid, a huge and highly complex system with conditions derived from physics. Thanks to quantum computing, precise predictions about energy generation and demand can be made, while machine learning analyzes large datasets to predict energy needs. The combination of QC and ML enables more efficient control of energy flow in the network, leading to a more reliable and sustainable use of renewable energies.

Taking the First Steps
The application of QML in the corporate context is undoubtedly a complex task. Both the fundamental principles of quantum physics and machine learning, as well as the specific application domain, are challenging. But somewhere, it has to start, preferably with simple examples and pre-built algorithms, to get a sense of how QML works and how it could be integrated into your company's structure. Various platforms are available for this, such as PlanQK. On these platforms, pre-built algorithms can be explored, explanations understood, and experiments conducted.

It's an exciting time! We are starting to understand the theoretical benefits that quantum computing can offer, and now it's time to explore the real-world applications. This requires work on various fronts, from hardware development to software and algorithms to integration into existing corporate systems. While the opportunities are undoubtedly present, we must not underestimate the journey ahead. Nevertheless, we should engage with this technology today, as we should be well-prepared when the benefits of quantum computing come into full effect.

Sebastian Feld is an assistant professor at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. He is part of the Quantum & Computer Engineering department, where he and his group are working on Quantum Machine Learning. The overall goal is to investigate how quantum technology might help creating near-term quantum applications, but also how machine learning techniques may assist with developing scalable quantum devices. Before, he was head of Quantum Applications and Research Laboratory (QAR-Lab) at LMU Munich. His main focus as a postdoctoral researcher was on optimization problems and the application of quantum-assisted artificial intelligence. He earned his doctorate from LMU Munich working on time series analysis. Feld is part of Anaqor’s scientitic advisory council.

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June 12, 2023
June 12, 2023

AXOVISION joins PlanQK as associated partner

AXOVISION partners with PlanQK to explore the potential of quantum computing applications and advance technological progress in the finance industry.

As PlanQK associated partner, AXOVISION brings its extensive knowledge of use cases in the financial industry and years of consulting experience to the PlanQK community. Being part of the first open European platform and ecosystem for quantum applications, AXOVISION leverages the technological possibilities offered by PlanQK to test and explore quantum-based solutions for clients in the finance industry. 

Thomas Kutschera, CEO at AXOVISION, expresses his excitement about the collaboration, “We are excited about the partnership with Anaqor and to be working with their brilliant team. With our combined expertise, we aim to revolutionize the way financial technology operates and provide customers with cutting-edge solutions.”

David Niehaus, Chief Operations Officer at Anaqor and PlanQK community manager, spoke about the importance of this collaboration stating that the finance industry can greatly benefit from adopting quantum computing applications, transforming areas like risk assessment, portfolio optimization, fraud detection, and algorithmic trading, “This partnership with AXOVISION enables us to lead the way in driving advancements within the finance industry using the strong technological foundation we have built with PlanQK over the last three years.”

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April 28, 2023
April 28, 2023

Quantum computing startup Quantagonia is associate partner of PlanQK

The quantum startup based in Bad Homburg is best known for its innovative solutions that work both on classical and quantum hardware. By partnering with Anaqor , Quantagonia makes their product, the HybridSolver, available within the PlanQK Community.

The HybridSolver is a mathematical optimization solver using a cutting edge classical and quantum approach to tackle complex optimization problems. It delivers a great performance on today’s computers and an on-ramp to incredible performance with quantum computers.

Anaqor Chief Technological Officer and PlanQK Platform Architect Michael Falkenthal says about the partnership: “Our collaboration with Quantagonia showcases how a vibrant, healthy quantum ecosystem made in Europe can look like. We are extremely proud to collaborate with successful players to make the latest quantum technology accessible for businesses of all sizes.”

CEO of Quantagonia Dirk Zechiel comments: “We are excited to join forces with Anaqor and combine the power of our innovative HybridSolver with the dynamic PlanQK platform and thriving community that they have built up as a lighthouse project in Germany. This partnership will open up new opportunities and provide an unparalleled problem-solving experience for our partners and users.”

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December 20, 2022
December 20, 2022

PlanQK Annual Meeting 2022 & Consortium Meeting

On December 7th and 8th, the PlanQK consortium met again in Berlin. In addition to an intensive exchange within the framework of the consortium meeting, the PlanQK annual meeting was held for the first time, to which representatives from politics, research and industry were invited to receive a presentation of the current development status of PlanQK and to discuss cooperation potentials.

As host, DB Systel once again provided optimal premises for the consortium meeting, so that the approximately 70 participants were able to participate well both on site and online. The first day was initially about marketing and communication. PlanQK Community Manager David Niehaus gave an overview of the activities in 2022 as well as the planning for 2023. 2022 highlights included the appearance at the Days of Digital Technologies, as well as the various PlanQK Industry Days. Numerous events are also already on track for 2023. For example, PlanQK will present itself at the World of Quantum and plans to be present again at the Hannover Messe. The discussion also generated ideas for new formats, such as participation in meetings of industry consortia to make PlanQK known beyond the circle of consortium partners and associated partners. In the future, PlanQK will also be regularly on the agenda for events at the Digital Technologies Forum in Berlin, which was created by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK). In addition, a permanently installed exhibit of the platform will illustrate the enormous potential of quantum applications for Germany, but also international companies and organizations, based on use cases.

In addition to marketing and communication, the focus was of course on the status of the development of the platform and use cases. Michael Falkenthal from the platform developer StoneOne/Anaqor reported on progress and initial experiences with the open beta version, which is already being tested by around 300 users. Above all, the knowledge platform is already at a good usable level and must now be continuously expanded with further associated partners or knowledge artifacts. An important point was the access to the hardware, here are still a few cliffs to take.

On the first day, the consortium meeting moved almost seamlessly to the annual meeting in the impressive premises of the Academy of Sciences in the heart of Berlin. The goal of the event was to present the current development status of PlanQK to guests from politics, industry, research institutions and other interested organizations and, above all, to discuss further concrete cooperations. At the beginning, Axel Voss, head of department at the BMWK, emphasized in his welcome speech the high importance of PlanQK from the point of view of the Federal Government for the development of Germany as a business location and signaled further support for this QC lighthouse project. The increasing anchoring of PlanQK in the European context is also gratifying. The PlanQK platform was included in the Strategic Industry Roadmap SIR of the European Quantum Industry Consortium QuIC in 2022. From the practical side, Marie Salm from the University of Stuttgart told the guests how PlanQK can be used to provide research prototypes such as the NISQ analyzer and what benefits arise from this for developers and users. Manfred Rieck from DB Systel, Daniel Herr from d-fine and Daniel Jaroszewski from Frankfurt Consulting Engineers reported on the status of their respective use cases, representing the more than 30 use cases worked on by all consortium partners.

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October 20, 2022
October 20, 2022

PlanQK now stands for Platform and Ecosystem for Quantum Applications

Since 2020, the PlanQK research project has been setting standards in establishing a community around the industrial use of quantum software in Germany and beyond. More than 30 use cases from the fields of quantum-based machine learning, simulation and optimization are the basis for its success - this claim is now also reinforced by the updated name: Platform and Ecosystem for Quantum Applications.

Over 100 partners, including 19 consortium partners, are already part of the PlanQK community. The beginnings of this community were laid in 2019 through funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as part of the AI Innovation Competition, of which PlanQK is a lighthouse project. Use cases for the application of quantum computers to quantum machine learning were identified and explored, but also in the areas of quantum simulation and quantum-based optimization. During the consortium's research work, the demand for supporting all types of quantum applications became increasingly clearer and was ultimately satisfied with a knowledge platform for researchers and developers as well as a service platform for distribution, operation, and utilization of quantum applications. Due to the increased funding of the federal government for quantum software and technologies, this ambition was then also formally supported from 2021 onwards with further funding from the Corona aid package for the PlanQK consortium - both on the level of the use cases and on the level of the underlying PlanQK platform. With the name change now decided and published, PlanQK stands for an open collaboration with further research projects and industrial partners to enable the use of quantum applications for organizations of all sizes - also beyond Germany.

David Niehaus, PlanQK Community Manager, says: "PlanQK has become a fixture in the German and European vernacular for the use of quantum software. We are grateful for the support of our ambitious goals by the funding of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection, as well as all partners from the PlanQK community. With the new name, we carry our claim of broad-based collaboration, already practiced for over a year, even better into the broader community of research projects, startups, SMEs, large companies and industry associations around the development and use of quantum software."

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August 30, 2022
August 30, 2022

PlanQK demonstration at the Digital Technologies Days 2022

At this year's Digital Technology Days, the PlanQK research project presented how users, developers, researchers and hardware providers can use and distribute quantum computing resources in the future.

After a long hiatus, many research projects of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK) came together again in Berlin as part of the digital technology days that take place every two years. At the instigation of the accompanying research, the opportunity was taken to bring together all the assembled funding projects of the new funding call "Quantum Computing: Applications for the Economy" at the PlanQK stand for a personal meeting. PlanQK will provide its platform for many of these projects to enable the dissemination and exploitation of knowledge artefacts and quantum implementations. For this purpose, the consortium leader StoneOne, with its newly founded brand Anaqor, will ensure the continued operation and development of the platform beyond the originally planned duration at the end of 2023.

In addition to the many exciting discussions with research projects and other visitors, the PlanQK projects were given further opportunities to present the results they had developed: In addition to the visit of a delegation of the BMWK at the stand to discuss questions in person, the Digital Technology Days were enhanced this year by a joint presentation of PlanQK Scientific Director Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Frank Leymann from the University of Stuttgart and PlanQK Community Manager David Niehaus from Anaqor. After a basic introduction to the potentials, current possibilities and challenges of quantum computing by Prof. Leymann, the PlanQK platform was demonstrated by Mr Niehaus using a concrete example from logistics. This demonstration, which included the complete value chain from developers to use by companies to the actual execution of code at the quantum computing manufacturer D-Wave in Canada, marked the start of an intensive discussion with the audience.

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Deloitte is a new associated partner of PlanQK

The auditing and consulting firm Deloitte has recently become an associated partner of PlanQK with its specialized offering Quantum.Link.

Dr. Barbara Wellmann, Lead Quantum.Link, says: "We are very pleased about the partnership with PlanQK. The interdisciplinary know-how of the experts allows us to jointly drive the development of Quantum applications." This enthusiasm is shared by the wider PlanQK Communtiy. David Niehaus, PlanQK Community Manager, comments on the addition of Deloitte as follows: "With Deloitte, PlanQK gains another great associated partner. The Quantum.Link team's understanding of the future use of quantum computing is an important multiplier for the entire PlanQK community."

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