SGInnovate to collaborate with CQT to catalyse the formation of quantum startups

Memorandum of Intent builds on SGInnovate’s investment into spin-offs from CQT
07 June 2019

SGInnovate's Steve Leonard and CQT's Artur Ekert signed up the organisations to collaborate to build quantum startups and strengthen quantum awareness. Image: SGInnovate

SGInnovate and the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) signed on 7 June a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) to promote quantum technologies and facilitate the commercialisation of quantum innovations in Singapore.

Through this two-year collaboration, the two organisations will encourage and help local researchers working on quantum technologies and innovations to commercialise their research in the field, translating quantum science into scalable industry solutions.

SGInnovate is a private-limited company wholly owned by the Singapore Government. It is focused on adding value to Singapore's deep-tech startup ecosystem by development of talent and through investment.

The collaboration builds upon the momentum of SGInnovate’s recent investment into three quantum startups with links to CQT. They are:

  • Atomionics: The latest quantum startup investment by SGInnovate, Atomionics builds atom-interferometry based sensing systems for navigation and exploration that will work reliably and accurately everywhere – including underwater, underground and other GPS-denied areas.
  • Horizon Quantum Computing: Singapore’s first quantum computing startup, the company is developing a new generation of software development tools to simplify and expedite the process of developing quantum-enhanced applications, without the need for prior experience in the area.
  • SpeQtral: Building space-based, quantum communication systems rooted in advanced technologies developed at CQT, which offers unprecedented security from eavesdropping and will enable the next generation of secure communication networks.

In addition, to promote quantum technologies and increase readiness in the field, SGInnovate and CQT will also host joint events, workshops and drive outreach activities, especially among potential industry partners and investors. The two parties target to reach over 2,000 individuals from the deep tech ecosystem in Singapore to raise awareness of quantum technologies.

“The mission of the SGInnovate team is to work with entrepreneurial scientists to build deep tech startups. One of the most complex and exciting areas for our work is the field of quantum technologies. Through our partnership with the Centre for Quantum Technologies, we are going straight to the source of remarkable quantum research conducted in Singapore. We want to help entrepreneurial scientists working with quantum technologies to build commercially successful startups,” said Steve Leonard, Founding CEO, SGInnovate.

“The best partnerships bring together teams with complementary expertise. At the Centre for Quantum Technologies, we push the frontiers of human knowledge and build cutting-edge technologies. SGInnovate, meanwhile, has established itself as a driver of deep tech business and know-how in Singapore. Together, we aim to catalyse the translation of our scientific advances into technologies that will benefit the economy and society,” said Professor Artur Ekert, Founding Director, CQT at NUS.

Under the MOI, CQT will introduce to SGInnovate, researchers and research project teams who are interested in exploring the formation of a startup to bring their potential product to market.

SGInnovate will serve as a commercial advisor to these aspiring entrepreneurial scientists, providing coaching and active support to these CQT teams to help them at all stages of forming, launching and scaling their startups. The support from SGInnovate also includes the raising of investment funds from the VC community. To drive further interest and knowledge-exchange in quantum technologies, CQT will provide expertise and technical advice to SGInnovate and its industry or government partners. SGInnovate and CQT will also share their respective industry and academic networks to create commercialisation opportunities for various quantum innovations. SGInnovate, with support from CQT, will host frequent quantum-focused workshops, thought-leadership and community events. This will help to build up a strong and entrepreneurial quantum ecosystem in Singapore.

Singapore media The Business Times and The Straits Times reported on the new MOI.

The signing event on 7 June was followed by a panel discussion about moving "Towards a Future Quantum Economy" with Artur joined by Lum Chune Yang, Co-Founder and CEO of SpeQtral and Runyao Duan, Director, Institute for Quantum Computing at Baidu Research, as speakers. The session was moderated by Steve and can be watched in full on SGInnovate's Youtube Channel.