25 Oct 2021

Quantum is moving from research to scale up businesses

Corporate engagement and Corporate Venture Capital is bridging the gap to scale Quantum says Andrew Gaule CEO Aimava as part of techUK's Quantum Commercialisation Week. #QuantumFuture

We have seen over many years waves of new technology which are impacting business models and creating what we term Innovative New Value Chains. Examples include the dot com first wave of internet creating online retail, and efficient supply chains. We have also seen mobile devices creating new mobile services, Internet of Things (IoT) impacting health care, Artificial Intelligence (AI), New Electric Vehicles (NEV) and many more changing industries. There has been the rise of new ventures dominating the new value chains and these include Alibaba, Alphabet / Google, Amazon, Apple, NVIDIA, Tencent, Tesla and many more that are larger than the incumbents.

Corporate Investment and Commercialisation

Aimava have explored the hypothesis that Quantum has reached the point where it is now going through the phases of scaling with corporate investment and commercialisation.

Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) is corporates investing minority stakes in start up ventures. These can have the purpose of the exploring ‘frontier’ technologies and business models which are outside the scope of corporates’ traditional core business. In the first half of 2021 according to a CB Insights report, CVC investments reached a record $79 billion investment and 2,099 deals. A Silicon Valley Bank survey published in Aug 2021 showed 54% of average CVC check sizes were less than $5m and 74% of investment were in seed and early stage investments’.

An example is MSD (Merck) Global Health Innovation Fund and Prem Tumkosit who spoke at the Aimava Quantum Future Programme about the reasoning for investing in Zapata Computing. Quantum was one of the key areas which MSD GHI Fund wanted to explore from 2019. They invested to gain insights on Quantum applications and workflows plus it gave the opportunity to share with the venture understanding on how the new tech can impact the development and use of new health and pharmaceuticals. 

Quantum Ventures scaling

In 2020 we have seen more forward thinking strategic investors being involved as they can see it will be impacting their businesses. This has also built hype in 2020 / 21 and investment has risen from millions to tens of millions as understanding and strategies are progressing. We have seen this evolution in other technologies like Electric Vehicles where we first saw tentative investments and installing charging sockets at petrol stations to now large scale industry investment and change. There are other examples in tech and business model such as Internet of Things in applications such as industrial, health and consumer solutions.

Quantum has reached the stage of development of trials and investment in the potential solutions to major business and society challenges. Investment is growing from strategic corporate venture units. Quantum ventures need to understand and engage with corporates and their venture units.

Quantum Commercialisation Week

Click here to read more insights published during techUK's Quantum Commercialisation Week

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Laura Foster

Laura Foster

Programme Manager, Technology and Innovation, techUK

Laura is techUK’s Programme Manager for Technology and Innovation.

She supports the application and expansion of emerging technologies across business, including Geospatial Data, Quantum Computing, AR/VR/XR and Edge technologies.

Before joining techUK, Laura worked internationally in London, Singapore and across the United States as a conference researcher and producer covering enterprise adoption of emerging technologies. This included being part of the strategic team at London Tech Week.

Laura has a degree in History (BA Hons) from Durham University, focussing on regional social history. Outside of work she loves reading, travelling and supporting rugby team St. Helens, where she is from.

[email protected]

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Sue Daley

Sue Daley

Director, Technology and Innovation

Sue leads techUK's Technology and Innovation work.

This includes work programmes on cloud, data protection, data analytics, AI, digital ethics, Digital Identity and Internet of Things as well as emerging and transformative technologies and innovation policy. She has been recognised as one of the most influential people in UK tech by Computer Weekly's UKtech50 Longlist and in 2021 was inducted into the Computer Weekly Most Influential Women in UK Tech Hall of Fame. A key influencer in driving forward the data agenda in the UK Sue is co-chair of the UK government's National Data Strategy Forum. As well as being recognised in the UK's Big Data 100 and the Global Top 100 Data Visionaries for 2020 Sue has also been shortlisted for the Milton Keynes Women Leaders Awards and was a judge for the Loebner Prize in AI. In addition to being a regular industry speaker on issues including AI ethics, data protection and cyber security, Sue was recently a judge for the UK Tech 50 and is a regular judge of the annual UK Cloud Awards.

Prior to joining techUK in January 2015 Sue was responsible for Symantec's Government Relations in the UK and Ireland. She has spoken at events including the UK-China Internet Forum in Beijing, UN IGF and European RSA on issues ranging from data usage and privacy, cloud computing and online child safety. Before joining Symantec, Sue was senior policy advisor at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Sue has an BA degree on History and American Studies from Leeds University and a Masters Degree on International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Birmingham. Sue is a keen sportswoman and in 2016 achieved a lifelong ambition to swim the English Channel.

[email protected]
020 7331 2055

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Zoe Brockbank

Programme Coordinator, Policy, Tech and Innovation, techUK

Zoe is a Programme Assistant, supporting techUK's work across Policy, Technology and Innovation.

The team makes the tech case to government and policymakers in Westminster, Whitehall, Brussels and across the UK on the most pressing issues affecting this sector and supports the Technology and Innovation team in the application and expansion of emerging technologies across business, including Geospatial Data, Quantum Computing, AR/VR/XR and Edge technologies.

Before joining techUK, Zoe worked as a Business Development and Membership Coordinator at London First and prior to that Zoe worked in Partnerships at a number of Forex and CFD brokerage firms including Think Markets, ETX Capital and Central Markets.

Zoe has a degree (BA Hons) from the University of Westminster and in her spare time, Zoe enjoys travelling, painting, keeping fit and socialising with friends.

[email protected]
020 7331 2174

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