Merck and HQS start a three-year cooperation to apply and commercialize software for quantum chemical applications on quantum computers. Merck has the option for a distribution license. HQS is developing quantum algorithms to predict molecular properties for chemical and pharmaceutical companies. The HQS software works on conventional computers and potentially on state-of-the-art quantum computers.
HQS was the winner of the Anniversary Research Grant in Digitalization and Computing, one of the research grants Merck initiated last year during its 350th anniversary year. The startup has special expertise in enabling quantum chemistry on near-term quantum computers, specifically on Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) devices.
Quantum computers, in essence, replace the functional unit of classical computers (bits) with new functional units (quantum bits, or qubits) which have massive parallel computing power. For specific problems, quantum computers reduce the total number of calculation steps exponentially. The past three years have seen a remarkable increase in public funding of quantum computing in all major countries around the world.
NISQ computers suffer from big quantum errors. One of the aims of the cooperation is to overcome this problem. The field of chemistry is expected to be the first to use quantum computers to perform scalable and accurate quantum chemical calculations. Other major fields that will benefit from quantum computers are predicted to be artificial intelligence, finance, and pharmaceutical research.
- Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
- HQS Quantum Simulations GmbH, c/o CyberForum Service GmbH, Karlsruhe, Germany,