Kick-off project launch QCHALLenge

LMU Munich's QAR-Lab is leading the QCHALLenge quantum computing project funded by Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz - the companies AQARIOS, BASF SE, BMW AG, SAP SE and Siemens AG will be partners.

(Dec. 01, 2022/Munich, Germany) On December 1st, all project partners met for the first time to advance the common vision to achieve a quantum advantage in the field of production and logistics. With the project QCHALLenge optimization problems especially in these areas should be solved using existing quantum computing (QC) hardware. For this purpose, algorithms, concepts and tools are being developed that will enable the industry to use QC in a multi-sector and low-threshold implementation. The focus will be on the automated integration of QC into existing solutions, the development of generic quantum SDKs and the expansion of know-how in the application and development of QC solutions.

Project partners and their roles:

The project partners are represented by technology experts, software manufacturers and the user industry, in order to optimally combine their know-how from as many different perspectives as possible. In this context, LMU Munich as consortium leader takes the lead of QCHALLenge and contributes its many years of experience in the field of QC software through the Quantum Applications and Research Laboratory (QAR-Lab). Since 2016, the QAR-Lab has already been doing research in the field of quantum computing and working on numerous QC industry and funding projects. Among other things, this has resulted in the middleware UQO for the hardware agnostic use of QC. AQARIOS, founded in 2021 as a spin-off of LMU Munich, especially focuses as a software and technology partner  on the development and implementation of QC solutions. The companies BASF, BMW, SAP and Siemens represent the user perspective in the consortium. They are advancing QC in their business areas and have already been able to build up their know-how through numerous projects in the field of QC. Since QCHALLenge is specifically focused on the domains of production and logistics, this results, besides other topics, in use cases for the optimization of supply chains and warehouses as well as the application of QC in automation.

Goals of QCHALLenge:

QCHALLenge focuses on the integration of QC into existing software workflows. In particular, the project targets the optimization of methods in machine learning and simulation. In doing so, the consortium aims to achieve the following goals at the end of QCHALLenge:

  • the development of generic programming tools and environments,
  • the creation of user-friendly, engineering applications such as optimizations for specific use cases,
  • the development of software solutions for the integration of conventional computers and QC systems (hybrid quantum software),
  • the configuration of strategies and methods for the structured analysis of user-side problems regarding the target-oriented application and development of QC solutions.
Realization and outlook:

To bring QCHALLenge to success, the focus is on four main strategic cornerstones: In the first step, the goal is to identify suitable use cases and to work out a requirements analysis. The focus here is on which use cases are relevant in practice and also bring a possible quantum advantage. Particularly, the comparison to classical baselines will be considered and a prediction about the probability of a quantum advantage will be made. In the second step, general architectures are developed and finalized for integrating various software tools into existing software solutions. The focus here is on the interface definition for existing software solutions. In the third step, the first prototype software tools and hybrid use-case algorithms will be used. In the end, these prototypes can be further developed into a technically mature software tool. The software tools and algorithms are to be developed in such a way that they can be used operationally after the project period and made accessible to medium-sized companies primarily.

Quantum computing is the next technology that promises the potential for disruptive innovation. It offers breakthrough possibilities for solving problems that are unsolvable in practice on classical computers. It is hard to predict the opportunities that quantum computing, and quantum technology as a whole, will provide for humanity in the future. There are numerous fields of application in which it could be used. QCHALLenge starts an exciting project in the field of quantum computing, which all project partners are highly looking forward to. We can’t wait to see where this journey will take us.