The Future
of Quantum Computing

From Science to Business

Quantum computing della scienza alle aziende


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With SONAR Trend Platform Reply is able to create an overview and mapping of relevant trending industries related to Quantum Computing, based on their occurrence within expert media articles, mass media, patents and scientific publications. 
Discover more about Reply's survey on current developments in the field of Quantum Computing!

What is Quantum Computing?

Quantum Computing is an evolving technology that will provide faster computational solutions to problems currently being handled only by supercomputers – or considered unsolvable with the present state of computer technology.
Quantum Mechanics
Quantum mechanics is the basis of Quantum Computing and refers to the scientific laws that affect the smallest dimension of nature: molecules, atoms and subatomic particles. At this level new physical phenomena arise (superposition, entanglement) and they can be used for computing – if carefully engineered into machines.
Quantum Computing
Today standard computers process information in bits, with each bit represented by a zero or one. Quantum computers, however, use quantum bits, or qubits, which can be zero, one or a mixture of zero and one (a so-called superposition). This can lead to extremely quick processing – meaning that calculations that are not possible using conventional computers are becoming a reality.
Types of Algorithms
Quantum computers can explore problems which are exponential in nature and are best suited to solving problems using three types of algorithms:
Optimization Algorithms
Finding the best solution with the least error from a multitude of possible solutions.
Sampling Algorithms
Finding values from data sets that allow generalizations about the distribution of the population.
Machine Learning Algorithms
Executing machine learning algorithms on a Quantum Computer leads to better algorithm processing and faster results.
Milestones towards Quantum Computing
High recent growth rates within patent filings show that Quantum Computing is in the midst of moving towards commercialisation and the fifth generation of Computing has started. But what have been the milestones in Computer Science that have paved the way for this new age of Computing?
Quantum Computing
Quantum Computers
First generation
(1940-1956) Vacuum tubes
Second generation
(1956-1964) Transistors
Third generation
(1964-1971) Integrated circuits
Fourth generation
(1971-Present) Microprocessors
Fifth generation
(present and beyond) Quantum computers
Physicist Paul Benioff suggests quantum mechanics could be used for computation (1980)
Nobel-Price-winning physicist Richard Feynman coins the term “quantum computer” (1981)
Physicist David Deutsch maps out how a quantum computer would operate (1985)
Mathematician Peter Shor, writes an algorithm that could break widely used forms of encryption with quantum computing (1994)
D-Wave, a Canadian startup, announces a quantum computing chip it says can solve Sudoku puzzles (2007)
Google teams up with NASA to fund a lab to try out D-Wave’s hardware (2013)
Google hires the professor behind some of the best quantum computer hardware yet to lead its new quantum hardware lab (2014)
IBM puts some of its prototype quantum processors on the internet for anyone to experiment with, saying programmers need to get ready to write quantum code (2016)
Startup Rigetti opens its own quantum computer fabrication facility to build prototype hardware and compete with Google and IBM (2017)
D-wave offers QCAas with an access to their SDK environment, shared live code and sample industry examples (2018)

Who are the current Trendsetters
according to Quantum Computing news?

Here is an overview and illustration of relevant trending industries related to Quantum Computing, based on their occurrence in trade media, mass media, patents and scientific publications.


Industries with an above average number of articles over the last 12 months, but declining or low growth compared to the previous 12 months.

Industries already engaging in the new ecosystem, often leading their own efforts for several years.


Industries with a low number of articles over the last 12 months, and declining or low growth compared to the previous 12 months.

Industries observing the space, carefully analyzing business potential or creating early networks.


Industries with an above average number of articles over the last 12 months, which is even higher than the previous 12 months.

Industries racing to be the superior player within the new ecosystem, launching offerings.


Industries with a low number of articles over the last 12 months, but with a high growth compared to the previous 12 months.

Industries already participating in networks within the new space, quickly growing their involvement.

Growth Volume

Timeframe: Jan 2017 – Dec 2018
For comprehensibility values for volume and growth are standardized and normalized (values from 0-100).

The arrow in the illustration above implies a typical trend development and a life cycle from a small and growing trend – which is discussed in relatively few scientific articles and publications – to a larger, established trend with stagnating growth, which has long been discussed in various media and has shifted from niche circles into the mainstream.

A Closer Look into the “Early Adopter” Industries

With Sonar it is possible for Reply to gain insight into how individual industries are currently dealing with the topic of Quantum Computing. Where do they see the possibilities for the use of quantum computers and how far are the real application scenarios already?




Quantum computing in the Computer Science industry has grown continuously since 2013. Morgan Stanley analysts predict that the high-end quantum computing market (currently estimated by IBM at $5-6 billion per year) will nearly double and reach $10 billion per year by 2025. The development of quantum computers has experienced a serious boost since the tech giants entered the race. IBM’s numerous announcements and launches have created quite a stir among media circles and has driven significant volume, among the announcements that generated the highest media interest have been in 2017: IBM makes its Quantum Computer API available to the public and IBM’s launch of a Quantum Computing Platform with many Fortune 500 clients and in 2019 the unveiling by IBM of the IBM Q System One, its first standalone 20-qubit quantum computer. High media interest also arose in 2018 when Microsoft launched a Quantum Computing Toolkit and Intel’s start of testing its tiny “Spin Qubit”, said to have huge impact on Quantum Computing.

D-Wave Systems, the only company producing and selling commercial quantum computers until January 2019 raised $204.7M in 14 funding rounds.



Xanadu, a company with a mission to create the world’s first practical quantum computer has raised a total of $9M.

Cambridge Quantum Computing develops tools for the commercialisation of quantum computers and has raised a total of $18.8M in funding.


Already existing

With its quantum-first cloud platform Rigetti brings together the best of classical and quantum computing on a single cloud platform that helps to build and run programs that harness the power of real quantum hardware with the ease of a virtual development environment. With this, Rigetti wants to address fundamental challenges in medicine, energy, business, and science.




As Quantum computing poses a threat to today's security mechanisms because it challenges the most common encryption methods, it is essential that governments and enterprises develop quantum secure solutions. In this race, China is at the forefront with initiatives such as the Micius satellite or the establishment of a national network infrastructure. Although not yet available at commercial level, advances in quantum computing also have the potential to improve security and encryption. The trending players in the field of Quantum Computing are led by ISARA, followed by ID Quantique, Quintessence Labs, Qubitekk and Post Quantum. They all have one thing in common: they are all leading start-up companies in the field of quantum security and encryption.

ISARA offers quantum-safe security to tackle threats that arise from quantum computers and has raised $13M in funding.



2ID Quantique
3Quintessence Labs

Already existing

In July 2015, Alibaba´s Cloud Unit and the Chinese Academy of Sciences founded the Alibaba Quantum Computing Laboratory, a research facility based in Shanghai. Alibaba wants to use quantum computers to develop increased security for e-commerce and its underlying data centers.




Quantum Computing is attracting increasing interest from financial services companies with applications ranging from portfolio optimisation, fraud detection, payment systems to high frequency trading. In recent years, there has been a steady increase in investment activity, with financial companies such as Goldman Sachs, RBS, Citigroup investing money in Quantum Computing technology or hiring their own talent to stay ahead of the competition. Some financial firms are already beginning to experiment with use cases that apply the technology in the Fintech field. In 2018, Goldman Sachs (one of D-Wave's major investors), along with Citigroup, invested as a second major investor in QC Ware, a software company that introduces quantum computers into the company. J.P. Morgan and Barclays received extensive media coverage when they joined the IBM quantum computer system.

1QBit receives $45M in Series B funding from Fujitsu, Accenture, Allianz, RBS, CME Ventures to drive Quantum Computing industry applications.



QC Ware raises $6.5M in a Series A financing – Lead investors: Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.

Already existing

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co is working with IBM to understand how the emerging technology will impact the company and its customers and explore possible use cases. They are experimenting with quantum computing’s potential for solving computationally-intensive problems such as those related to risk analysis and trading strategies.




Logistics and transportation trends showed the highest growth rates from the end of 2017 as many companies in this industry began to take advantage of the opportunities that Quantum Computing has to offer. The announcement that the major automotive companies Daimler and Honda are buying IBM quantum computers led to a large increase in interest in early 2018. This growth continued as many aerospace companies increased their investments and research into the role of Quantum Computing in their industry. In January 2019, however, there was the highest increase in interest to date: Volkswagen announced the use of Quantum Computing for traffic management.

A partnership between Ford and NASA looks into possibilities to apply Quantum Computing to autonomous vehicle research with $100,000 funding from Ford.



Airbus part of second funding round for quantum software company QC Ware to drive aircraft research. QC Ware raised $6.5M in total in this round.

Already existing

Volkswagen laid the foundation for simulating and optimising the chemical structure of high-performance electric vehicle batteries on a Quantum Computer. Such a quantum algorithm could simulate the chemical composition of a battery on the basis of different criteria and provide a design which could be used directly for production. This would significantly accelerate the battery development process, which has been time-consuming and resource-intensive to date.

Quantum Computing for Business

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    Quantum computers are able to reduce computing processes from years to hours or even minutes by parallel processing – which is exponentially scaled by the addition of qubits. Particularly in the areas of ML, AI and Big Data, this promises to address complex problems that could not be solved due to the computational limitations of classical computer architecture.


    • AI on a Quantum Computer has the potential to hold a real conversation with humans and actually understand what is being said in real-time.
    • Quantum computing could sequence and analyse a person’s genes much faster than the methods we use today. This would pave the way for personalised drug development.


    The power of quantum computers will dwarf current processing possibilities and lead us into a new era of knowledge and discovery. However, this power poses such a huge threat to cyber security that the protection of commercial transactions and other data transfers must be completely redesigned. Fortunately, quantum cyber security is already meeting this challenge with advances such as quantum key distribution, quantum secure algorithms, and true random numbers.


    • According to Gartner, within five years more than 20% of all companies will be investing in quantum computing products including quantum secure encryption, to ensure their safety from cyber attacks.


Quantum Computing applications by industry



Detecting statistical anomalies

Recognising images and patterns

Training neural networks

Verifying and validating software

Classifying unstructured data



Quantum secure communications

Optimising network operations

Fraud detection


Detecting market instabilities

Developing trading strategies

Optimising portfolios

Financial forecasting

Market simulation

Asset pricing


Intelligent traffic management

Autonomous vehicles

E-Charging Network Optimisation

Material Science: e.g. battery technology

R&D and Manufacturing



Mission planning and logistics

System validations and verification

Optimising battery technology


Advertising scheduling

Revenue maximisation

Campaign optimisation


Quantum secure communications

Optimising network operations



Network design

Energy exploitation

Climate modeling and weather predictions

Energy distribution

Seismic survey optimisation



Faster drug discovery

Optimising radiotherapy treatments

Personalised drugs

Improved Patient diagnostics

Quantum & Accelerated Computing

Reply is exploring the potential for quantum computers and quantum algorithms to identify solutions to previously insoluble problems.



SONAR is an innovative, Data-as-a-Service Tool for quantified foresight. It recognizes, compares and analyzes existing trends, and identifies new developments in real-time.