Late last year, the world of quantum computing achieved a significant milestone. A quantum processor developed by Google was able to solve a complex mathematical calculation in just three minutes and 20 seconds. In comparison, the most advanced supercomputer to date would have taken more than 10,000 years to solve it.

This significant achievement did not go unnoticed by Joe Fitzsimons. In fact, the former quantum computing professor had anticipated major strides such as this to happen. That had inspired him to leave research to set up Horizon Quantum Computing two years ago. Google’s achievement, he says, marked a shift in the “centre of gravity” of quantum computing towards industry from academia.

“When I set up the company in 2018, I felt we were getting to a point where there were going to be some advances quite soon,” Fitzsimons told The Edge Singapore in a recent interview. “We knew this was coming well ahead of time. I mean, everyone in the field knew what would happen relatively soon. So, it seemed like the right time to move into a start-up if I was ever going to do it — to be ahead of that than after that.”

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