On November 7th, Newlab and IBM co-hosted the NYC Quantum Summit 2019 which brought together over 200 attendees including leaders in the Quantum industry. This full-day event at Newlab explored the potential impact of future state quantum computing technologies. In addition to interactive demonstrations of quantum hardware and principles, the event featured speakers and startups at the forefront of quantum computing research, as well as speakers from some of the first industries to be impacted by quantum computing technology.

The day started with a roundtable breakfast, where representatives from government and industry participated in a series of facilitated exercises to roadmap ideas to drive New York’s quantum future. Concepts included novel approaches to create a quantum center of gravity in New York, including initiatives around talent retention, workforce development, and unique partnerships to secure National Quantum Initiative funding for New York institutions.

Following this closed-door session, the public event kicked off with a welcome address by Newlab CEO, Shaun Stewart, followed by a joint keynote from IBM’s Anthony Annunziata and Jerry Chow, on the history of quantum computing, the need for collaborative quantum research models, and how companies can leverage the power of IBM’s Q Network to start their own quantum journeys.

IBM’s quantum chandelier

Next, the audience heard from Dr. Moin Qureshi (Georgia Tech), Dr. Andrew Houck (Princeton) and Dr. Javad Shabani (NYU) about their experiences in the evolution of the approach to quantum studies. The panel discussed the shift from research to practical education that is needed to build a quantum-ready workforce and the diverse range of students taking quantum computing courses. They also discussed strategies to build comprehensive curricula aimed at the undergraduate and even high-school level.

The Education and Workforce Development Panel was followed by industry talks, detailing the current state of quantum computing and breakthrough applications in machine learning, financial, and pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

The next panel addressed the role of government and public-private partnerships in establishing New York as a global hub for quantum computing. The panel was moderated by Mark Ritter of IBM and featured Jim Misewich (Brookhaven National Lab), Matt Watson (Empire State Development), Maria Gotsch (Partnership Fund for New York City) and Steve Johns (Air Force Research Lab). Some conclusions included the need for New York to play a convening role in order to compete for National Quantum Initiative funding, the amazing facilities available in New York and how institutions like the Brookhaven National Lab and Air Force Research Lab are making those more accessible to collaborators.

The last panel of the day touched on ways the financial sector can leverage advancements in quantum computing. Panelists including Jeremy Glick (Goldman Sachs), Stephan Woerner (IBM) and Nikitas Stamatopoulos (JP Morgan Chase), spoke about the powerful impact they see quantum computing having on their industry in the next few decades, and the workforce development and research strategies that companies in the industry can leverage as they prepare for the impact that quantum will have in the future.

Participants conversing with researchers at SUNY Stonybrook’s quantum lab in Shared Studios’ portal

The Quantum and Finance panel was followed by compelling pitches from four cutting-edge quantum computing startups. QuantiFi discussed their hardware neutral platform to build quantum applications for the financial industry. SeeQC, a Newlab member, spoke about their next-generation quantum computing chip, and their unique ability to build hybrid quantum-classical systems. Cambridge Quantum Computing shared enterprise software development across a range of quantum systems and protocols, and Zapata illustrated their platform’s ability to adapt algorithms for a variety of hardware and compare results across quantum systems, allowing for benchmarking of algorithms and approaches to quantum solutions.

Musical performance by Spencer Topel

The day closed with a musical performance by Newlab member and founder of Physical Synthesis, Spencer Topel, which harnessed the noise of quantum computing processors to create complex sounds and layered fluctuations. Guests also had the opportunity to interact with a number of immersive exhibitions, including IBM’s quantum chandelier and a live connection via Newlab member company, Shared Studios, where participants could converse with researchers at SUNY Stonybrook’s quantum lab.