Equal1, the silicon quantum computing company, today announced that it has secured €10 million in blended (grant and equity) funding through the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Programme.
Equal1 is among 99 innovative start-ups and SMEs, from 21 countries, that will receive a total of €627 million of funding through this Horizon Europe program to help them bring their technologies to the market.
Equal1, a University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out, is addressing a major challenge for the quantum computing industry, to scale the number of qubits so that a quantum computer can tackle useful, real-world problems.
Earlier this year the company announced that it was the first to demonstrate a fully integrated quantum processor unit (QPU) operating at 3.7 kelvin, a major milestone with implications for the trajectory of quantum computing. The QPU has been integrated into a quantum computer demonstrator (“Alice”) and has been operating continuously for 18 months at the company’s sites in Ireland and the U.S.
The company’s third generation QPU chip also has been recently produced. This QPU includes the latest patented silicon qubit array as well as hybrid qubit test structures and high-speed input/output communication links used to bring high-speed data into the quantum core.
With its QPU, Equal1 has developed a disruptive, scalable and cost-effective quantum computing technology, based on a commercially available silicon semiconductor process. This technology will enable the company to meet the enormous demand for affordable, functional quantum computers and the company is targeting a first-generation production system within 24 months.
Equal1 was founded by Dr Dirk Leipold, Mike Asker and Professor R. Bogdan Staszewski as a spin-out from the UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and its research and development teams are based in NovaUCD and in Silicon Valley, California.
“We are very appreciative of the support from EIC and our other investors,” says Dirk Leipold, Founder and CEO of Equal1. “This investment will enable the company to significantly expand our R&D team in Ireland over the next 12 to 18 months, by hiring engineers in areas of AI, silicon, software and quantum computing.”
Equal1’s quantum technology is particularly suited to Quantum Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. AI is transforming every aspect of our lives from self-driving vehicles to AI-designed drugs. However, the amount of energy required by these applications means that it is now a material and growing contributor to global carbon output and hence global warming. Equal1’s quantum computing technology will enable vastly better performance at a fraction of the energy.
Last October the company announced that it has closed a multi-million Euro funding round led by btov Industrial Technologies with Atlantic Bridge and other Equal1 investors, including 808 Ventures and Enterprise Ireland, bringing to over €10 million the funding secured by the company.
About the EIC Accelerator Programme
The EIC Accelerator Programme offers start-ups and SMEs grants of up to EUR 2.5 million combined with equity investments through the EIC Fund ranging from EUR 0.5 to EUR 15 million. In addition to financial support, all projects benefit from a range of Business Acceleration Services that provide access to leading expertise, corporates, investors and ecosystem actors.
Since its launch in March 2021, over 4,000 start-ups and SMEs have sent their ideas and over 1800 have submitted full applications to the cut-offs in June and October. The companies announced today were among the 1098 who submitted to the second cut-off on 6 October, while the 65 companies selected following the June cut-off were announced already in October.