PASQAL Announces €50,000 Hackathon for Quantum Sustainability Solutions

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Paris, July 24, 2023 – Quantum computing company PASQAL today announced a hackathon dedicated to generating ideas for quantum-based solutions that can accelerate the sustainable energy transition: The Blaise Pascal [re]Generative Quantum Challenge.This year is the 400th anniversary of the birth of French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal. To honor this occasion, the
Pre-registration opened July 20, 2023 leading up to the hackathon on October 5, 2023. Registration information can be found here. The competition will end on November 15, 2023 with an “online demo day”. This will be followed by a unifying awards event on November 28, 2023 during which speeches, conferences and round tables will also take place on the legacy of Pascal, tech entrepreneurs, AI, and quantum, all at the service of the common good.
Launched in partnership with Blaise Pascal Advisors, the hackathon will be held from October to November this year. With this challenge PASQAL wants to bring together the best students, researchers and trailblazers to take part in an innovation competition with €50,000 in prizes.
Registration is open now.
In the challenge participants can prove that scientific and technical innovation based on quantum technologies can provide large-scale energy solutions today. They will be asked to identify a use case related to environmental, social, human, or economic issues, and find a sustainable solution through quantum computing to solve it.
Use cases can range from health (e.g., anticipating epidemic spread and virus transmission scenarios or supporting drug discovery by improving protein scoring functions) to industry (e.g., designing a new aircraft/car chassis using the minimum amount of material needed for maximum strength and safety) to AI (e.g., training AI with low energy cost).
Beyond purely academic results and in line with the concrete industrial vision defended by PASQAL since its creation in 2019, the hackathon’s challenge is to prove that scientific and technical innovation based on quantum technologies can provide large-scale energy solutions today.
“At a time when there is consensus that we need to reassess the status quo to preserve the environment and succeed in our sustainable energy transition, technology companies must lead the charge,” said Georges-Olivier Reymond, CEO of PASQAL. “At PASQAL we have been able to move quantum technology from the laboratory to the company by developing concrete applications in industry, finance, transport, logistics and health. If quantum will allow us to do everything faster, it is also a tool at the service of the energy transition. This competition is above all a desire to transmit our know-how and our conviction that quantum computing can be applied to real use cases today.”
“If enthusiasts remember how much computer science owes to Blaise Pascal through the invention of Pascaline and probabilities, very few know that he was an incredible serial entrepreneur, much more passionate about the concrete impact of his innovations. A bet lived in integral coherence between the scientist and the philosopher, thus giving a deep meaning to his companies in the service of the challenges of his time. Nothing should prevent us from daring in its name the best with quantum breakthrough, by redoubling our requirements on the concrete demonstration of energy benefits and impact,” said Etienne de Rocquigny, Founder of Blaise Pascal Advisors.
Like the societal impacts of the digital revolution, quantum computing has the potential to open new perspectives by solving problems once considered intractable. PASQAL’s was founded in 2019 on a bold vision, based on a conviction: industrial and commercial pragmatism to enable the concrete applications of quantum computing.
This vision now allows PASQAL to develop a technology that has proven its upside in many sectors and provides real applications for enterprise. By placing innovative projects in this challenge, PASQAL wants to unlock the potential of quantum, by making a decisive contribution to the proof of quantum’s impact and sustainable energy.
This competition will bring together a jury that includes:
●     Florent Menegaux, Chairman of the Michelin Group
●     Frederic Magniez, Director of Research at CNRS
●     Etienne de Rocquigny, Founder Blaise Pascal Advisors
●     Etienne Klein, Research Director at the CEA
●     Kristel Michielsen, Fondatrice de EMBD
●     Georges-Olivier Reymond, CEO of PASQAL
The €50,000 in prizes will be allocated via the following categories:
●     First phase: 50 shortlisted projects – The first five will receive a prize of €1,000
●     Second phase: 20 pre-selected projects – top five: €1,000 per project
●     Third phase: 10 finalists – €1,000 per finalist
●     Final phase: 3 final winners – €15,000 for the first prize / €10,000 for the second prize / €5,000 for the third prize.