“The quantum computer is our moon landing,” predicts Professor Andreas Waag from the Institute of Semiconductor Technology at TU Braunschweig. In order to transfer quantum technology into practice, two spin-offs have already emerged from the university’s research institute: QubeDot, founded in 2019, and CAVITY technologies, founded in 2021, which is a spin-off from TU Braunschweig, Leibniz University Hannover and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB). With Agile Optic GmbH, also spin-off from PTB, the Braunschweig region is the birthplace of three start-ups that are developing essential key components for quantum computers. At the “Quantum Edition” of the Startup Roundtable Braunschweig on 31 August 2023 in the Trafo Hub, the founding teams answered questions from an engaged audience and provided insights into the enormous future potential of quantum technology.
It is a long way to go before cutting-edge research in the field of photonics and quantum and nanometrology becomes a market-ready product. In the Hannover-Braunschweig region, however, various initiatives already support the path to application. These include the Cluster of Excellence QuantumFrontiers with the “QuantumFrontiers Entrepreneur Excellence Programme” (QuEEP), the Research Centre for Nanometrology LENA and the Quantum Valley Lower Saxony (QVLS). The “Quantum Edition” of the round table of the Innovationsgesellschaft Technische Universität Braunschweig mbH (iTUBS), which takes place every two months, showed that Lower Saxony does not have to hide when it comes to spin-offs. iTUBS Managing Director Eduard Klein and Johanna Hess (Trafo Hub) elicited interesting anecdotes from the university start-up process from the founders, whereby the format succeeded in illustrating the highly complex topic in an accessible way.
The founders Dr. Heiko Brünig and Jan Gülink are specialists in the field of nanotechnology. With their start-up QubeDot, a spin-off from TU Braunschweig, they are developing fundamental process technologies for the quantum systems of tomorrow. More specifically, the tech company founded in 2019 designs and manufactures micro-LEDs for optical applications, for example for microscopy or large-area micro-LED displays.
QubeDot’s goal is to be recognised as a leader in the application of micro-LED technology in Europe and to be the first company to make this technology available to a larger number of customers. QubeDot’s aim is not simply to market the technology, for example by producing the smallest micro-LEDs or those with the most pixels, but to test ready-to-use solutions for customers based on micro-LED technology.
From atomic clocks and quantum computers to quantum communication in space – CAVITY technologies is a deep-tech start-up that was spun off from TU Braunschweig, PTB and Leibniz University Hannover. Dr. Johannes Dickmann, Liam Shelling Neto and Steffen Sauer are contributing their theoretical and practical know-how in the field of optical cavities to the company, which was founded in 2021. CAVITY technologies develops software with which they can precisely plan optical cavities and thus respond to customers’ requirements in a time- and cost-efficient manner. The start-up owns a globally unique database of material parameters that forms the foundation of its software. The offer is aimed at the demand for increasingly precise measuring instruments in medicine, metrology, aerospace and nuclear physics, which has been growing for many years.
Agile Optic GmbH provides high-quality custom optomechanical systems for a wide range of research groups and companies. Founded by Dr. Stephan Hannig in 2019, the start-up is a spin-off from the QUEST Institute of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt and develops essential key components for the quantum computers of the future.