Danish CEO’s striking statement: We won't cure cancer, but we are developing tools that can make it possible

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The prospects are immense when it comes to quantum mechanics and quantum computers. According to Danish nuclear physicist Hans Henrik Knudsen, Denmark has all the prerequisites to become a world leader in this technology.

By Allan Priess Poulsen for the Danish news media Erhvervplus

COPENHAGEN: At the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, efforts are currently underway to create one of Europe's largest quantum computers. A stone's throw away, NATO has established its headquarters for quantum technology.

Similarly, the Novo Nordisk Foundation has set up its quantum center and supported the development of the quantum computer at the Niels Bohr Institute with 1.5 billion kroner. At the same time, the Danish government has developed a national strategy in this area, and Danish business life and several foundations are providing financial support for further knowledge development.

All in all, many factors point towards Denmark in the realm of quantum technology – a fact that the Danish company Kvantify has leveraged to position itself in the international lead in this field. A lot is happening right now which means we in Denmark have all the opportunities to become leaders in quantum technology.

This is partly due to the legacy of Niels Bohr, in the sense that Denmark is the country in the world that educates the most physicists per capita. And not least, we prioritize this area highly both politically, in research, and in the business world" says Hans Henrik Knudsen, nuclear physicist, CEO, and co-founder of Kvantify, aiming to be the leading software provider for quantum computers.

Potential to cure cancer

The potential of working with quantum technology and quantum computers is immense, the Danish nuclear physicist does not deny. Not necessarily just within a Danish context, but rather concerning all of humanity.

We are not going to cure cancer, but we are developing some tools that can make it possible for others to develop a cure for cancer. There is no doubt that the quantum computer will be an effective tool for developing new medicine.

"It's a process that normally takes many years but will take months in the future. We expect to reach this point already within this decade," says Hans Henrik Knudsen in a near-incredible announcement. The use of quantum computers is relevant to many of the major problems we face in the world today. For example, in terms of the green transition. When building batteries or solar cells, you cannot calculate in advance how they will work. You have to build the solar cell first, for example. There are some very talented people who spend a lot of time on this, but the problem is that it takes an enormously long time. With quantum technology, we can digitize and simulate the process, so it takes hours and minutes instead of months and years in a laboratory", he adds.

Ceases to make sense

But what exactly makes the quantum computer so infinitely full of potential? Hans Henrik Knudsen explains that quantum mechanics differs markedly from the more familiar physical rules, as concepts such as speed and placement of objects cease to make sense when studying atoms and molecules at the microscopic level.

It is to be understood that neither atoms nor molecules have definitive locations, but rather can be said to exist in several different places at once, which means that their locations must be determined by probability calculations.

This is an example of the need for quantum computers when we need to understand and solve complex issues in fields like chemistry, material development, advanced medical models, and climate research.

A fully functional quantum computer can thus perform complicated calculations and run algorithms in a short time, which even the most advanced supercomputer either cannot or would need several years to execute.

We have essentially had the mathematics around quantum mechanics in place for 100 years, but it is still an open philosophical question of how to interpret the mathematics. In fact, the area is so complicated that today we do not have good tools to calculate what actually happens in the processes at the quantum level. Our ordinary computers simply cannot handle the complexity. That's why there's a need for quantum computers," says Hans Henrik Knudsen.

About Kvantify
  • Established in 2022 by Hans Henrik Knudsen, Nikolaj Zinner, and Allan Grønlund, and today consists of more than 50 experts in quantum computing, supercomputing, cloud software, mathematics, chemistry, AI, and machine learning.
  • Employees include more than 50 people, 35 with a Ph.D. and 7 professors.
  • Participating in the development of Denmark's first fully functional quantum computer at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.
  • The quantum computer will aid in the development of new medicines and provide new insights into climate change, the green transition, and cybersecurity, among other areas.
  • CEO of Kvantify, Hans Henrik Knudsen, has among others advised NATO's top management, including Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, on the prospects within quantum technology.

For more information on our quantum-ready solutions, please do not hesitate to reach out at contact@kvantify.dk

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