Former Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder have Max Planck researcher Immanuel Bloch (right) explain how a quantum computer works. Bloch sits on the scientific advisory board of the startup Planqc, which wants to sell new computers to industry
picture alliance / SVEN SIMON-Koch-Bayerische Staats | Joerg Koch/ Bavarian State Chancellery

Planqc has won a multi-million dollar tender from the German Aerospace Center. The Munich-based company is to build a neutral atom quantum computer within three and a half years. The order volume as part of the so-called DLR Quantum Computer Initiative is 29 million euros. Planqc will work for this at the research site in Ulm. Other teams there are already researching similar technologies such as photonic quantum computers or hybrid systems with analogue computers.

How did Planqc come about? Once upon a time there was a consultant who founded a start-up – this is how many stories in the scene begin. Alexander Glätzle was also a management consultant before founding his startup Planqc. But this is where the similarities end: he is actually a theoretical physicist. These are the researchers who want to convince us that we live in a black hole. Or there are parallel universes where you are the pope.

Glätzle’s theories sound less crazy, because it’s “only” about new types of quantum computers. You’ve been hearing about them for years, they should be on the market by now, right? Wrong: Although quantum computers have made enormous progress in recent years, only a few of the new computing machines have made it from the laboratory to the economy. Even Google and IBM keep struggling with the technology. And the computers are usually only faster for abstract problems. So what does Glätzle do differently with Planqc?

Nobel Prize candidate and sums in the millions


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