ASX:AXE - Archer Materials Ltd joins IBM Q Network

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 10:56:02 AM GMT+10:00

ASX:AXE - Archer Materials Ltd joins IBM Q Ne...0:008:36
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Dr Mohammad Choucair, CEO, Archer Materials Ltd


Archer Materials Ltd is a materials technology company developing materials in quantum computing, biotechnology, and lithium-ion batteries, and exploring for minerals in Australia. They recently announced an agreement with IBM as the first Australian company building a quantum chip to join the IBM Q Network as an ecosystem partner.


Transcript:


Velvet-Belle Templeman

Today, we're joined by Dr Mohammad Choucair, CEO of the materials technology company, Archer Materials Limited.  Thanks for joining us today, Mohammad, and welcome to Boardroom.Media.  


Mohammad Choucair

Thanks for having me.


Velvet-Belle Templeman

Now, Mohammad, would you mind giving our audiences a brief overview of Archer Materials Limited?


Mohammad Choucair

Yeah, sure.  So we are a materials technology company, and what that means is we develop materials in some very exciting technologies like quantum computing and biotech and in reliable energy like lithium ion batteries.So that's what we do.


Velvet-Belle Templeman

So Mohammad, the company recently announced that it has signed an agreement with IBM.  Would you please outline the key details of this announcement?


Mohammad Choucair

Yeah, the agreement with IBM really is a realisation of the substantial progress Archer has made to date and the progress being in our quantum technology vertical on our 12CQ technology, which we can talk about today.  In terms of the agreement with IBM, we're now part and a member of, an ecosystem partner, in the IBM Q Network and the associated IBM Quantum Experience for Business programs.  You know, ultimately, we share a very similar vision with IBM and that is to enable the wide scale adoption of quantum computing and we'll work together to achieve that by using our potentially complementary technologies as starting points.


Velvet-Belle Templeman

So you mentioned this membership of the IBM Q Network.  Could you just outline for us what the significance of that membership is to the company?


Mohammad Choucair

Well, I think, I mean significantly, Archer is the first Australian company that's building a quantum chip to join the global IBM Q Network as an ecosystem partner.  And this network is made up of a group of the very best organisations at the forefront of quantum computing.  So we're quite proud to be part of this network.It's important because the quantum computing economy, it's complicated, right?  It's complex, it is rapidly growing and on top of that it has the potential to impact almost all sectors dependent on an increasing amount of computational power.  So in this respect, first movers are in the best position to seize a greater share of the total value that’s generated over the course of the growth of this multibillion dollar industry.


Velvet-Belle Templeman

Fantastic.  And Mohammad, could you tell us about the CQ cubit processor chip technology that the company is currently working towards?


Mohammad Choucair

Yeah, so it's a pronounced 12CQ.  You know, we have a bit of fun here at Archer.  And, and the 12CQ chip is a world first.  So it's a quantum computing processor that we're building and it's built off, you know, we didn't just exist a year ago.  We didn't just pop out of obscurity.  The work that's related to this technology has been built off, you know, years and years of R&D as some of the most well-respected and highly renowned organisations in the world, like the University of Sydney and EPFL in Switzerland, of which I was a co-inventor and led at the time.  What the technology really did was it brought down a lot of the commercial barriers to developing a practical quantum computing chip.  It's the reason why we can now rapidly progress our commercial development in our technology roadmap.


The barriers that I'm talking about are things like low operating temperatures.  So a lot of the technology that's in existence today, the quantum computing technology, quantum computers rely on the quantum processor, much like a computer relies on its central processing unit.  And in these processes, you have things called cubit materials that hold the quantum information.  Very critical materials, you know, this is where Archer comes in and these materials are what hold the key to overcoming those technological barriers.Because at the end of the day, materials are the tangible physical basis of all technology and Archer’s 12CQ chip technology has the potential to overcome, those high commercial barriers like low operating temperatures by being proven to have the potential to work at room temperature and onboard modern devices.  


What that actually means is if and when we're successful you could possibly see quantum computing powered technology in your laptops and your phones.


Velvet-Belle Templeman

It's a really exciting space.  Mohammad, how close is the company to commercial viability of this product?  


Mohammad Choucair

So we started the 12CQ technology development at Archer and commercial development last year in April, and so it's been fantastic that within almost a year, we've been able to work now with IBM.  And this was built off, like I said before, many years of the research and development and so what we have now is the development.  In the quantum computing industry, it's divided up into a few eras.The first era is, you know, two to five years, and then we're talking about these proof of concepts, these prototype devices, and this is where we would realistically fit in.  


But the important thing to note is that we have an opportunity to add value along the entire growth and maturity of the quantum computing economy, not just over the next two to five years, but we're talking about a long-term sustainable competitive advantage that is really difficult to erode over 20 years.  So this is something that we pride ourselves on and we have the IP to back us up and support that.


Velvet-Belle Templeman

Mohammad, what are the next steps for the company as a result of this agreement with IBM.


Mohammad Choucair

So I think now as a result of the agreement with IBM were in a better position to potentially scale our competitive advantage globally.  And you know, immediately we want to be able to work with IBM to integrate their Qiskit software development kits and also work with their team and others within the Network to fast track our 12CQ chip development.


Velvet-Belle Templeman

Mohammed, what are the key takeaways for investors?


Mohammad Choucair

So for investors, I guess the key takeaway is that we are one of very few companies globally that provide an opportunity for a direct on market investment in an exciting technology like quantum computing.  And it's not just any technology, it's a technology with a very good track record and proven potential to make a global impact.


Velvet-Belle Templeman

Mohammed, has the company been affected by the COVID crisis at all?


Mohammad Choucair

Not necessarily. No.  Very minimally.  We've had minimal impact on our business operations and you know, we have a very small cost base.  And we spent the last year essentially building a fortress to protect against kind of exogenous impacts.  Okay, we didn't predict COVID, I don't think anyone did, but at the same time we're in a good position to continue to deliver value to shareholders, as I personally believe we have today with the announcement of our collaboration with IBM.


Velvet-Belle Templeman

Excellent, and Mohammed, what do the next six to 12 months look like for Archer Materials Limited?


Mohammad Choucair

So, I mean, the next six to 12 months, we do have a very solid commercialisation roadmap and it's split up into three verticals, let's say.  The first is our commercial development, which is intrinsically coupled to our technology development and also our patent prosecution.  So over the course of the next six to 12 months, I think it's quite exciting times for Archer and we'll look to build on our relationship with IBM.  We will look to reach those next step, technical milestones, which involve the quantum control experiments and also push our patents through the various jurisdictions around the world under which they are undergoing prosecution.


Velvet-Belle Templeman

Thanks for your time today, Mohammad and we look forward to the next update from Archer Materials Limited in the coming weeks.


Mohammad Choucair

No worries.  So do I.  

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