Quantum Companies See Cash Injection: Week in Brief: 07/08/22

Quantum computing startup planqc closed a financing round of €4.6 million ($4.67 million) led by UVC Partners and Speedinvest. With the funding, planqc will develop a highly scalable quantum computer operating at room temperature and based on atoms trapped in optical lattices. The startup was founded by scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and Ludwig Maximilians University.

Brussels — Pruve, a spinoff project at TU Dresden, won the Photonics21 Innovation Award at the Photonics Partnership Annual Meeting. The PRUUVE (Phosphorescent Response Under UV Excitation) project saw the development of UV sensor foils for the precise measurement of UV doses in industrial applications such as sterilization of air, water, and surfaces, or for the curing of coatings, printing inks, paints, and adhesives. The foils are directly attached to the surfaces or components to be irradiated where they allow optical control of the UV dose.

Tel Aviv, Israel — Quantum Source, a quantum computing startup, raised $15 million in a seed funding round. The company seeks to scale quantum computers to millions of qubits using photonic technology. The company was founded by Barak Dayan, head of the quantum optics lab at the Weizmann Institute of Science, with tech executives Oded Melamed, Gil Semo, and Dan Charash.

Enschede, Netherlands — QuiX Quantum, a producer of quantum processors, secured a €5.5 million ($5.6 million) seed round investment from PhotonDelta,, and Oost NL. The funding marks the first major investment by PhotonDelta since it secured €1.1 billion in investment to expand the Dutch photonics ecosystem. QuiX expects to launch a full-system photonic quantum computer based on its 20 qumode processor in early 2023 and launch a new-generation 50 qumode processor in 2023. The funding follows the appointment of Stefan Hengesbach as QuiX’s CEO.

Hamamatsu, Japan — Hamamatsu Photonics completed construction of a building at its Joko factory site. The project will accommodate the company’s intention to boost production capacity to 1.7 times its current level. The building provides an expanded space for the integration of production functions such as assembly and adjustment of digital cameras for scientific measurement and digital slide scanners for pathology. Started in April 2021, the building cost approximately ¥2.2 billion ($16 million). Operations at the facility will begin in August.

Randolph, N.J. — Douglas Electrical Components acquired Electronic Products Inc. (EPI), a provider of custom and standard electronics packages for applications spanning radio frequency and microwave, wireless, optical, vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL), laser diode, and power semiconductor. The acquisition enables the companies to provide a comprehensive suite of hermetic products and technologies. EPI will remain in its current location and will continue to be led by its existing management team.

Burlington, Mass. — VulcanForms, an MIT spinout developing digital manufacturing infrastructure, raised $355 million and is valued at more than $1 billion. The company revealed its first two digital production facilities, in Devens, Mass., and Newburyport, Mass. The Devens facility, VulcanOne, is powered by a number of VulcanForms’ proprietary 100-kW class laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing systems, which will total over 2 mW of laser capacity. The Newburyport facility focuses on automated precision machining and assembly operations.

Washington, D.C. — The second of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s four primary scientific instruments, known as the mid-infrared instrument (MIRI), conducted its postlaunch preparations and is ready for operation. The last MIRI mode to be checked off was its coronagraphic imaging capability, which uses two different styles of masks to intentionally block starlight from hitting its sensors when attempting to make observations of the star’s orbiting planets. With MIRI post-launch commissioning activities concluded, the Webb team will continue to focus on the remaining two modes on its other instruments. The telescope’s first full-color images and spectroscopic data are expected on July 12.

Tokyo — AGC Si-Tech, a subsidiary of glass, chemicals, and materials manufacturer AGC, launched an integrated brand, RESIFA, for its silica products. Although the product brands of existing silica products such as SUNSPHERE will be unchanged, RESIFA will become the integrated brand that unites AGC Si-Tech’s silica product lineup and will promote further development of its silica business.

Cardiff, Wales — The Translational Research Hub (TRH), host to the Institute for Compound Semiconductors and Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI), opened. The 129,000-sq-ft facility features laboratories, offices, collaborative spaces, a cleanroom, and a state-of-the-art microscopy suite. TRH has been supported by U.K. and Wales funders.

Freiburg, Germany — Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF (Fraunhofer IAF)  completed construction on two buildings designed to expand its research infrastructure and support development of semiconductor technologies. The buildings are a dedicated laboratory for optoelectronic metrology and quantum sensing, and a facility for metal organic chemical vapor deposition. The buildings were financed by the German federal government, the state of Baden-Württemberg, and the German Federal Ministry of Defense.

Jupter, Fla. — Jenoptik Optical Systems announced two scholarships for Indian River State College (IRSC) students pursuing the Laser Photonics program. The scholarships are available for application via the IRSC Foundation Scholarship portal for any incoming or current students in the Laser Photonics option of the Electronic Engineering Technology associate degree program in fall 2022. The deadline to apply is July 29.