Stratethon: A Unique Approach to Building Quantum Planning Skills

Hackathons represent an exciting educational experience for programmers, coders, data scientists and other pursuits and have become ubiquitous globally in the last decade.

Quantum technologies, while nascent compared to other IT fields, hold hackathons as well. Quantum Futures & CERN hold their hackathon over a weekend dedicated to “hacking on quantum computers at the Fields Institute in Toronto, the world’s most renown mathematics institute.”

MIT annually holds IQuHack (interdisciplinary Quantum HACKathon) for high school to early career participants “to explore improvements and applications of near-term quantum devices.” Winners in 2023 are listed here along with their GitHub links.

The ICTP-Quantinuum Quantum Hackathon invites 18 international teams of students to the International Centre for Theoretical Physics “to learn and develop quantum algorithms and apply them in the context of real-world use-cases with leading industrial partners.” The hackathon starts April 17th, 2023.


Strategy can be defined as “a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.”

Strategy includes diagnosing the problem to be solved, establishing a guiding policy to address that problem and then propose a set of coherent actions which will deliver that policy. Strategy and strategic planning can leverage a similar approach to hackathons. By bringing together people from multiple disciplines, strategic plans can be made more robust. Through a stratethon, quantum strategists can practice this process in a risk-free environment.

Optum, a United Health Group company, has held a stratethon over 4 seasons for 150 schools across India, Philippines and Singapore that “brings some of the best minds together to solve very real and current health care related problems byt also lets them battle it out with each other to identify the most innovative solution that could help improve the lives of millions around the world.”

Quantum Strategy Institute recently announced the International Quantum Strategy Day (IQSD) incorporating a stratehon model leveraging a compelling case study.

Here’s the call out for participants:

Calling all quantum strategists: on Wednesday, April 19th, the Quantum Strategy Institute is holding its first ever stratethon to celebrate people like you, the quantum strategists who are driving the adoption of quantum computing!

🌍 We’re looking for up to 5 teams of three to five people to put their skills to the test and create recommendations for how Bright Futures (a fictional, South African automotive company) can bring quantum into its business. 

🌍 You can get a jump start by checking out Bright Futures’ quantum Case Study and Strategy Assessment at:

🌍 All backgrounds and skill levels are welcome, you can register your interest here:

Registration for the IQSD closes on Wednesday, March 29th.

Given the complexity of quantum technology, we should expect to see more quantum stratethons in the future, and more quantum strategists joining the workforce.

Exploring Quantum 01

Quantum Roadmap Series: How to build your own quantum roadmap

Roadmaps offer an invaluable structure to the evolution of technology and technology deployment. Incorporating a complex technology such as quantum requires even greater diligence through roadmaps. In this article, we cover five types of roadmap: security, simulation, communication, standards and sensing.

Security Roadmap

With the maturity of quantum technology, and the approach of Y2Q, where can CxO’s look for information to build out their own #quantum security roadmaps? Below are some of the key players with updated links:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

Quantum Security Alliance

European Quantum Industry Consortium (QuIC)

The following is one summary for #CEOs to follow:

*CEOs should increase their engagement with post-quantum standards developing organizations.

* Organizations should inventory the most sensitive and critical datasets that must be secured for an extended amount of time.

* Organizations should conduct an inventory of all the systems using cryptographic technologies for any function to facilitate a smooth transition in the future.

* Cybersecurity officials within organizations should identify acquisition, cybersecurity, and data security standards that will require updating to reflect post-quantum requirements.

*Organizations should identify where and for what purpose public key cryptography is being used and mark those systems as quantum vulnerable.

*Prioritize one system over another for cryptographic transition based on the organization’s functions, goals, and needs.

* Using the inventory and prioritization information, organizations should develop a plan for systems transitions upon publication of the new post-quantum cryptographic standard.

Simulation Roadmaps

A 2022 quantum simulation roadmap paper in Nature led by researchers from University of Strathclyde, “explores near- and medium-term possibilities for quantum simulation on analog and digital platforms to help evaluate the potential of this area.”

Quantum simulation occurs where problems not tractable for classical computers, model the quantum properties of microscopic particles. 

Simulating electromechanical behaviour for battery development, molecules in life sciences/pharma, and materials are evolving areas of quantum simulation with dozens of quantum simulators in existence today according to The Quantum Insider.

Where can one find out more? At #summerschool2022, and #conferences

Quantum simulation promises to be an important part of organizational research efforts and roadmaps going forward. 

Communications Roadmaps

The field of applied quantum physics closely related to quantum information processing and quantum teleportation, quantum communication is most often associated with protecting information channels against eavesdropping via quantum cryptography.

Establishing roadmaps is one activity participants in this field are aggressively addressing. In 2018, QuTech researchers introduced a roadmap for quantum internet development in six phases. The first phase included “simple networks of qubits that could already enable secure quantum communications” – today’s reality – ending with networks of fully quantum-connected quantum computers. Check out QuTech‘s website for the latest updates including QuTechEurofiber and Juniper Networks partnering to deploy a Quantum testbed in The Netherlands.

Mohsen Rasavi from the University of Leeds School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering issued a roadmap document in 2021 “to address this subject from the viewpoint of deploying quantum key distribution (QKD) systems across our communications networks.”

The May 2022 paper in ResearchGate titled “Propagating Quantum Microwaves: Towards Applications in Communication and Sensing” suggests a growing interest in quantum microwaves and offers a roadmap to that end.

The roadmap to a quantum communications future is uncertain yet compelling in its possibilities. 

Standards Roadmaps

Today’s quantum standards, compliance and regulatory environment is often referred to as the ‘Wild West’ of technology for its lack of documentation and enforcement. Not surprising given the maturity of the technology, and lack of convergence as of 2022. If you lead an organization – with old and new devices – you need to think about this environment for your organizational roadmap in at least the following ways:

Internal – developing internal (inside organization) standards is far from new, yet applying an immature technology set such as quantum can be daunting to those expecting certainty. By ring-fencing quantum (via pilots, siloed units, POC’s, low-risk applications), standard-bearers and compliance leaders can monitor the opportunities and implications of #quantumtechnologiesJack Hidary and the SandboxAQ team discuss standards for organizations to consider in their July 2022 in Nature titled Transitioning Organizations to Post-Quantum Cryptography.

National – New requirements are being generated. The US government now requires each agency to address the quantum threat and protection measures for example. How soon before individual organizations take the same stance

International – With so many #quantum modalities (photonics, superconducting, ion trap, etc) in the market today, what are the implications for #quantumhardware, software, services and their international standards? Organizations like IEEE, and European Information Technologies Certification Institute are addressing such global quantum standards evolution. 

The field of quantum has a long runway ahead in terms of #standards so it remains important for organizations to monitor their internal efforts in generating quantum standards #roadmaps as national and international standards evolve. 

Sensing Roadmaps

Visual imaging for vehicles, quantum clocks, gravity surveys, navigation, analyzing the human body or searching for lost treasure or oil & gas – #quantumsensing will be part of the toolkit in the future. For example, vehicles depend increasingly on being able to visualize their environment accurately. Quantum Computing, Inc. (QCI) recently competed in the BMW Group Sensor Challenge engaging their Entropy Quantum Computer. Here’s a video link for QC’s solution – I recommend watching all the way to the end.  QCI’s quantum roadmap can be found here.

#Roadmaps are being actively developed and updated such as “Quantum Technology Roadmap Europe 2030“, “A roadmap for quantum technologies in the UK“, “IBM Quantum’s Development Roadmap, Building The Future of a Nascent Technology“, the Australian Army’s Quantum Technology Roadmap and many more.

#Quantumsensing promises to be one of the leading uses of #quantumtechnologies given the diversity of applications and their roadmaps will be compelling guideposts we watch over time. 

The 5-Part Quantum Roadmap Series is copyright (c) Aquitaine Innovation Advisors


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