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Capgemini’s Quantum Lab participates in BIG Quantum-AI-HPC Hackathon

5 Apr 2023

Capgemini’s Quantum Lab participates in BIG Quantum-AI-HPC Hackathon and wins the Technical Phase together with students from Ecole Polytechnique de Paris, and the Technical University Munich (TUM)!

At the beginning of March, Capgemini’s Quantum Lab participated in the BIG HPC-AI-QC Hackathon organised by QuantX in collaboration with PRACEGENCIBCG and under the high patronage of Neil Abroug (Head of the French National Quantum Strategy) in Paris, France. Leading players of international Quantum Computing, HPC and AI ecosystems (e.g., industrial companies, quantum hardware and software providers, HPC centers, VC/PEs and consulting groups, representatives of academia and government) gathered to accelerate the transfer of competencies and advance hybrid HPC-AI-QC solutions and their practical application. The hackathon consisted of two parts: the technical phase and the business phase.

The solution co-crafted by our Capgemini team on a technical use case provided by BMW Group was crowned winner of the technical phase! The team consisted of Capgemini employees (Camille de Valk, Pierre-Olivier Vanheeckhoet and Kirill Shiianov) and students from Ecole Polytechnique de Paris (Bosco Picot de Moras d’Aligny), and Technical University Munich (TUM) (Fiona Fröhler). They were assisted by technical mentors Elvira Shishenina (BMW Group), Jean-Michel Torres and Elie Bermot (IBM), and Konrad Wojciechowski (PSNC).

The solution they proposed is the first step to improve the BMW cars acoustics. The international jury of experts was enthusiastic about the team’s technical solution, as well as their excellent presentation. The French minister, Jean-Noël Barrot, and Nobel prize winner, Alain Aspect, joined the awards ceremony to hand out the prizes to the winners.

Camille de Valk, one of Capgemini’s Quantum Lab Specialists, on the Technical Phase:

“BMW Group provided us with a challenging use-case for the technical phase of the hackathon. It’s all about optimising the design of cars to have less irritating sound in the cabin. This involves complicated physics and mathematics, but luckily our team had both physicists and computer scientists. The teamwork was one of the best parts of the hackathon for me.

We created a toy-demonstration of a differential equation solver using variational quantum circuits and we explored its scaling in an artificial intelligence (AI), high performance computer (HPC) and quantum computing (QC) workflow. This was the first step to experiment with the efficiency of complex simulations around sound propagation, to improve the cabin’s acoustics by optimising the design of the car. Working in this hackathon with such a talented team and great mentors was a great experience for me!”

Kirill Shiianov, Consultant at Capgemini Engineering, about the Business Phase:

“In the business phase of the BIG Hackathon, Capgemini’s Quantum Lab team took on a challenge to build a business case around one of the solutions from the participants from the technical phase. The team showed its best at developing the case of the business phase: uniting people from different backgrounds and business units. The team existed of different areas of expertise, which helped to understand different aspects of the problem and come up with creative solutions.

The use-case intended to augment Natural Language Processing (NLP) models with a quantum approach. The use-case provider was Merck Group, and the real-world application of the technology was incented to investigate promises of Symbolic AI and as concrete example detect differences between Adverse Event reports (AE, event and drug exposure) and causal Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR, event due to drug exposure) mentioned in textual sources, like medical reports or social networks.

During two intensive days, we fully immerged in the technology, built a complete business case, and presented it to a jury, consisting of technology VPs of high-tech companies, such as Quantinuum.

Interaction with the use-case provider (Thomas Ehmer from Merck Group), and technical people from Quantinuum helped us getting unique insights in the respective domains. It was a unique experience, and I am already looking forward to participating in the next editions of the hackathon!

Kirill Shiianov

Junior Consultant at Capgemini Engineering
Kirill has a background in experimental physics and quantum systems. He is part of Capgemini’s Quantum Lab and investigates industrial applications of quantum technologies, working on projects such as EQUALITY. In Capgemini’s Quantum Lab Kirill has explored applications of quantum computing for optimisation problems, working with different providers, such as IBM Quantum, AWS and D-Wave.

Camille de Valk

Quantum Finance Specialist
Camille is a physicist investigating physics applications in finance in the Capgemini Quantum Lab. The Quantum Lab connects technical experts like Camille with business experts, to explore potential applications of quantum technologies for business, that will generate what is known as a quantum advantage. In the Quantum Lab, Camille’s team has done research on quantum risk modelling, quantum optimisation and quantum machine learning, using quantum simulators, but also IBM’s quantum hardware (up to 127 qubits).