The quantum computer start-up Alpine Quantum Technologies (AQT) was founded by the quantum physicists Rainer Blatt, Peter Zoller and Thomas Monz. The spin-off of the University of Innsbruck and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences aims to make a commercial quantum computer available on the marketplace by 2022.
The Tyrolean scientists currently have a programmable ion-trap quantum computer featuring 20 quantum bits at its disposal. Quantum bits serve as the fundamental information unit of quantum computers. Individual atoms held in ion traps which can be manipulated with lasers are considered to comprise a promising basic concept for realising practical quantum bits. AQT Managing Director Thomas Monz considers the honour bestowed by the World Economic Forum to be "a confirmation that our ion trap technology is a leading candidate for a future quantum computer which can solve major real-world problems. Our technology will support the development of new medicines or materials with planned properties."