An overview of the company and founder
- Global employees: 75 (55 are based in Australia).
- Investors: Airbus Ventures, DCVC, Horizons Ventures, InQTel, Main Sequence Ventures, Ridgeline Partners, Sierra Ventures, Sequoia Capital China, SquarePeg Capital.
- Capital raised: A$60M+, Series B.
- Global offices: Sydney (Headquarters), Los Angeles, Berlin.
Quantum technology is likely to be as transformational in the 21st century as harnessing electricity was in the 19th. It promises to deliver revolutionary capabilities in computing, communications, and defence. Q-CTRL is building a new quantum technology industry by overcoming the fundamental challenge in the field – hardware error and instability. And as Australia’s first venture-capital-backed quantum technology company, Q-CTRL is delivering jobs and prosperity by leading a global field.
Q-CTRL’s quantum control infrastructure software for R&D professionals and quantum computing end users provides a unique capability accelerating the pathway to the first useful quantum computers. This foundational technology underpins Q-CTRL’s development of novel “Software-defined” quantum sensors for defence, intelligence, navigation, and earth observation.
Q-CTRL has assembled the world’s foremost team of expert quantum-control engineers, providing solutions to global quantum technology leaders including Universities, National Labs, and quantum technology industry partners. Q-CTRL is an inaugural member of the IBM Quantum Startup network since 2018, and recently announced a partnership with Transport for NSW - delivering its enterprise infrastructure software to transport data scientists exploring quantum computing. Q-CTRL is a World Economic Forum Global Innovator, and is a member of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium, US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, and the Tech Council of Australia.
Q-CTRL is the recipient of Modern Manufacturing Initiative, Moon-to-Mars Supply Chain, and Next Generation Technology Fund awards. Q-CTRL was selected among the Top 10 Most Innovative Tech Companies in Australia by the Australian Financial Review, and has been featured in The Economist, Forbes, Wired, Gizmodo, and more.
About the founder
Professor Michael J. Biercuk is a global science and technology innovator building the greenfield quantum technology industry.
- Professor of quantum physics and quantum technology, University of Sydney.
- PhD Harvard University, quantum physics.
- >65 technical manuscripts in quantum technology, >7500 citations, 8 patents.
- Program management DARPA, US Department of Defense & Intelligence Community.
- TEDxSydney and SXSW speaking alumnus.
- Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Investigator, The Australian Top 100 Innovators, SMH Most Influential People, and the - AmCham Alliance Awards.
Short professional bio
Michael J. Biercuk is the CEO and Founder of Q-CTRL, a quantum technology company, and a Professor of Quantum Physics and Quantum Technology at the University of Sydney. In his academic position he leads a research team as a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems, exploring the role of control engineering in quantum-coherent systems. Michael earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Masters and PhD from Harvard University. He held a research fellowship in the Ion Storage Group at NIST Boulder, and has served as a full-time technical consultant to DARPA, helping to steer government investments in quantum information and advanced computer architectures. Michael is a SXSW and TEDx speaking alumnus and a multi-time Australian Museum Eureka Prize nominee and winner.
Michael J. Biercuk, CEO and founder of Q-CTRL, is one of the world’s leading experts in quantum technology, an exciting new field that seeks to leverage the exotic properties of quantum physics for real-world benefit.
An award-winning experimental quantum physicist, Michael serves as professor of Quantum Physics and Quantum Technology at the University of Sydney. In 2017, he founded Q-CTRL based on research he led at the university’s Quantum Control Lab.
Q-CTRL is dedicated to helping researchers realize the true potential of quantum hardware, from sensing to quantum computing. In quantum computing, the Q-CTRL team is known for its efforts in reducing hardware errors caused by environmental ‘noise.’ Computational errors are considered a major obstacle in the development of useful quantum computers and sought-after breakthroughs in science and industry.
Q-CTRL is funded by some of the world’s leading venture capital firms, including Silicon Valley-based Sierra Ventures and Sequoia Capital, SquarePeg Capital, Data Collective, Horizons Ventures, and Main Sequence Ventures. The company recently opened its U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles.
Michael completed his master’s degree and Ph.D. in physics at Harvard University and his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Upon graduation, he held a research fellowship in the Ion Storage Group at NIST Boulder under the supervision of Dr. David Wineland, a Nobel Laureate in Physics. Michael later served as a technical consultant to DARPA, the premier research funding agency in the U.S., helping steer government investments in quantum information and next-generation computer architectures.
Michael speaks with clarity and authority about science and technology and is adept at making physics accessible to a lay audience. He is a regular contributor to both the technical literature and popular media and is a TEDxSydney and SXSW speaking alumnus.
Major accolades include the 2015 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher, selection as one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s 100 Most Influential People (2012) and recognition as the winner of the 2011 NMI Prize for Excellence in Measurement Science.
Michael is also an avid collector of mechanical watches, and has spoken at events including Dubai Watch Week and TEDxSydney on the links between high horology and the most advanced research in quantum technology.
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