With a heritage going back thousands of years, the Greeks have made an indelible mark on philosophy, history and science. As per usual, they’ve crashed another party too
High & Low Points
Greece (or the more expansive Hellenic world), the cradle of European civilization and a bastion of culture and enlightenment throughout the ages. Home to some of the greatest philosophers in the western canon like Socrates, Plato and Artistotle. The father of history, too, Herodotus. Mathematicians Archimedes and Pythagoras. The storyteller Homer. The warrior king Alexander the Great.
The list goes on.
Lately, though, that hasn’t been so much the case. Greece has — through the fault of successive economic mismanagement, low growth rates and inflation — been at a low point. With an economy in tatters, it has suffered more than most other countries on the continent over the last decade or so.
And the Covid-19 debacle, unfortunately, hasn’t helped Greece’s situation, either.
In business, too, Greeks have suffered.
But there may be cause for a smile:
According to 2018 data from AngelList published at Enterprise Greece, a social network site for investors and startups, there were approximately 550 startups and over 2800 investors operating in the country.
It’s no surprise, then, to hear that Athens was awarded the title of the European Capital of Innovation 2018 and obtained a €1M prize by the EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.
What is more interesting, maybe, is that data from OECD Science & technology statistics 2017, again published on an Enterprise Greece white paper from 2018, showed that the Greeks are European leaders in science and technology workforce as a share of the active population, coming in at 38.5%, beating the likes of Portugal and Italy in the process.
With AI, IoT, ML, blockchain, and cryptocurrency dominating the technological landscape in 2020, Greece believes it has a part to play like every other nation on the planet.
Companies like translation gig Speakt and cloud management startup Mist.io are proving Greece is more than museums, ouzo and beaches.
It is also in quantum computing (QC), the technology that above all will transform the world in the next few decades, where the Greeks are now making a mark, however small.
‘Redefining Quantum Chemistry’
The startup’s intention is ‘to simulate drugs, chemicals, materials and other quantum systems’ by utilizing quantum computing hardware that already exists.
TQD supposes this means creating algorithms designed for use on the half a dozen quantum computer offerings already on the market by the likes of IBM and D-Wave Systems etc.
The team at PiDust is made up of quantum computing experts, physicists, software developers, and chemists.
Bill Armaos acts as CEO and lead research scientist. Before PiDust, he was a lead software designer for a big quantum computing startup. With an M.S. in theoretical physics from the University of Cambridge, his passions lie in quantum computing and computational chemistry.
The startup’s digital systems architect is Paraskevas Deligiannis. He gained an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. With an interest in data science and computational biology to go with his passion in QC, Deligiannis’ input will be crucial to the startup’s onward success.
Dimitris Badounas, the other supporting character in this Greek drama with skin in PiDust, is currently a computational scientist in the Department of Materials Science at the University of Patras. A talented individual when it comes to Python, Scilab, and quantum computational chemistry, watch this space as his efforts advance the startup to the heights of Mount Olympus.
Although Greece is going through a hard time lately (that’s not unique these COVID-19 days), one of the nation’s favourite sons said it best — not only about the Greeks but about humanity in general:
‘Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.’
With PiDust’s QC phalanx ready to move, exciting times lay ahead for the startup.