Swiss Trio Promise Sustainable Future With Photonic & Quantum Tech

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Photo: Seb Mooze, Unsplash

EPFL Spinout

The École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is one of the most respected institutions of higher learning in Switzerland, and specializes in the natural sciences and engineering. Founded as the École spéciale de Lausanne back in 1853, it gained federal status in 1969. With past alumni Daniel Borel (co-founder of Logitech) and 2017 co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry Jacques Dubochet to boast of, the EPFL has a top-notch reputation in many fields.

So it’s good to hear about a quantum computing (QC) spinout from there, Miraex.

Miraex

Founded in 2019, the startup is focussed on photonic and quantum full-stack solutions for next-generation sensing, networking and computing. Miraex joins the likes of ETH Zurich Quantum Engineering Center, ID Quantique, QRL, and Terra Quantum in the Swiss QC arena.

Miraex proprietary technology is at the confluence of large-scale semiconductor fabrication, micro-optomechanical & micro-electro-optical systems and machine learning

The startups three founders are Nicolas Abelé, Karel Dumon and Clément Javerzac-Galy, respectively.

One thing the startup can rely on is a strong team vision built on the idea of ‘pioneering a sustainable future with photonic and quantum tech’.

Miraex’s technology for sensing and quantum applications using photons instead of electrons full-stack quantum computing solutions includes the Quantum Transducer: ‘microwave to optical’ and the Quantum Converter: ‘preserving quantum states’. These can be used in industry, aerospace, security, defence, and quantum networking solutions and can help clients ‘save energy, avoid accidents or protect their critical assets’.

What’s not to like?

All this comes from the hard work and intelligence of the founding team — so, let’s meet them:

Serial entrepreneur and innovator Nicolas Abelé, the startup’s co-CEO, has years of experience in micro-electro-mechanical (MEMS) system-based optoelectronics and AR display products. With a Ph.D. from EPFL in microsystems engineering, he is also impressively a laureate of the 2005 European Award for Innovation.

Karel Dumon holds an MS in engineering physics from Ghent University. Before co-founding Miraex, Dumon spent time as a business analyst, researcher, data scientist and machine learning engineer while also cofounding two startups.

Sharing co-CEO duties with Abelé is Clément Javerzac-Galy, and like Abelé, Javerzac-Galy has a Ph.D. from EPFL in physics. He has an impressive résumé, too, with stints as an engineering intern at Thales, guest researcher at the Joint Quantum Institute and blogger at Swiss publication Bilan.

So, what’s next for this Swiss QC startup? Well, according to Javerzac-Galy, the answer is simple: “Today we are deploying our solutions in the energy and food sectors and we are preparing to expand to aerospace applications.”

With a strong idea backing up the trio, Miraex can also count on the support of its partnerships which include VC and private equity firm Creative Destruction Lab, Switzerland’s leading seed-funding program Venture Kick (both of which participated in a CHF40,000 grant to Miraex in 2019) and Lausanne-based innovation promotion agency Innovaud amongst others.

I’m sure with time we’ll be hearing a lot more from these fellows.