Electric mobility, “surrogate materials” with Bosch and quantum

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Quantum to try to reduce the dependence on precious metals and rare earths to help make human activities more environmentally sustainable. Bosch, the German multinational leader in the supply of services and technologies with a turnover of 71.5 billion euros, has announced investments of 10 billion by 2025 in digitization and connectivity. For Stefan Hartung, number one of the Stuttgart giant, it is a “great opportunity” for business. According to forecasts by the Boston Consulting Group, by 2055 at the latest, the quantum computing market will be worth 850 billion dollars.

The current situation – with Europe almost completely dependent on resources from other continents and therefore exposed to the risk of unstable prices, retaliation or sanctions – makes the extensive application of quantum even strategic. In Berlin, during Bosch Connected World, back in attendance over two and a half years after the last edition (January 2020), the company explained that its goal is to “use the quantum simulation of materials to find substitutes for metals precious metals and rare earths in carbon-neutral powertrains – in the electric motor and in the fuel cell – in the next ten years”.

The manufacturers have launched programs to enhance the circular economy (Oliver Zipse, CEO of the BMW Group also spoke about it in the German capital), recovery and reuse, but the Bosch alternative, which will come about through the collaboration with IBM will be able to use over twenty quantum computers, it promises to be interesting. The goal of the German multinational is to “vivisection” materials by processing data at speeds impossible to achieve by traditional computers to establish the specific properties of each particle. Thanks to the results of the analyzes it should be possible to speed up the procedure to identify “surrogate” substances capable of replacing those that are very expensive or difficult to find. In recent years, Bosch researchers have already tackled the battery node in this way with results that have led to a potential increase in performance of over 20%.

The quantum option is among those that will absorb two thirds of the announced investments, mainly intended to support sustainability, mobility and Industry 4.0. Bosch has also promised to focus on professional training and on its employees, who “are the key to our ‘technology for life’ of today and tomorrow”, added Hartung and Tanja Rückert, who lead the division dedicated to digitization. manager defended the choice of collaborations: “In this connected world – he declared – no one can do it alone”.

It probably means that the current 30 experts put to work by Bosch in the fields of quantum sensor technology (7 billion turnover in the next few years according to McKinsey) and quantum computing are destined to increase in number.

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