Zapata, an American startup focusing on bringing near-term applications of quantum computing, has announced a partnership with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. The collaboration will see KAUST become a licensed user of Orquestra—Zapata's software platform for designing and running quantum circuits.
Using Orquestra, KAUST will focus primarily on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) research, which has direct applications in airplane and automobile aerodynamic design. CFD research usually entails running elaborate simulations to model a fluid's behavior. This is computationally difficult to do using traditional computers. But quantum computers provide an alternate and efficient approach to this problem by exploiting quantum superposition and entanglement. KAUST hopes to leverage this and use its research in CFD and aerodynamics to help build more energy-efficient airplanes with low carbon emissions.
Vis à vis the new partnership, co-founder and CEO of Zapata, Christopher Savoie said that Zapata is “always looking to expand quantum computing use cases through Orquestra and our work with KAUST will give us a head start to explore new opportunities for more efficient CFD. The collaboration with KAUST will benefit the aerospace industry as a whole by using quantum to bring efficiency to what has historically been a slow and difficult process.”
And Kevin Cullen, Vice President of Innovation and Economic Development at KAUST, said that “We are delighted to be the catalyst for bringing quantum capabilities to CFD research in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to the Middle East. This partnership establishes Zapata as one of the first quantum computing companies active in the region and will enable KAUST researchers to explore the future of aerospace fluid dynamics. KAUST is a leader in the areas of data analysis and AI and we welcome the addition of Zapata’s Orquestra technology to our capabilities, in order to accelerate discovery and innovation in these fields.”