Weekly Takeaways-February 1, 2022
Updated: Mar 11, 2022
Theme of the Week
“I Hate GPS” “The idea that we are all hooked to a satellite…that doesn’t work in certain circumstances, does not work indoors or in valleys in Afghanistan, is ridiculous,” - former Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. This quote sums up a Army War College article “Lost on the Next Battlefield: The Need to Replace GPS” GPS has been a concern for over two decades. And more recently there have been calls for something better from the White House, Congress, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and General Accounting Office. But progress has been slow. The author asserts that “the DoD should ask Congress to stop funding GPS," and replace it with a new solution that includes “A Common Timing Protocol” and “quantum-based PNT capabilities.”
Why do we need a Quantum Internet? Work is underway from a range of public private partnerships to develop quantum networks. As a small sample of recent developments:
The Chicago Quantum Summit presented initiatives to advance quantum technology for the Chicago Quantum Exchange.
The European Space Conference hosted a Workshop on Satellite-based Quantum Key Distribution that included SES, DLR, and the European Space Agency.
Russia announced they were setting up a National Quantum Laboratory as a "key step to the development of all domestic industry of quantum technologies."
Korea announced that they are developing “quantum cryptography communication networks in both the public and private sectors”, bringing together 26 companies including SK telecom, KT, and LG.
Japan announced that they will “revamp its national quantum technology strategy, aiming to become self-sufficient in the area,” while also working with US partners.
In addition to commercial GPS jammers that are used by delivery, rental car and long haul vehicle drivers, there is concern about interference from the Ligado satellite that is coming online soon.
An Executive Order and strategy to move the U.S. Government toward a “zero trust” approach to cybersecurity was just released. According to the Department of Defense (DOD) Zero Trust Reference Architecture “The foundational tenet of the Zero Trust Model is that no actor, system, network, or service operating outside or within the security perimeter is trusted.”
More details from the PitchBook report highlights the record year in investment in 2021:
US VC-backed companies collected nearly $330 billion in 2021 - roughly double the previous record of $166.6 billion raised in 2020.
Nontraditional investors such as corporate VC funds, hedge funds, PE firms and sovereign wealth funds participated in nearly 77% of total annual deal value.
More than $774 billion in exit value created by VC-backed companies.
Early-stage VC deal activity in 2021 nearly doubled the prior record and eclipsed $80 billion for the first time ever.
The More You Know...
Lots of cities want to emulate the success of Silicon Valley.
Ever since Hewlett and Packard set up in a garage in 1939, the Valley has been synonymous with innovation.
But now it seems like these tech hubs are forming elsewhere as Silicon Valley waits for the next big thing.
Deep tech may provide the next breakthrough, but it is "far more difficult than building a new app or disrupting another aging industry." As Jake Taylor noted: "building a quantum computer might be the most difficult task ever undertaken."
Like the early startups that formed Silicon Valley, these deep tech companies need funding.
And, like the OG of Silicon Valley, this investment is migrating elsewhere.