Top-class speakers

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Numerous experts will be speaking at Quantum Effects. Let us introduce to you some of our renowned speakers.

Dr. Robert Axmann is the head of the Quantum Computing Initiative of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) since 2021. He studied aerospace engineering at the Technical University of Munich (Germany) and at Cranfield University (United Kingdom). In addition he also holds a degree in business administration. Axmann worked for the German Aerospace Center (DLR) for 20 years. In 2017, he established and developed the DLR Institute of Data Science in Jena as its founding director, prior to which he served on the executive board of the Space Research and Technology Department. Previously, he spent 10 years working in the project management of the DLR’s Earth observation missions.

Dr Rachid El Bansarkhani is the Managing Director of QuantiCor Security GmbH, a Darmstadt-based company specialising in the development of quantum computer-resistant security solutions. He completed his PhD in post-quantum cryptography at the Technical University in Darmstadt and has developed diverse cryptosystems, such as post-quantum encryption and digital signature systems.

Together with the StartUp, he won several prestigious awards, such as Accenture Innovation Award, IT-Security Award and Embedded World Award etc. He also established an industry standard for quantum-safe encryption (DIN SPEC 91444). He has already managed various PQC projects with well-known companies and led the migration towards quantum-safe systems. QuantiCor's solutions are already in use in various companies.

Janina is a medical doctor (MD, PhD) with ~20 years of experience in the healthcare industry, trained at Medical University Hospital Hannover, MGH Boston, Stanford Clinics and NUH Singapore. Before joining SIEMENS she was working in the pharmaceutical industry at Johnson&Johnson. She has extensive knowledge in growing large scale businesses as well as building new businesses leveraging latest technologies to scale the business, e.g. digital ecosystems, platform business, AR/VR, etc.

She spent a substantial time in Asia Pacific/China while heading clinical research for SIEMENS Healthineers.

Furthermore, Janina is appointed lecturer at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg affiliated to the Technical University under the chair of Artificial Intelligence and Biomedical Engineering / Machine Learning and Data Analytics. She conducts the seminars “Leading by Learning” and “ AI and Digitalization in Healthcare” and is intensively looking into Quantum Computing and possible applications in healthcare. 

In her private time Janina supports D.R.O.P.S foundation, a non-profit organization caring for health and health education in emerging countries.

Dr. Gernot Berger is a physicist with a strong affinity for the strategic development of companies. He was co-owner of a start-up company and contributed significantly to its success as sales, marketing and product manager. With his keen sense of market requirements and business development, he helped to establish the invention as a worldwide industry standard in optics manufacturing after the exit. Parallel to his work, he earned an Executive MBA from the Mannheim Business School in 2018, which focuses on entrepreneurship and strategic leadership. Before joining HTGF in 2019, Gernot used his strategic knowledge profitably for a medium-sized company selling high-tech B2B products in the highly competitive 3C industry with complex stakeholder structures.

Stefan Bogdanovic has more than a decade of experience in applied quantum technology with background in quantum diamond systems at TU Delft and Harvard. In 2019, he joined SandboxAQ at Alphabet (Google X), to establish the Quantum Sensing roadmap.

At present, Stefan's focus at SandboxAQ is dedicated to driving transformative changes across diverse sectors such as healthcare and navigation through the implementation of Quantum and AI technology.

Xenia Bogomolec is an Information Security Specialist with a strong mathematical and coding background. She founded Quant-X Security & Coding in 2019 and has built a team for the development and analyses of quantum and post-quantum secure software products and protocols. In parallel, she coordinates large information security implementation projects in strictly regulated organizations across all relevant areas, where she is also responsible for the QA of the implementation and the communication between the first line and second line of defence.

Dr. Thierry Botter is a successful industry executive, and an expert in the area of quantum technologies. He heads the European Quantum Industry Consortium (QuIC), a pan-European industry association with more than 170 members dedicated to supporting and strengthening quantum companies on the global stage. Dr. Botter previously held several leadership positions at Airbus, and served as a member of the first strategic advisory board for the European Commission’s Quantum Flagship. He holds a PhD in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Executive Director | European Quantum Industry Consortium (QuIC)

Markus founded JoS QUANTUM in 2018. JoS QUANTUM bridges the gap between research and real-world solutions, the quantum-enhanced offerings redefine business intelligence.

Before that, he worked for Deutsche Bank and as a consultant for various financial institutions. He advised on and implemented various quantitative models for fraud detection and risk modelling. Markus studied mathematical physics in Magdeburg, Tokyo and Taipei.

Director of the Peter Grünberg Institute PGI-8: Quantum Control at Forschungszentrum Jülich, DE.

Professor of Quantum Information, Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of Cologne, DE.

The primary research interest of Prof. Dr. Calarco is dedicated to optimal quantum control for fundamental quantum processes with applications in few- and many-body systems for the development of quantum technologies.

After his PhD in Physics at the University of Ferrara in 1998, Prof. Calarco worked in a post-doc position at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (USA) from 2005 – 2007, followed by a professorship at the Institute of Quantum Information Processing at the Ulm University, whose director he was from 2011 - 2018. From 2014 to 2018 he also headed the Institute of Complex Quantum Systems of the Ulm University and the Centre for Integrated Quantum Science and Technology of the Universities of Ulm and Stuttgart as well as the Max Planck Institute for Solid-State Research (DE). Since 2018, he is Professor of Quantum Information at the Institute of Theoretical Physics of the Univ. Cologne and Head of the Peter Grünberg Institute PGI-8: Quantum Control at Forschungszentrum Jülich( DE).

His distinctions include a Fulbright Fellowship of the US Department of State (2002), the "E. Wallnöfer” Prize of the Chamber of Commerce of Tyrol (2002) and the AMETIC “Business Excellence in Quantum Technologies” Prize (2021). As chairman of the Quantum Community Network (EU Quantum Flagship) since 2018, member of the Presidium of the European Academy of Sciences (since 2017) and member of the National Academy of Science and Engineering (since 2016) Prof. Calarco is committed to the close interlinking of science and industry in the field of quantum technologies.

Ish Dhand is the CEO and co-founder of QC Design, an Ulm-based quantum computing company developing scalable and fault-tolerant architectures for the next generation of quantum computers. Ish has over 10 years of experience in academia and startups focussing on the development of quantum computing architectures. For more information, please see

David Dupuy joined exail (Formaly iXblue) in 2021 to expand the reach of the Photonic business unit to the German and Eastern European market.

He held different operational and business development positions in the field of Opto-Electronics at (Fibercore, Photonis) during the past 25 years.

He Holds a M.Sc. in Physics from University of Manchester.

Dr Michael Förtsch is the founder and CEO of Q.ANT. He studied mathematics and physics, and earned his doctorate at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Light in Erlangen. A research stay at the National Institute for Standards and Technology in Boulder was followed by positions as a strategy consultant and personal assistant to the CTO at TRUMPF Se + Co KG in Stuttgart. From this position, he founded the company Q.ANT in 2018.

Christian is one of Nomad Atomics’ co-founders and responsible for technology development and research for upcoming products. His background is in atomic physics and geodesy where he has more than 12 years of research experience working optical and atomics physics and deploying absolute quantum gravity sensors.

He is an expert on electro-optic, mechanical and vacuum systems and received his PhD for his work on cold-atom inertial sensors in Berlin, Germany. At ANU he was part of the flagship Capability and Technology Demonstrator focused on building and miniaturising deployable quantum sensors for real world applications.

Dmitry Galperin is a General Partner at Runa Capital in Berlin. 

Over the course of a decade, Dmitry has driven his investment focus towards cloud computing infrastructure, deeptech and quantum technologies. Dmitry now actively advises Pasqal, Qnami, Welinq, Akhetonics and Lumai.

He has a Ph.D. in physics. He was also a visiting researcher at the University of Ulm and Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz in Germany, where he focused on computer simulations of novel polymer materials.

Dr Martin Garbos is Head of Quantum Technologies at EurA AG. He studied nanostructure technology at the Universities of Würzburg and British Columbia and earned his PhD in physics at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Light. After eight years in leading positions in industry, with a focus on photonic sensor technology, he moved to EurA. There, he and his team have been advising nearly 100 partners in the fields of quantum technologies & enabling technologies for four years. Dr Martin Garbos advises start-ups, SMEs, research partners and large institutions from industry and science with the aim of initiating joint projects, developing new business models and acquiring the appropriate funding.

Dr Anna Heid is an Associate Partner at Digital McKinsey (Switzerland) and core to its global Quantum Technologies team. With her work, she aims to enable the next wave of technologies, leveraging her experience in the tech industry and background as industrial engineer.

Anna has a particular focus on quantum technologies where she serves clients ranging from industry-leading corporates to start-ups on innovation, strategy and business building.

Prof Dr Sabina Jeschke is a manager, founder and scientist. After more than 3 years as a board member for "Digitization and Technology" at Deutsche Bahn AG and a 12-year career as a university professor (Berlin, Stuttgart, Aachen), she founded the start-up Quantagonia GmbH (Quantum Computing) in December 2021.

Since 2021 chairwoman of the board of the innovative AI ecosystem KI Park e.V. in Berlin. Since January 2023 she is supporting Arthur D. Little as a Seniorexecutive Advisor in technology consulting. At the same time, she founded the StartUp Arctic Brains AB in Jämtland/Sweden in April 2021 with a focus on AI consulting and development.

Sabina Jeschke is an experienced member of the supervisory board, most recently she accepted the mandate for Vitesco (carve-out from Continental) in 09/2021. She holds an honorary professorship at the TU Berlin and is a member of the CxO council at the FAU (Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg).

Pau Jorba, Sales Engineer at kiutra, has built up many years of experience on working with cryogenic systems as part of his scientific career.

He joined kiutra after completing his PhD on the investigation of new magnetic phases under extreme conditions.

Pau’s technical expertise is complemented by language skills in Spanish, Catalan, English, French and German. He provides advice and technical support to kiutra’s customers.

Dr Gustav Kalbe | DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology, European Commission, Acting Director of DG Connect C “Digital Excellence and Science Infrastructure” and Head of Unit of the High Performance Computing and Quantum Technology unit

Dr Gustav Kalbe studied Applied Physics at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. In 1991 he studied Applied Optics at the Imperial College of Science in London. In 1995 he completed his studies and earned a PhD in Physics at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium.

He started his professional career as a project manager in photonic networks at the incumbent telecom operator in Belgium. He was R&D manager when he left the company. In 1998 he joined the Directorate General Information Society & Media of the European Commission where he started working as Project Officer managing research projects of the European Framework Programs for Research. Over the years he had several assignments in quantum technologies, photonics, and cybersecurity. In 2014 Gustav Kalbe became Head of Unit for Administration & Finance in the European Commission, in Directorate General Communications Networks, Content and Technology. In 2016 he was appointed Head of Unit of the newly created High Performance Computing and Quantum Technology unit in Directorate General Communications Networks, Content and Technology. In 2018 he became responsible for the establishment and operation of the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking. He occupied the post of Interim Executive Director of the Joint Undertaking until its autonomy by the end of 2020. In January 2021, he was appointed Deputy to the Director of DG Connect C “Digital Excellence and Science Infrastructure”. Since May 2022 Gustav is the Acting Director of DG Connect C “Digital Excellence and Science Infrastructure”.

Sascha Karimpour is Partner at Plug and Play Tech Center and co-founder of STARTUP AUTOBAHN powered by Plug and Play. He studied Management in Silicon Valley, where he also worked for 3 startups and the Amidi Group. Sascha then established the daughter of a German SME in Chicago, where he grew a traditional business for 11 years to become a leader in their segment in North America.

Sascha then returned to the Amidi Group and started the open innovation platform STARTUP AUTOBAHN powered by Plug and Play together with the founding partners Mercedes-Benz, University of Stuttgart, Plug and Play Tech Center and ARENA2036. With 30+ corporate partners and 350+ program startups Plug and Play's Stuttgart Mobility location grew to the most active corporate to startup collaboration platform globally.

Sascha now also oversees other Plug and Play operations in Germany, Austria, Uzbekistan and India.

Dr Svenja Knappe holds Research Professorship in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Adjunct Associate Professorship in the Department of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Her research interests include MEMS atomic magnetometers, laser spectroscopy and frequency control, MEMS atomic clocks, and other miniature atom-based sensors. She has published 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers, 5 book chapters, 9 patent applications, and given numerous invited talks, and her work has been cited in more than 30 public press articles. She co-founded FieldLine to commercialize imaging systems based on miniature optically-pumped magnetometers and serves as the Chief Technology Officer for the company.

Jens Küchenmeister heads a development group at Thorlabs, which deals with the set-up of teaching experiments.

Prior to this work, he studied physics and mathematics as a teacher and then completed his doctorate in theoretical physics, which dealt with light propagation in photonic nanostructures.

At Thorlabs, he and his team are developing structures for teaching in the field of classical optics, interferometry, spectroscopy and quantum optics.

Dr Katrin Kobe is the CEO of the internal start-up “Bosch Quantum Sensing” and holds a PhD in physics. She has nearly 30 years of experience with technology companies. Dr. Katrin Kobe worked as a top management consultant at McKinsey and more than 20 years in operational top management positions. She has international experience and was responsible for subsidiaries in Eastern Europe and China. Her industry experience includes plant and mechanical engineering, automotive, sensor technology, medical technology and energy. She is a specialist for product strategies, business model innovations and high-value technology products.

Dr Jan-Rainer Lahmann is a Distinguished Engineer in the IBM Quantum Computing Team in the DACH region.

Since 2017, he has been passionate about quantum computing, especially algorithms, relevant use cases and the potential value of quantum computing. He loves 'serious games' for quantum computing and builds models of real quantum computers.

Dr Jan-Rainer Lahmann leads key quantum computing initiatives at IBM DACH and is a member of the prestigious IBM Academy of Technology.

Karsten Lange joined the VDI Technology Centre in 2021. He works as a technology consultant in the field of quantum systems and takes on project management tasks.

In September 2018, Karsten Lange completed his doctorate in quantum phenomena at Leibniz Universität Hannover. Since then, he has been interested in finding applications for these phenomena.

Dr.-Ing. E.h. Peter Leibinger is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of TRUMPF. In his previous positions at TRUMPF, he was responsible for research and development in the TRUMPF Group, new business, the laser division, the electronics division and EUV lithography.

After studying mechanical engineering, Leibinger was a development engineer at Ingersoll Milling Machine Company, USA, from 1997 to 1999. He then joined his own family business and, after holding positions as Managing Director at various TRUMPF companies, became Deputy Chairman of the TRUMPF Managing Board .

In addition to several mandates at charitable foundations and voluntary work, he is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of SPRIN-D, Agentur für Sprunginnovation, and Chairman of the Advisory Board of Deutsche Private Equity (DPE).

Dr Shai Machnes, is a physicist with over 10 years’ experience in quantum optimal control, including leading the quantum control and software stack efforts in the EU project OpenSuperQ, and 20 years’ experience in the software industry where he was a programmer, team leader, product manager and CTO.

In 2021 Shai co-founded Qruise, and has been nominated as the company's CEO.

Before founding Crypto Quantique, Shahram worked as a self-employed cybersecurity consultant and as a security solutions architect at CyNation, a risk management company. Of his current role, he says, “After years working in the cybersecurity industry, I have seen how companies are continually choosing between expensive and complex security or highly scaled systems without meaningful protection. Recognising the need for a holistic solution that is easy-to-use at scale yet delivers robust and reliable security for everything from connected cars to high-end consumer goods, I founded Crypto Quantique.” Shahram, who lives in London, holds an MSc in Information Security and a PhD in Post-Quantum Cryptography, both from Royal Holloway, University of London.

Prof Dr Niko Mohr is a Senior Expert Partner at Digital McKinsey in Germany and a member of the global IoT and Quantum Technologies leadership team. He is a foremost authority in digital/technology strategy and cross-industry transformations.

With over 25 years of consulting and senior management-level experience (e.g., CDO), he specializes in corporate strategy, organizational development, and IT/tech transformation.

Niko caters to clients of all sizes, including start-ups, and across various industries. He has spearheaded several projects within nascent digital ecosystems, such as industry 4.0, connected buildings, smart cities, smart mobility, and quantum technologies, benefiting international corporations and institutions. 

Mathieu Munsch is a cofounder and the CEO of Qnami. He holds an engineering degree from the ENS Grenoble INP and a PhD on quantum mechanics from the University Grenoble Alpes. He worked 10 years as a researchers developing new sources of quantum light and lasers.

He is the author of > 15 publications in high profile papers such as Nature and the Physical Review. In 2017, Mathieu founded Qnami AG, a pioneer company in the quantum technology industry. Today Qnami is a leader in the emerging market of quantum sensing and metrology.

Mathieu is actively supporting the creation of a European quantum ecosystem and training of a new European workforce for quantum applications.

Florian Neukart has earned himself a reputation as high-tech leader and practitioner as well as a consultant for innovative and future oriented technologies. As a board member at the Terra Quantum AG, he is responsible for new product development. He is also on the Advisory Board of the International Foundation of Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing, Special advisor for the Quantum Strategy Institute, on the Board of Management of the AI Park, co-author of the National Roadmap for Quantum Computing Germany, on the Advisory Board of Quantum.Tech and a member of the Future Council on Quantum Computing at the World Economic Forum.

Before joining the Terra Quantum AG in 2021, he had been in various positions at the Volkswagen Group and took over responsibility for the Software Innovation Center in Munich, Wolfsburg, Berlin and San Francisco as its Director. Before his career at the Volkswagen AG Group, he had been in managing and research positions in industry, science and consulting. Florian Neukart studied computer science, physics and information technology and holds master's and diploma degrees in these fields as well as a doctorate in computer science with a focus on the interface of artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

He is engaged in academic research and teaching and works as an assistant professor at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science teaching quantum computing. Neukart wrote books about Artificial Intelligence and Energy, published a book on quantum computers and wrote more than 90 articles about quantum computing and various related topics covering a wide range from material sciences to autonomous vehicles.

Samira obtained a PhD in Materials Science from the Applied Physics Department of Chalmers University of Technology, specializing in superconducting quantum devices, nanoelectronics and materials characterization.

After her postdoctoral fellowship in nanoelectronic devices, she became an R&D project manager in one of the leading foundries in the semiconductors industry in Sweden, where she developed the expertise to create proof-of-concept of innovative piezoelectric sensors and energy harvesting devices. Samira learned even more about the practical obstacles that scientists and startups face through her role in the cleanroom management team in one of the largest nanoelectronics hubs in the world, IMEC, Belgium.

Samira transitioned from technical to policy work with becoming Project Manager - Innovation in the European Standardization Organizations (CEN-CENELEC). In this role, she worked very closely with the European Commission and National Standardization Bodies for creating a stronger connection between R&I communities and industry.

Since April 2022, Samira works a Programme Manager for Quantum Technologies and Electronics in EC European Innovation Councils and SMEs Agency, where she is responsible for developing visions for technological and innovation breakthroughs, the active management of EIC quantum technologies portfolio and supporting EIC beneficiaries in shaping European quantum ecosystem.

Markus is a dedicated quantum physicist, senior financial executive and deep tech entrepreneur. Since he was 14 years old, Markus has been a quantum physics enthusiast. He built on that passion, studying mathematics and physics at RWTH Aachen, and researched in the area of quantum field theory at CERN. His curiosity drew him to business and finance, and he subsequently joined Boston Consulting Group. Later on, he assumed management responsibilities as a senior executive in various corporates including Deutsche Bank and UniCredit, as well as positions as Chief Financial Officer in ownermanaged digital and high-tech companies. Ultimately, he decided to leverage his expertise in quantum physics, business and finance to become an entrepreneur in the quantum technologies space. In 2018, he founded Terra Quantum AG, a deep tech pioneer commercializing quantum tech application. Markus is senior advisor to private equity funds and member of the “Baden-Badener Unternehmergespräche (BBUG)”.

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Dr. Jessie Qin-Dregely is the COO of Single Quantum, a pioneering company in the field of superconducting nanowire single photon detectors with the mission to make the world’s fastest and most sensitive light sensors limited only by the laws of physics. Her expertise includes scientific instrumentation, nanophotonics, photon detection, cryogenics, organizational development, sustainability leadership, team building, and business strategy.

Dr. Qin-Dregely received her PhD in Electrical Engineering from Southeast University, China, in 2009. She was a visiting scholar at Duke University, United States, in 2008 and From 2010 to 2014, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. She has worked in several research areas including computational electromagnetics, metamaterials, nanophotonics, and superconducting nanowire single photon detector.

Alexander Regnat, Managing Director at kiutra, holds a PhD in physics from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, for his low-temperature research on novel intermetallic compounds.

With a strong background in cryogenics, he co-founded kiutra in 2018 to support the advent and industrial adoption of quantum technologies by means of sustainable magnetic cooling.

In 2019, Manfred Rieck set the course for Deutsche Bahn towards quantum technologies when he founded the research group for quantum technologies at the company. The group focuses on the industrial application of high-performance and quantum computers in addressing optimisation as well as the security aspects of quantum cryptography (PQC, QKD)

In his opinion, the key to success is the HPC/QC environment, which is why he propagates the expansion of Deutsche Bahn’s activities in this field. Deutsche Bahn is, for example, a consortium partner in several projects of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, such as PlanQK and #EniQmA. Manfred Rieck himself is the founder of the Federal #QuantumAlliance, member of the Governing Board of the European Quantum Industry Consortium (QuIC) on the Board of the Bitkom working group HPC & QC and on the research committee Quantum of the Münchner Kreis.

In the past, Manfred Rieck worked for IBM Germany on an international level, including as EMEA officer for the Project Management Center of Excellence and for BASF in a management position. He earned an MBA at the University of Reading, UK, and a diploma as computer scientist from the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University in Bonn, Germany. He also achieved an ISO certification for the sound assessment of the impact of quantum systems on cybersecurity.

Dr Heike Riel is IBM Fellow, Head of Science of Quantum & InformationTechnologies and Lead of IBM Research Quantum EMEA. She leads the Science of Quantum & InformationTechnologies department aiming to create scientific and technological breakthroughs in Quantum Computing and Technologies, Physics of Artificial Intelligence, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and to explore new directions to computing. She is a distinguished expert in semiconductor electronic and optoelectronic devices, nanotechnology and nanosciences and focuses her research on advancing the frontiers of information technology through the physical sciences.

She received the master’s in physics from the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg and the PhD in physics from University of Bayreuth and an MBA from Henley Business College. She has authored more than 155 peer-reviewed publications and filed more than 50 patents

She has received several prestigious honors, e.g., elected member of the Leopoldina – German National Academy of Sciences and the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences; she was awarded the APS David Adler Lectureship Award in the Field of Materials Physics, the Applied Physics Award of the Swiss Physical Society, and the 2022 IEEE Andrew S. Grove Award. She was honored as Fellow of the American Physical Society, and with an honorary doctorate by Lund University. In February 2022 she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Prof Sakai had developed his research career at Toshiba Corporation after graduating from Tohoku University, Japan. From 2019, he joined Q-LEAP at Tokyo Institute of Technology. His research interests are carbon nanoelectronics materials (diamond, graphene, CNT, etc.) and their applications (quantum sensors, electron sources, semiconductor devices, etc.).

He also acts as the convenor of WG8 (nanocarbon materials), TC113 (Technical Committee for nanoelectronics material and product technologies), IEC (Int. Electrotechnical Commission).

Dr Axel Schönbeck has studied physics at the University of Hannover and the University of Queensland. Focussing on quantum optics, he has worked on the development of squeeze lasers, specializing in the generation of squeezed light and its diverse applications since 2014.

He co-founded Noisy Labs, a company aimed at bringing the potential of squeezed light to the market in 2023, marking a milestone in the field of quantum optics.

Birgit Schwarz heads the hardware development at the IBM research and development laboratory in Böblingen. Together with her team she focusses on the development of the IBM Systems Z and POWER processors and is involved in conceptual work, architecture, logistics design, verification and physical design. Innovations such as the new AI acceleration unit in the z16 TELUM processor originate primarily from her team at the Böblingen development center. She is also jointly responsible for the development of components of the IBM quantum computer and the operation of the first commercial European quantum computer in Ehningen.

Until recently, Birgit Schwarz managed the IBM Quantum section in the German speaking countries. Before that, she worked in various positions in the IBM hardware and software product development.

Alexander Schwerdt is working as a Ventures Analyst for Plug and Play Tech Center. He holds a double degree in industrial engineering and innovation management from the Technical University Darmstadt.

In his current role, he is responsible for the investment activities of Plug and Play and technology scoutings for corporate partners of the open innovation platform STARTUP AUTOBAHN powered by Plug and Play. His main focus is on mobility and industry 4.0 related topics.

Stefan Seegerer is the Education Lead at IQM Quantum Computers. His work focuses on democratizing the world of quantum computing through education. One of the projects is IQM Academy, an interactive and engaging online curriculum for quantum computing. In September 2022, he was awarded the Balzert Prize for innovative teaching and learning concepts in computer science education.

Robert was born in Borna near Leipzig, Germany in 1990. After school, he studied physics at Leipzig University in 2009 with a focus on semiconductor physics and switched to nuclear solid-state physics for his master's degree.

Robert stayed at Leipzig University for his Ph.D. and focused his work on spin manipulation of NV centers in diamond and quantum sensing. In 2020 he co-founded Quantum Technologies GmbH and has held the position of CEO since then.

Together with his team at Quantum Technologies, he continued the work on pure optical quantum sensors for industrial applications.

Dr Daniel Twitchen has over 25 years’ experience developing CVD diamond synthesis for optical, thermal, electrochemical and quantum sensing applications.
His academic career started in Oxford with a DPhil in Physics, before moving to Element Six (E6) in its CVD team. Having previously covered a wide range of senior roles across R&D and Commercial, he operated as E6’s CTO prior to his current position of Executive Director, Business Development & Technologies Sales.
With more than 150 academic publications, 20,000 citations and over 60 granted patents, Dr Twitchen is a member of several national and international steering boards and has previously served on the Strategic Advisory Board for the UK’s National Quantum Program.

Jan Westerhues is Investment Partner and authorized signatory with Bosch Ventures in Frankfurt, Germany. Jan is involved in all phases of the investment process and was/is board member of US, EU and Asian deep tech start-ups. Prior to this position Jan was responsible for Bosch Corporate Strategy in the Asia Pacific region, based in Shanghai, China.

He gathered extensive experience in strategy consulting before joining the Bosch Group. Jan holds a degree in engineering and business administration (Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Ing.) from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany and is a CFA charter holder.

Bosch Ventures is the corporate venture arm of Robert Bosch GmbH ( We provide capital for minority stakes in start-ups from early to expansion stage. With offices in Europe, US, China and Israel, we are working with Deep-tech companies worldwide. Beyond the financial commitment, startups receive access to our vast network and support in commercial collaboration.

After studying computer science and business administration, Ingolf Wittmann started working at Nixdorf as a Unix System Engineer. In 1990, with the announcement of RS/6000, he took over AIX marketing responsibility at IBM Germany. This was followed by various positions as RS/6000 sales representative, sales manager for ERP solutions and international technical manager roles. Most recently, Ingolf Wittmann was Technical Director of High Performance Computing in Europe and leads the global technical team of IBM Quantum Ambassadors. In August 2020, he took over the management of quantum systems at Fraunhofer IAF in Freiburg and worked in the Fraunhofer-wide team, which is responsible for the project partnership with IBM and the first IBM Quantum System One in Germany.  Since May 2021, he has been a freelance consultant for academic research institutions, start-ups and in various international IT consulting networks. 

Ingolf Wittmann was chairman of the BITKOM IT Infrastructure Steering Board from 2007 to 2018. He founded the new Bitkom working group for HPC and Quantum Computing in 2017 and was elected chairman by the working group. He has been deputy chairman of the working group since 2022. 

He has written books on AIX 4 and AIX 5L and is a recognized spokesman for press and analysts on IT trends, technologies and open source.

Dr Katharina Wollenberg is Industry-University Collaboration Lead at SAP in Munich. She studied physics at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and at the University of Sussex and received her PhD in astronomy from the Ruprecht Karls University in Heidelberg.

After completing her PhD, she started her career at SAP as a software developer and became a strategic project manager in the Industry-University Collaboration in 2021.

Since then, she has coordinated numerous projects in the areas of applied research, knowledge exchange and co-innovation within the partnership between SAP and the Technical University of Munich. She sees herself as a “bridge builder” between the academic world of research and education and SAP's R&D units on topics such as logistics, sustainability, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing.