• Dr. Arturo Robertazzi, Head of Marketing & Sales bei Quantistry

    The chemistry lab in the cloud

The Berlin start-up Quantistry makes chemical experiments in digital space possible with the help of Artificial Intelligence and quantum chemical simulations. Customers save development time and costs with the QuantistryLab. To use the virtual lab, all that is needed is a web browser. The software and the necessary expertise are easily accessible in the cloud.  

“QuantistryLab was born in Berlin. It is characterised by the vibrant mix of technology, culture and science found in the city’s many universities and institutions, which are at the forefront of scientific knowledge and applications.” Dr. Arturo Robertazzi is a quantum chemist and Head of Marketing & Sales at Quantistry. The start-up was founded in Brain City Berlin in 2019 – as a scientific spin-off from the Freie Universität Berlin.

The idea for the product “QuantistryLab” came to the two founders, Dr. Marcel Quennet and Dr. Vincent Pohl, during their PhD. It is as simple as its implementation is complicated: The two founders developed a digital chemistry laboratory with which material and molecular properties can be determined using computers. Although similar products already exist on the market, Quantistry’s digital chemistry laboratory is a cloud-based solution that groups software, expert knowledge and computing power into a complete package; chemical simulations are carried out using Artificial Intelligence. “Atomistic chemical simulations have been used in science for decades, but their widespread application in research and development is blocked by some high hurdles,” explains Arturo Robertazzi. “To be able to use them, for example, you have to be an expert in simulations, have access to high-performance computers and buy several software packages.”

Quantistry simplifies and streamlines the process significantly: “All you need for QuantistryLab is a web browser,” says Robertazzi. “We do not want to replace 'real' laboratories, rather we want to make chemical simulations more accessible for those involved in industrial research and development – and thereby democratise them, so to speak. To this end, we have developed the world’s most intuitive cloud-based chemical computing platform that can easily integrate computational resources to accelerate simulations of chemical and physical processes.”

Simulate chemical experiments with a click

Quantistry has now grown to around 16 people. Typical for a Berlin start-up: the team is international. Almost half of the employees are software experts who work closely with the researchers in the team. This is because the customers, who mainly include research and development departments from the battery systems, optics and lubricants sectors as well as the pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries, should be able to intuitively and quickly put together their own specific test scenarios in the QuantistryLab without any programming knowledge.

“Use Case Designer” is the name of the virtual tool with which they can add chemical structures, digitise series of experiments and start analyses with just a few clicks and without any prior technical knowledge – and thereby gain valuable information about the development of their molecular systems and materials before they synthesise them. This also makes the QuantistryLab special, because digital simulation solutions in chemistry can usually only be operated with expert knowledge. “Our customers not only save costs and resources, but also work much more sustainably,” says Robertazzi. “We want them to be able to generate high-quality scientific knowledge that simplifies, inspires and guides experimental decision-making in the laboratory.” The Quantistry team is currently working on ensuring that the platform can also seamlessly integrate quantum computers in the future. This would be a clear competitive advantage for customers, because the simulations of chemical and physical processes could be further accelerated.

Quantistry’s customers and cooperation partners are now located all over the world. But the start-up still has its office in Berlin: The Charlottenburger Innovations-Centrum (CHIC) is located in the middle of the Charlottenburg campus, one of Berlin’s “Zukunftsorte” (future locations) – and only a few kilometres from the Technische Universität Berlin and the Berlin University of the Arts. “Despite our international orientation, we appreciate the opportunities for cooperation that Berlin offers us. We have close connections to the FU Berlin and to the start-ups in the fields of simulation and Artificial Intelligence based here,” says Robertazzi, explaining the decision for the location.

At the same time, Quantistry benefits from the openness, diversity and innovative strength of the city: “Berlin is indeed a strong magnet for talent in software development, computational chemistry and other technical fields. Talented people come for the city and stay for the atmosphere,” says Arturo Robertazzi, adding: “We are happy to be here. Berlin is our city.” (vdo)


Chemical simulation in QuantistryLab: configurated quickly without expert knowledge. (Digital Organic Chemist – QuantistryLab view. © Quantistry)

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