DarkMatter appoints Silicon Valley veteran to lead research arm

Cyber security firm accelerates research into artificial intelligence, quantum technology and advanced research
Thakker hopes to establish DarkMatter’s advanced research capabilities as among the leading in the world in due course.
Mitchell Weinstock
Thakker hopes to establish DarkMatter’s advanced research capabilities as among the leading in the world in due course.

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DarkMatter has hired Silicon Valley veteran Shreekant Thakkar as chief scientist, as the company ramps up investment in research and development.

Thakkar is the immediate former chief solutions architect at Qualcomm and will now head the DarkMatter Advanced Research division, reporting to DarkMatter founder and CEO, Faisal Al Bannai.

DarkMatter’s research function consists of three pillars, artificial intelligence (AI), quantum technology, and advanced research. Within AI, DarkMatter will focus its efforts on big data science, analytics, and machine learning, while the firm will dedicate increased resources investigating the development and application of quantum computing and quantum algorithms.

The advanced research arm will focus on secure communications; end point functionality and security; IoT; and smart cities.

As a first step to formalising this activity, Thakkar will, in his new role, develop his team as they work on key technologies and research for the firm’s new generation of products.

Faisal Al Bannai said: “Research and development has always been a key component of the DarkMatter proposition, and as a young company that has been building out its capabilities and portfolio, we are now ready to ramp up our investment in this important area. Ticky’s appointment is a key milestone in this direction, and we have plans to accelerate our exploration of emerging and cutting-edge digital technologies to the benefit of our entire value chain.”

As chief solutions architect at Qualcomm, Thakker led the Data Technologies’ Solution Architecture and Engineering team, which worked to drive a new Centriq platform into cloud, telecommunications and high-performance computing. Prior to joining Qualcomm Ticky was a vice president, fellow, and head of the emerging compute lab at HP where he led the development of technologies in mobile, wearables, IoT, robotics, and printed electronics.

Prior to joining HP, Ticky was an Intel Fellow and spent over 20 years at the company, where he was known as the ‘Father of the Intel Centrino and Atom Platforms.’

His work is said to have driven new, multibillion-dollar revenue streams at the company.

Shreekant Thakkar said: “I am excited to be joining DarkMatter at this stage in its development and reinforcing the notion that one can lead digital innovation globally from the vibrant United Arab Emirates. DarkMatter is a young and bold organisation and I am looking forward to establishing the firm’s Advanced Research capabilities as among the leading in the world in due course.”

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