Inside Quantum Technology

Biden Administration, Commerce Dept. designate two quantum Tech Hubs

The Biden White House and the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration have designated 31 regional areas across the country as Regional Innovation and Technology Hubs that will receive a range if benefits, and two of them are specifically quantum-related.

Each of the Tech Hubs can benefit from Chips Act funding that was set aside for stimulation programs related to community, jobs, education, and related issues, and will be eligible for further financial, marketing, and technical assistance from government agencies. Each Tech Hub will be led by a regional coalition that coordinates its activities.

The quantum-related Tech Hubs are:

“The Chicago region is a major player driving US leadership in quantum, in part because of the deep partnerships we have fostered among leading research institutions and industry partners — and in part because of strong federal and state government support,” said David Awschalom, the Liew Family Professor of Molecular Engineering in the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, and the director of the CQE, an intellectual hub founded in 2017. “This designation speaks not only to our promising future but to the collaborative, cross-sector work we are already doing to advance research, build a future quantum workforce, and drive the quantum economy, efforts that have been catalyzed by the CQE and its members and partners.” 

The CQE-led coalition proposed The Bloch, the name of which comes from the Bloch sphere, a geometric representation of the state that a quantum system is in. In Phase 2 of this program, the EDA expects to award approximately $50 million to $75 million each to a small number of implementation grant awardees, the CQE said. Only Phase 1 designees are eligible to apply. 

“Two important aspects of the U.S. Tech Hubs program are the focus on developing a strong, inclusive quantum workforce and the emphasis on strengthening local communities,” said Chicago State University Chemistry Professor Valerie Goss, a workforce development leader in the Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes for Quantum sensing for Biophysics and Bioengineering (QuBBE), and a member of The Bloch Tech Hub coalition. “Building and sustaining a robust quantum economy means investing in people, workers, and communities, and that is what makes both this designation and the work that we are doing, and will do as The Bloch, so vital.”

Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.

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