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  • Dan Powers

$40M Awarded to Colorado for Quantum Tech Hub; NIST, NREL, CU Boulder & JILA are Key Partners

A 70-plus-member coalition of companies, higher education institutions and other organizations in Colorado and New Mexico- called Elevate Quantum has been designated as one of 12 ‘tech hub’ grant recipients by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The award will unlock up to $127 million to spur development of the region’s quantum industry. The EDA’s investment will supercharge Elevate Quantum’s mission, creating 10,000+ new quantum jobs, raising $2bn in capital for the ecosystem, and generating nearly $20m in income to build a self-sustaining engine of the quantum economy — all by 2030.

“The quantum sector is one of the key industries of tomorrow, and I’m thrilled the Biden administration is awarding Colorado a TechHub designation for quantum technology. We will take full advantage of this decision to help create jobs, and support businesses and entrepreneurs because Colorado is the best place for tech and innovation,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis. Read more from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT)>>>

The Colorado Legislature designated $44 million for refundable tax credits that will help fund a shared quantum research facility. The other $30 million will go toward a “loan loss reserve” to improve access to funding for small and medium quantum companies. On May 30, Governor Polis made a historic visit to JILA, a joint institute established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado Boulder, to sign the recently passed Quantum Tax Credit Bill. This legislation aims to incentivize the adoption and development of quantum technology within Colorado, solidifying the state's position as a leader in this cutting-edge field.

The $41 million from the federal government comes from the CHIPS and Science Act. The Biden administration announced a total of $504 million going to 12 Tech Hubs to support technology production across various industries.

According to the news release from CU Boulder, the Mountain West is at the vanguard of quantum discovery; the region is home to four Nobel laureates affiliated with CU Boulder in quantum physics, three national labs and more than 40 federally funded research labs.

This Regional leadership in fundamental research has translated to commercial success: today, about 3,000 Colorado workers power dozens of leading-edge quantum companies—making Colorado the largest cluster of quantum businesses in the nation. Local quantum companies have already attracted over $1 billion in venture capital investment, with five of the top 20 VC-backed quantum companies located in Colorado—more than any other state. That number is projected to skyrocket over the next decade, adding tens of thousands of quantum careers across the region. Quantum jobs have a median wage of more than $125,000 and the majority do not require advanced degrees.

“Colorado is the Silicon Valley of the quantum era, and Elevate Quantum is going to lead us there,” said Senator John Hickenlooper. “Quantum is going to revolutionize medical drug discovery, supercharge artificial intelligence, strengthen U.S. cybersecurity, and support our transition to clean energy. This is Colorado’s next great success story.” Read more>>>

The quantum revolution isn’t confined to labs and research centers. It’s creating thousands of high-paying jobs for welders, fabricators and technicians. The EDA’s investment in Elevate Quantum is an investment in widespread economic prosperity, ensuring that as America leads in quantum technology, it is also building a robust, inclusive economy for the Mountain West and beyond, Elevate Quantum leaders say.

Elevate Quantum Tech Hub will leverage this award to support projects that are:

  • Constructing open-access quantum labs and fabs to enable rapid prototyping and low-volume manufacturing of critical quantum technologies;

  • Providing inclusive workforce development programming across colleges, universities, and companies to ensure a skilled and diverse talent pool in the region; and

  • Coordinating the consortium’s overall strategy, stakeholder and investor engagement, and executive management to execute the Tech Hub’s vision.

The Elevate Quantum Tech Hub seeks to solidify the region’s global leadership in quantum information technology (QIT) to enable progress in areas such as artificial intelligence, climate tech, and healthcare. Tapping into regional expertise and assets, including leading national laboratories, this Tech Hub will build on existing relationships between the regional research community and private sector to unlock transformative technologies needed to move quantum-based products to market.

This designation is part of the first phase of the novel Tech Hubs program, authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act, that will invest directly in high-potential U.S. regions and aim to transform them into globally competitive innovation centers. Designation is an endorsement of the region’s strategy to supercharge their respective technological industry to create jobs and strengthen U.S. economic and national security. Designated Tech Hubs are now eligible to apply for the next phase of the Tech Hubs Program that will invest between $50-$75 million in each of 5-10 Designated Hubs. Read more from the the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA)>>>

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