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Colorado officials celebrate $41 million federal investment in quantum development

Credit: iStock

by Lindsey Toomer, Colorado Newsline
July 2, 2024

The federal government awarded a Colorado-centered tech hub $41 million to boost its development of quantum information technology, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced Tuesday. 

The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded the money to Elevate Quantum, a consortium of 120 organizations across Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming focused on quantum development, to expand its quantum ecosystem. 

The EDA designated Elevate Quantum as one of 31 regional tech hubs across the country in 2023, making it eligible for up to $1 billion in government funding over the next decade. 

“Colorado is the Silicon Valley of the quantum era, and Elevate Quantum is going to lead us there,” U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper said in a statement. “Quantum is going to revolutionize medical drug discovery, supercharge artificial intelligence, strengthen U.S. cybersecurity, and support our transition to clean energy.” 

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, said the mountain region has played “a critical role in advanced technology” and touted the state’s newly signed law designating $74 million to support quantum research and quantum companies in the state. He said the combined investments from the state and federal government will ensure “the future of computing” is developed in Colorado. 

“This decision shows that America is serious about being a global leader in quantum technology, the future of computing,” Polis said in a statement. “Colorado is the center of the quantum technology ecosystem and we are thrilled that the Biden Administration is supporting our work to develop the best minds, research, and innovation in the country.”

The federal funding will help Elevate Quantum create more than 10,000 jobs and support more than 50 new quantum startups over the next decade. According to a news release from the University of Colorado, about 3,000 people in Colorado currently work for dozens of leading quantum companies, distinguishing Colorado as the state with the largest cluster of quantum business in the country. 

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.  

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. 

“We passed the bipartisan CHIPS & Science Act to revive our advanced manufacturing capacity and renew our commitment to cutting-edge research and development in areas like quantum technologies,” U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said in a statement. “Today’s announcement underscores the global leadership of Colorado’s quantum industry and the Rocky Mountain region’s role in strengthening our country’s advantage in next-generation technologies.”

Bennet, Hickenlooper and U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse advocated federal funding to support Colorado’s quantum efforts, signing onto a bipartisan letter in February urging the Department of Commerce to designate funding for Elevate Quantum. 

“In being named the nation’s leading quantum Tech Hub, Elevate Quantum, Colorado, and the Rocky Mountain West have solidified their position as the leaders of the quantum revolution,” Neguse, a Lafayette Democrat, said in a statement. “Today’s designation will have a tremendous impact on our state and will propel our innovation economy to the next level.”

This story is republished from CO Newsline under a Creative Commons license. Read the original story.