Technology  October 23, 2023

Feds designate Colorado a quantum technology hub, unlocking millions in funding

DENVER —  The U.S. Department of Commerce, through its Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs program, has dubbed Colorado an official “TechHub” for the advancement of quantum technologies. 

The designation allows the state to tap hundreds of millions of federal economic-development dollars — $500 million in 2023 and $10 billion over the next five years — set aside as part of the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act. 

“The quantum sector is one of the key industries of tomorrow, and I’m thrilled the Biden administration is awarding our region a TechHub designation for quantum technology,”  Gov. Jared Polis said in a news release. “We will take full advantage of this decision to help create jobs, and support businesses and entrepreneurs.”

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The effort to establish the state as a quantum technology hub was led by Elevate Quantum, a consortium of about 70 stakeholders in the quantum space who represent industry, academia, capital and laboratories, according to a news release from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. “The Elevate Quantum Tech Hub application grew out of TechHubNow!, a public-private partnership established by Gov. Jared Polis in April 2023, to respond to a once-in-a-generation opportunity to grow the nation’s advanced and emerging technology industries.

Quantum theory attempts to explain the behavior of matter at atomic and subatomic levels. Applications of quantum science could revolutionize the way humans discover new drug therapies, map the cosmos, protect sensitive data, combat climate change and maybe even discover new forms of life.

The quantum field — which Scott Sternberg, the Boulder Economic Council executive director who will soon take the reins at CUbit Quantum Initiative summed up in a recent interview with BizWest in a “nutshell as the study of either the very small or the very cold” — is “arguably one of the most exciting and important disciplines” in all of science technology, he said. “The economic impact from new quantum businesses and the pyramid of all of the resources and expertise that’s being built here for the quantum future is so exciting.”

CUBit is the University of Colorado’s interdisciplinary hub dedicated to the advancement and commercialization of quantum technology.

“Boulder has always been on the forefront of developing new technologies and turning them into business enterprises,” Boulder Chamber president John Tayer said in an earlier BizWest interview. “CUbit is a perfect example of that. Our university and our community are at the forefront of quantum physics and its application to new innovations and business opportunities.”

The Boulder Valley — with the world-class CU physics department, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and JILA (formerly known as the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics) — has become, over the past three decades or so, the epicenter of quantum research. 

The region, a leader in evolving quantum discoveries out of the lab and into the marketplace, is home to operations from major corporate players in the still-nascent industry such as Quantinuum, a Broomfield company spun out of Honeywell International Inc. (Nasdaq: HON);  California-headquartered Atom Computing Inc., which opened a Boulder R&D center last year; and ColdQuanta Inc., a Boulder-born firm that does business as Infleqtion that has grown into a worldwide operator with offices as far flung as Austin, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Many of the Boulder Valley players are involved in the Elevate Quantum initiative, which is chaired by Dan Caruso, founder of Boulder-based Zayo Group and of Caruso Ventures, a major investor in local quantum companies. 

“Quantum’s next chapter is unfolding in Colorado,” Caruso said in a prepared statement. “With a 60-year heritage of pioneering this industry, Colorado is transitioning to spearheading a global industry. Our research and development landscape is now paired with a proven track record of commercializing. It’s not just about the depth of our knowledge; it’s about the breadth of visionary leadership that Colorado uniquely offers.”

DENVER —  The U.S. Department of Commerce, through its Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs program, has dubbed Colorado an official “TechHub” for the advancement of quantum technologies. 

The designation allows the state to tap hundreds of millions of federal economic-development dollars — $500 million in 2023 and $10 billion over the next five years — set aside as part of the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act. 

“The quantum sector is one of the key industries of tomorrow, and I’m thrilled the Biden administration is awarding our region a TechHub designation for quantum technology,”  Gov. Jared Polis said in a news release. “We…

Lucas High
A Maryland native, Lucas has worked at news agencies from Wyoming to South Carolina before putting roots down in Colorado.
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