CHICAGO, IL - The greater Chicago region has recently been designated as an official U.S. Regional and Innovation Technology Hub for quantum technologies. This recognition not only brings prestige but also opens avenues for federal funding, positioning the area as a burgeoning center for quantum innovation. The Bloch Tech Hub, spearheaded by the Chicago Quantum Exchange, was chosen from nearly 400 applications nationwide.
The designation is part of a federal initiative aimed at accelerating innovation economies with the potential for global leadership in critical technologies. As a result, The Bloch is now eligible for the program's second phase, which could bring in millions of dollars to bolster the hub's activities. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker lauded the state's innovation prowess, stating that the rest of the nation has recognized Illinois as an "innovation powerhouse."
Quantum technology has the potential to revolutionize various sectors, including finance, medicine, and national security. David Awschalom, the Liew Family Professor of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago and the director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange, emphasized the importance of strong partnerships among research institutions and industry players in driving U.S. leadership in quantum technologies.
The Bloch Tech Hub aims to leverage the region's existing strengths and talent to expedite the adoption of quantum technologies across industries. It also plans to invest in underserved communities and employ a diverse workforce. The hub is part of a coalition that includes academic institutions, state and local governments, and national labs.
In the next phase of the program, the Economic Development Administration expects to award between $40 million to $70 million to a select number of implementation grant awardees. The Chicago area is already home to some of the world's leading institutions in quantum information science and engineering research, including the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
This designation is a significant milestone in Chicago's mission to become a top-tier tech and innovation hub, offering abundant job opportunities and inclusive economic development prospects.