Public-Private Group Targets Quantum Research Hub Development
A new public-private partnership is collaborating on an ambitious proposal to develop Connecticut as a regional hub for quantum-related research, technologies, and jobs.
Yale University, the University of Connecticut, and a coalition of private and public sector partners received a $1 million planning grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation.
The grant was announced May 11 as part of the NSF Engines program.
It’s a national effort to turn cutting-edge research into new technologies, jobs, and economic growth.
Yale and UConn will use the money to develop plans for quantum-related companies and identify ways quantum research can help existing companies.
“Quantum science and technologies hold so many keys to the future of Connecticut and the nation,” said Pamir Alpay, UConn’s interim vice president for research, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
The proposal could result in a $160 million award from the federal government to implement the ideas into a Quantum-CT Regional Innovation Engine.
The idea would be to create new jobs and train a new workforce for quantum manufacturing.
“Bringing together the expertise and research excellence of UConn, Yale, and many partners, Quantum-CT has the potential to be transformative for science, our economy, and workforce,” Alpay said.
Congress authorized the grants last year as part of the CHIPS and Science Act.
“These NSF Engines Development Awards lay the foundation for emerging hubs of innovation and potential future NSF Engines,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan.
‘Revolutionize Economic Growth’
In addition to Yale and UConn, the proposed Quantum-CT Regional Innovation Engine brings together a broad coalition of public and private partners, including CBIA.
“This will be a multi-billion-dollar industry, and we’d love for Yale and UConn, with partners around the state, to nucleate a national quantum corridor in Connecticut,” said Michael Crair, Yale’s vice provost for research and co-principal investigator for the NSF grant.
Rina Patel, vice president of NA operations with Marmon Industrial Energy & Infrastructure and past chair of CBIA’s board of directors, represents CBIA in the coalition.
“Quantum research will be the cornerstone for cutting-edge technology that will revolutionize Connecticut’s economic growth,” said Patel.
“This effort will allow us to embark on a journey that will enrich our job market and attract high-quality workers to our state.”
The coalition also includes:
- Gov. Ned Lamont’s office and several state agencies
- Municipal leaders from New Haven, Hartford, Waterbury, and Stamford
- Raytheon Technologies
- Boehringer Ingelheim
- Quantum Circuits Inc.
- The Connecticut Workforce Council
- Connecticut Small Business Development Center.
“We have a real opportunity here to devise a statewide strategy for advancing a new industry sector that will produce new companies and jobs, benefiting the entire state,” said Yale associate vice president for federal and state relations Richard Jacob.
The coalition will concentrate on four areas of development:
- Identifying industry partners with needs that can be matched with emerging quantum discoveries
- Building an invention-to-impact model that includes seed grants and incubator space for new quantum tech start-ups
- Creating a blueprint for training a state workforce with the skills needed to produce new quantum-related products
- Designing the innovation engine, the entity that will take the lead in implementing the three-pronged strategy in research, invention-to-impact, and workforce training
“One of Connecticut’s greatest strengths is our highly educated, highly skilled, and highly productive workforce,” said CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima.
“Collaborating on initiatives like this will create new, high-quality jobs, transform the way companies do business in our state, and strengthen our reputation on the global stage.”
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