CHICAGO — Today, Governor Pritzker joined international dignitaries and ambassadors, leaders at the Department of Energy and local universities, and other elected officials to celebrate the opening of Fermilab’s new Superconducting Quantum Materials and System Centers (SQMSC) Garage. The SQMSC Garage is one of the five Department of Energy National Quantum Information Science Research Centers, and one of the largest quantum research labs in the world.
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“The SQMS Quantum Garage signals a new era in this field, and represents the best of our National Quantum Initiative,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “SQMS will accomplish what few other can—building on Fermilab’s unique strengths in related accelerator technology and particle physics, and creating a global partnership which spans across academia, national labs and industry, and federal agencies to reach a new quantum frontier. I’m thrilled to see our state attract the best in quantum science, and I am committed to making Illinois the premier hub of quantum development.”
Fermilab’s new SQMSC Lab will bring together a multi-sector coalition, including hundreds of experts from dozens of institutions across four nations, that will collaborate to bring quantum technology to scale. SQMS will be overseen by Director Anna Grasselino, who leads this team of world-renowned scientists and serves on the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). The lab contains the first commercial quantum processor deployed on-premise at Fermilab. It has quantum sensors with the potential to discover dark matter and new gravitational waves sources. It also has training platforms dedicated to providing hands-on education for growing the next generation quantum ready workforce. These platforms will enable scientists, industry, and start-ups to advance quantum technology and help solve challenges in fundamental science.
Located in Batavia, Illinois, the 6,800-acre Fermilab campus is one of the nation’s premier particle physics laboratories, working on the world’s most advanced particle accelerators. Fermilab collaborates with over 50 countries and is in partnership with the University of Chicago and a consortium of 89 other research universities.
Governor Pritzker is a champion of quantum technology, and his administration has invested $200 million in the Chicago Quantum Exchange through the Rebuild Illinois capital plan. Illinois is also the only state in the nation to house 2 of 5 National Quantum Labs and its rich quantum ecosystem also includes more than 100 incubators and accelerators, and world-class research universities with global leadership in business, engineering, and the sciences.
Previously, Illinois was named the top recipient for federal quantum research grants in the country when the Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab each received a $115 M grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The University of Illinois and the University of Chicago also each received a $25 million National Science Foundation Quantum Leap Challenge Grant, making Illinois the Illinois state in the nation to receive two of these awards.
Last month, the U.S. Economic Development Administration announced that two Illinois programs have been designated as part of 31 Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (Tech Hubs). The Central Illinois Fermentation and Agriculture Biomanufacturing (iFAB) Hub and the Chicago Area Quantum Tech Hub: The Bloch were selected based on their innovation and economic growth potential—they will now be eligible to apply for the second phase of the Tech Hubs Program to receive between $50 and $75 million in federal funding.
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