This page contains the latest Potomac Quantum Innovation Center (PQIC) program updates. Please subscribe through our website to receive periodic updates or to contact us. Last updated December 22, 2021.
Highlights & Milestones
Connected DMV and regional partners announced the inaugural Quantum World Congress. The first-of-its-kind global convening will connect the world’s quantum ecosystem in the nation’s capital in the fall of 2022. The global quantum conference, exposition, and networking series will establish Greater Washington as the go-to destination and meeting place for quantum technology visionaries, policymakers, researchers, business and investment leaders and students. Key regional partners include Destination DC, the University of Maryland (a global top-five university for quantum), George Mason University, Howard University, Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance, The MITRE Corporation, and the Quantum Industry Coalition. In the upcoming months, the coalition will confirm additional partners and release further details about dates, venue, and speakers.
The EDA Build Back Better Regional Challenge Phase 1 finalists were announced on December 13 and unfortunately our region’s “DMV Quantum Innovation Growth Cluster” coalition proposal was not selected. Of the 529 Phase 1 submissions, 89% of applicants were not selected. It is also important to note that none of the other quantum bidders across the country were chosen. There were several strong bids from across Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland, with only one finalist from the DMV, Howard County’s (MD) cyber initiative. While the EDA grant would have helped accelerate portions of this vision, we remain enthusiastic and fully committed to our mission. The proposal process demonstrated that we have an unprecedented level of collaboration in our region around pursuing this common goal, and we will continue to build upon the tremendous support from our region and beyond.
Held the 4th PQIC Steering Committee meeting on December 15, which focused on the path forward and funding opportunities for the six identified regional priority projects: Quantum Academy, Quantum Innovation Hubs, Shared Quantum Infrastructure, Quantum Policy & Ethics Center, Quantum Manufacturing & Supply Chain Institute, and Quantum World Congress.
Continued development and scheduled launches for several key program components with the core partner organizations
PQIC Steering Committee members Dr. Darryl Pines (President of The University of Maryland, College Park), Dr. Wayne Frederick (President of Howard University), and Dr. Gregory Washington (President of George Mason University) spoke on a panel at the inaugural DMV Regional Congress (September 16) hosted by Connected DMV on the importance of regional collaboration in establishing a quantum growth cluster. Read more here.
PQIC Steering Committee member Dr. Darryl Pines wrote an op-ed for The Baltimore Sun published on October 1 entitled “Quantum Physics Will Revolutionize the DMV Region,” in which he mentioned PQIC as a key enabler of the region’s quantum ecosystem and said, “Make no mistake: This is our generation’s space race. Who will be the first to unleash the power of quantum? It should be the DMV area, and it can be, if we start putting all the pieces together now.”
PQIC’s George Thomas spoke on the promise of quantum for regional economic development at the Rockville Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Panel on October 5, alongside panelists Cindy Rivarde (Rockville Economic Development Inc. - REDI), Ben Wu (Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation), and Carla Merritt (MD Department of Commerce).
PQIC’s George Thomas participated in a panel discussion entitled, “Quantum: Separating Reality from Hype,” alongside national and regional quantum stakeholders at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo on October 20.
PQIC’s George Thomas presented on the promise of quantum for regional economic development to the Maryland National Capital Region Economic Development Alliance (MDNCREDA) on September 29 and to the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance (NOVA EDA) on November 18.
Education & Workforce
Held two meetings of the Quantum K-12 Brain Trust with participating school districts around Greater Washington to develop a regional quantum awareness, skills, and experiential learning program for K-12 students and educators
Divided the Quantum K-12 Brain Trust into the two groups focusing on developing programs in joint curriculum building and experiential learning
Executed a partnership agreement with Credly, a digital credentials agency, and began developing a badging program for PQIC Academy
Launched the initial version of the “Understanding Quantum” primer with information on quantum basics, technology domains, and PQIC’s focus growth sectors (life sciences, energy and environment, transportation and space tech, and national security)
Conducted an inventory of quantum education and training programs and capabilities at major universities in the region
Participated in QED-C Workforce TAC meetings
Research & Development
Forming brain trusts to advance the strategy and design for the Quantum for Life Sciences (Q4LS) and Quantum for Energy & Environment (Q4EE) industry cohorts
Conducted an inventory of quantum research assets and capabilities at major universities in the region
Developing the DMV Quantum Shared Infrastructure model with George Mason University, Georgetown University, Howard University, and other partners
The Quantum Startup Foundry (QSF, based at UMD) held its inaugural Quantum Investment Summit, the first of its kind connecting investors with startups on the East Coast, on October 12 and 13, where UMD announced the creation of the Discovery Fund to support innovative companies and startups to the tune of $1 million per year, and whose first round will focus on quantum-based businesses located in College Park and Prince George’s County.
PQIC participated in QSF Advisory Board meetings
Policy & Standards
Developing framework with partners to build out a quantum supply chain and manufacturing capability
Conducting discussions with regional and national stakeholders to form a quantum policy and ethics initiative
Funding & Marketing
Executing strategic joint regional funding pursuits with partners
Developing the delivery model and founding partnerships for launching an annual global event based in the region
Developing closer coordination with the Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance (MQA) on regional operations and programs
In collaboration with MQA, launched the Quantum Tunnel Webinars, an occasional webinar series showcasing thought leadership and significant updates from MQA members across academia, industry, government and research laboratories. Held on Wednesday afternoons from 1:00 to 2:00 pm Eastern, the Quantum Tunnel is designed to help both the Mid-Atlantic region get through barriers to quantum innovation and quantum enthusiasts get through their week. The webinar series will highlight topics, trends, and activities related to quantum technology, applications, and education/workforce. Most Quantum Tunnel webinars are intended to raise interest and awareness in quantum across a broad audience, so a technical background is not necessary. The first webinar was on November 17 and showcased The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s (JHU/APL) Quantum Education in Science and Technology (QuEST) program to introduce high school and college interns to quantum information sciences. Find more information here.
Upcoming Meetings & Events
5th PQIC Steering Committee on January 27, 2022