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PQIC Holds First Steering Committee Meeting; Joins Forces with Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance

Updated: Apr 16, 2021

Nobel Laureate Shares Perspective on Second Quantum Revolution; Leaders Discuss Plans and Partnerships to Develop a World-Class Quantum Ecosystem in Greater Washington

On April 9, DMV leaders came together to formally launch the Steering Committee of the Potomac Quantum Innovation Center (PQIC) with the goal of accelerating Greater Washington’s path to becoming a regional quantum innovation hub. PQIC is an initiative of Connected DMV stemming from a recommendation from the COVID-19 Strategic Renewal Task Force to integrate public, private, academic, and community efforts to position our region for leadership in the quantum era. PQIC’s Steering Committee comprises 14 leaders representing key stakeholders across DC, MD, and VA.


  • Dr. Wayne Frederick, President, Howard University

  • Dr. Darryll Pines, President, University of Maryland – College Park

  • Dr. Gregory Washington, President, George Mason University


  • Marc Elrich, County Executive, Montgomery County

  • Heather Gramm, Senior Director of Strategic Industries & Entrepreneurship, MD Department of Commerce

  • Paula Sorrell, Director, Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority

  • DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) – pending

Network Organizations:

  • Celia Merzbacher, Executive Director, Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C)

  • Marty Rosendale, CEO, Maryland Tech Council

  • Stu Solomon, President & CEO, Connected DMV


  • Dr. Joseph Broz, VP for Quantum Growth and Market Development, IBM

  • James Cook, VP for Strategic Engagement and Partnerships, The MITRE Corporation

  • Manny Rouvelas, Partner, K&L Gates

  • Brig. Gen. Richard “Scott” Stapp (retired), Chief Technology Officer, Northrop Grumman

Nobel Laureate Dr. William Phillips (Joint Quantum Institute, UMD / NIST) kicked off the meeting with an overview of how quantum technologies will transform our region and the world.

“We are in the midst of a 21st century revolution — the second quantum revolution — that is harnessing quantum mechanics to do really amazing and marvelous things,” said Dr. Phillips. “The DMV is a real hotbed for the second quantum revolution, as one of only a handful of places in the entire world with this many people conducting a broad a range of quantum research with partners across academia, industry, and government. We are at just the beginning of this quantum revolution with unimaginably exciting promises, and we can see a really bright future.”

See a short clip from Dr. Phillips’ presentation here:

Steering Committee members discussed PQIC’s strategy to support coordinated program development in the DMV across five functional pillars: Education & Workforce, Research & Development, Market Acceleration, Policy & Standards, and Funding & Marketing. The Steering Committee will meet every two months over the course of 2021 to provide accountability, strategic direction, and guidance for networking, partnerships, and funding.

At the meeting, PQIC announced a collaboration agreement between Connected DMV and UMD – College Park, under the auspices of which PQIC will work closely with the Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance (MQA) over the next two years to align operations, programs, and collective regional efforts. The MQA serves as an inclusive forum bringing together world-leading quantum experts from academia, industry, government agencies, laboratories, and research centers with a presence in the region. PQIC is also strengthening coordination with national networks located in Greater Washington such as QED-C and the Quantum Industry Coalition.

An early emphasis of PQIC is to support regional quantum workforce enablement and skills development for all communities. A 16-member working group is developing a quantum skills catalog and DMV educational program inventory to identify strengths and gaps for potential regional programming. In addition, PQIC and its partners are planning to leverage the DMV’s assets and capabilities across institutions into a shared regional innovation infrastructure to spur collaboration and efficiency in quantum education, research, and technology commercialization efforts.

PQIC and its partners will work with regional stakeholders to raise awareness of the significant economic development potential of quantum for the DMV (most recently evidenced by the IPO announcement of UMD-borne quantum computing startup, IonQ) and encourage leaders to act now to prepare their organizations and constituencies for the future. To this end, PQIC aims to develop an informed loop between industry needs and applied research for accelerated quantum applications in industry domains with a strong regional presence. PQIC is partnering with the Maryland Tech Council and others to launch a life sciences cohort to explore pre-competitive collaboration around quantum use cases, with downstream plans for domains such as energy, transportation, and national security.

Together, we can help lead our region responsibly into the quantum era. We must ensure all our communities contribute to, and benefit from, this technology shift in computing, network communications, cryptography, materials, and sensing that has the potential to transform whole industries. Please reach out to us if you are interested in contributing to regional quantum development.

About Connected DMV Connected DMV is an initiatives-based, charitable 501(c)(3) organization that works with regional organizations across Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia – the DMV – to help drive ongoing improvements to social, digital, and physical infrastructure. Connected DMV focuses on initiatives that span local jurisdictions and require public-private-academia-community collaboration to best achieve the dual objectives of enduring economic health and social equity.

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