The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is joining as a core member of the Chicago Quantum Exchange, which was launched last year by the University of Chicago, Argonne and Fermilab to promote quantum research. The new alliance already has multiple projects underway, including one of the world’s longest quantum communication links to test technology that one day could be the basis for an unhackable network. It will stretch 30 miles between Argonne in Lemont and Fermilab in Batavia.
The effort uniquely positions the Chicago area to attract industry partnerships and government funding, while making it a leader in training the new quantum workforce. On Nov. 8-9, government officials, university researchers and industry leaders—including senior researchers from Google, IBM and Microsoft—will gather in Chicago for a two-day summit on quantum science and technology.
“Harnessing the laws of quantum mechanics holds great promise for a wide range of technologies. The Chicago Quantum Exchange brings research universities and national laboratories together in an innovative way, making Chicago a unique and powerful hub for the development of critical new technologies,” said Robert J. Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago.
“This partnership is another outstanding example of the unparalleled intellectual and academic capacity of our universities and research enterprises distributed throughout our state,” said Timothy L. Killeen, president of the University of Illinois System. “It exemplifies the vision for the Illinois Innovation Network: to foster partnerships and bring expertise and resources together in ways that translate directly into groundbreaking discovery and innovation and economic impact and development for the entire state and region.”
The collaboration between UChicago and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is based in the new 53rd Street innovation facility developed by Wexford Science and Technology, where the Polsky Center supports venture creation at the University and with community entrepreneurs. The universities’ developing research and public engagement efforts will leverage their research and programmatic strengths in diverse areas, ranging from improving educational outcomes to supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses.
On Oct. 29, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announced a new investment of $15 million to establish the Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center (IQUIST) at the Urbana-Champaign campus, adding dramatic capacity to the quantum collaboration.
“For nearly two decades, our four institutions have been at the intellectual epicenter of this field of quantum information science and technology that is being born at the intersection of physics, computing, engineering and materials,” said Robert J. Jones, chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “The Chicago Quantum Exchange will accelerate the arrival of a new era of innovation and discovery, and it will anchor the quantum revolution right here in Chicago and in the state of Illinois.”
Pioneering quantum partners