Designation opens up millions of dollars in potential funding, elevates region’s profile in field

Colorado has been designated as an official technology and innovation hub for the quantum industry, opening up tens of millions of dollars in funding and elevating the region’s profile as a leader in the field.Gov. Jared Polis said the Biden administration notified the state Friday that it was chosen as a tech hub under the  CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. The act makes $500 million available initially with $10 billion authorized for 20 regional hubs. The U.S. Economic Development Administration manages the program. Sources familiar with the decision said the list of 20 hubs specializing in different technologies will be officially announced Monday.The Polis administration and a bipartisan group of legislators sent a letter earlier this month to Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo to show support for declaring Colorado as a quantum tech hub.

“The quantum sector is one of the key industries of tomorrow, and I’m thrilled the Biden administration is awarding Colorado a TechHub designation for quantum technology,” Polis said in a statement. “We will take full advantage of this decision to help create jobs, and support businesses and entrepreneurs because Colorado is the best place for tech and innovation.”

Polis and legislators said in the Oct. 6 letter to Raimondo that Colorado has allocated millions of dollars to strengthen the region’s capacities in quantum technology, including computing. In the past five years, the state has used $10 million in tax incentives and over $1 million in direct cash investments for local quantum companies, the letter said.

“This is the culmination of the hard work we started on my first day as (Denver) mayor: making Colorado the best place in the country to do business, to find a good-paying job, and to live a good life,” Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., said in a statement. “This will future-proof our successes and ensure we remain an economic and technological powerhouse.”

Hickenlooper, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee’s Space and Science  subcommittee, worked on developing and passing the CHIPS and Science Act. He also served on the Bipartisan Innovation and Competition Conference Committee, which negotiated a final version of the bill.

The Boulder-Denver area has been a center of research in quantum technology and a pipeline for companies for decades. Quantum computing is seen as taking computing to a new level by using the physics of quantum physics to solve more complex statistical problems faster and is considered the next big trend in high tech.The hub will focus on developing the use of quantum computing, quantum sensing, quantum networking and quantum hardware technologies and moving those applications from lab to market, according to Hickenlooper’s office. The technology can help speed up discoveries of drugs and sources of critical minerals as well as enhance space-based navigation systems and observation satellites.

“Colorado has spent decades investing in research and development and supporting a vibrant startup ecosystem to strengthen American leadership in quantum technologies. Today’s announcement will ensure we continue to lead the country in this field,” Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., said in a statement.

A consortium of local governments, businesses, universities and organizations formed to promote making Colorado one of the tech and innovation hubs. Participants include the University Colorado at Boulder; the cities of Denver and Boulder; Front Range Community College; Fort Lewis College; Colorado State University; ColdQuanta; Atom Computing; Colorado School of Mines; the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; and the National Center for Women in IT.

Article here. Updates with details about tech hub and comments rom Sen. Michael Bennet.