New Mexico Awarded Quantum Tech Hub Designation Releasing Millions in Federal Funding


Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced on Tuesday that a coalition representing New Mexico and Colorado has been awarded $41 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to advance the region’s quantum information technology sector as one of twelve Tech Hubs selected nationwide.

The Elevate Quantum Tech Hub, led by Elevate Quantum, will combine $41 million from the EDA Tech Hubs Program with matching funds from Colorado ($74 million) and New Mexico ($10 million) to enable a total of over $125 million in funding to solidify the Mountain West as a global leader in quantum information technology (QIT).

This is a tremendous opportunity for New Mexico as a rapidly expanding hub for cutting-edge research and technology,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “Quantum information is exactly the kind of industry we want to build and expand in New Mexico, and I thank our partners in Colorado, sector leaders in New Mexico, and the entire Elevate Quantum team for this historic announcement making the Mountain West the only quantum tech hub in the country. Once again, EDA has demonstrated their immense value as a partner for New Mexico and the region.”

Tapping into regional expertise and assets, including leading national laboratories, the Elevate Quantum Tech Hub will build on existing relationships between the regional research community and private sector to unlock transformative technologies needed to move quantum-based products to market.

The Elevate Quantum Tech Hub seeks to strengthen the Mountain West’s QIT sector by focusing on commercial-ready applications in sensing, computing, networking, and enabling hardware. The consortium aims to expedite lab-to-market translation by establishing globally unique quantum labs and fabrication facilities, reducing the time and cost of commercializing quantum innovation; lowering barriers to quantum entrepreneurship; and building a workforce ready to meet the needs of this growing sector.

New Mexico assets played a crucial role in the Elevate Quantum coalition, including the Economic Development Department, the University of New Mexico, Central New Mexico Community College, Sandia National Laboratories, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

This announcement reflects New Mexico’s longstanding history and culture of innovation, as well as a willingness to embrace frontier technologies,” said Alex Greenberg, economic development advisor to Gov. Lujan Grisham. We’re excited to enter the next phase of quantum technology which represents limitless potential. The 10,000 jobs and 30,000 skilled workers expected as a result of this announcement will dramatically bolster the workforce and investment opportunities in New Mexico and across the region.”

Programmatic deployment of the Tech Hub in New Mexico will be made up of two central aspects: a quantum information technology fabrication and laboratory facility for translational research and commercial deployment, and comprehensive quantum workforce development that will include a Quantum Learning Lab. The Economic Development Department Office of Strategy, Science & Technology plans to work with the Tech Hub to attract and support the growth of quantum industry in the state.

The Elevate Quantum Tech Hub will catalyze the quantum sector in New Mexico, furthering existing efforts like that of the Quantum New Mexico Institute and building the foundation for a thriving high-tech industry in the state – Albuquerque was recently touted as a potential next hotbed for quantum technology by Quantum Insider.

This investment comes on the heels of upgrades to UNM’s programs. 

New Mexico scientists played a pioneering role in the development of Quantum Informational Science; now The University of New Mexico (UNM) is partnering with Sandia National Laboratories to launch the University’s newest research center, the Quantum New Mexico Institute (QNM-I).

New Mexico’s role in the development of Quantum Information Science (QIS) will be vital to the technology of tomorrow,” said Ivan Deutsch, UNM distinguished professor and QNM-I founding director in a January 2024 release

The first quantum revolution impacts our daily lives. It is at the heart of the digital world and underlies everything we use, like our smartphones and GPS navigation; the second quantum revolution will turbocharge information technologies.

Our scientists helped launch the second quantum revolution, through activities at UNM and the national laboratories, and I believe the QNM-I will build on this foundation, putting New Mexico in the national spotlight for its strong quantum science and engineering activities,Deutsch said.

UNM has graduated more than 40 doctorates in physics who are now QIS leaders in academia, national labs, and industry across the nation, ultimately strengthening collaboration opportunities with partners all over the world. Within the last 10 years, the partnership between UNM and Sandia Labs has cultivated an atmosphere of teamwork with the participation of faculty, postdoc, and student researchers involved in the UNM Grand Challenges program and a variety of collaborative research projects. In 2021, UNM Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs James Holloway and Sandia Deputy Chief Research Officer Basil Hassan launched a “road map” of large collaborative partnerships for the two institutions, and the QNM-I was developed through this initiative with the additional goals of workforce and economic development, thereby strengthening New Mexico’s ability to capitalize on the quantum information businesses that are now forming.

Our vision is to make New Mexico a destination for quantum companies and scientists across the world,” said Setso Metodi, QNM-I co-director and Sandia Labs manager of quantum computer science.

The institute’s interdisciplinary foundation will include several departments across the University including Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Computer Science, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mathematics & Statistics, and Physics & Astronomy.

“We are extremely pleased to build off UNM’s rich history in QIS and create the QNM-I as a truly interdisciplinary and multi-institutional endeavor housed under the auspices of the UNM Office of the Vice President for Research,” said Ellen Fisher, professor and UNM vice president for research. “The establishment of the QNM-I will undoubtedly solidify UNM’s place as a leader in the second quantum revolution, provide extraordinary experiences for students and postdocs, and create an unparalleled regional ecosystem for QIS.”

In the U.S., the National Quantum Initiative (NQI) Act of 2018 seeks to do the following at universities across the nation:

  1. Expand the number of researchers, educators, and students with training in quantum information science and technology to develop a workforce pipeline.
  2. Promote the development and inclusion of multidisciplinary curriculum and research opportunities for QIS at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral level.
  3. To address basic research knowledge gaps, including computational research gaps.
  4. Promote the further development of facilities and centers available for quantum information science and technology research, testing and education.

The Center for Quantum Information and Control (CQuIC), which will be part on the new QNM-I, participates in two of the NQI Centers. CQuIC is the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Focused Research Hub in Theoretical Physics, which hosts a prize postdoctoral fellowship program. QNM-I leadership hope to expand this momentum with new fellowship opportunities including the Sandia Gil Herrera Fellowship in Quantum Information Science. UNM students will also have expanded opportunities to participate in collaborative research between UNM and the national labs.

“QIS is a global endeavor, and New Mexico is a major player,” Deutsch said. “The UNM-Sandia Labs partnership will raise our national profile to attract some of the world’s best and most diverse talent to New Mexico, and the powerhouse combination will allow us to tackle large, sponsored projects with our student and faculty researchers at the forefront of it all.”

The work of UNM is paying off with the $41 Million investment into New Mexico announced by the Governor. 

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