‘World’s leading researchers’ to compete in quantum competition at Griffiss as local leaders hail event, partnership

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A “pitch” competition for funding awards to researchers of quantum technology will be part of a $1 million International Quantum U Tech Accelerator event on Sept. 1-3, hosted by Innovare Advancement Center which is the new open innovation campus at Griffiss park.

The in-person and virtual event will include 48 teams across quantum tracks for timing, sensing, information processing/computing, and communications/networking who will compete before a panel, Innovare announced Monday.

The top-performing university teams will be eligible for over $1 million in basic research funding provided by Rome Lab, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Office of Naval Research. Rome Lab is formally known as the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information Directorate.

AFRL is “excited to bring together the world’s leading researchers and trailblazers across government, industry, and academia,” said Brig. Gen. Heather L. Pringle, commander of the AFRL, Air Force Materiel Command, with headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. “This million dollar international quantum accelerator and the Innovare open campus provide new opportunities to accelerate quantum basic research and facilitate innovation.”

The event will “act as a launching pad for the discovery and promotion of international university collaborations and research in the pursuit of novel quantum solutions,” said Rome Lab commander Col. Timothy Lawrence. “This event perfectly dovetails with Innovare Advancement Center’s efforts to emerge as a magnetic ecosystem and global catalyst, converging world-class talent with cutting-edge facilities and focused technology challenges in artificial intelligence/machine learning, cyber, quantum, and unmanned aerial systems to accelerate the development of game-changing capabilities.” The open innovation campus was announced last year, and the facility is near Rome Lab in a Griffiss airport building. Innovare is a partnership of Rome Lab, Griffiss Institute, Oneida County, and SUNY.

Among comments in Monday’s announcement:

• County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. said “as the Innovare Advancement Center begins to take shape at our Griffiss International Airport...the partnership we have forged with Rome Lab, the Griffiss Institute, and SUNY will lead this region to new heights. This Quantum U Tech Accelerator event will be a great opportunity to showcase the amazing things that are on the horizon.”

• Sherry Walsh, director of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, said the event “provides an entry point for those talented, entrepreneurial, and energetic researchers in academia and industry to innovate with us.”

• Rear Adm. Lorin Selby, chief of naval research, said “with quantum science, we are on the cusp of a technology revolution....The partners in this tech accelerator effort are the right organizations and people to accelerate this research, and we look forward to the results.”

• Rome Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo noted “Rome Lab has been identified as the lead agency to forge new research and development opportunities in the area of quantum computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning.” She remarked a vision “for a collaborative offsite research facility bringing together the best and the brightest in academia, government, and industry has become reality with the launch of Innovare Advancement Center and the Quantum U Tech Accelerator.”

• “The Griffiss Institute is proud to play a significant role in fostering collaborations amongst the Air Force Research Laboratory, industry, and academia to expand technological capabilities,” said institute President William Wolf.

• Grace Wang, interim President of SUNY Polytechnic Institute and SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, said “Quantum U will accelerate both technology and talent, reinforcing SUNY’s commitment to developing a quantum-smart workforce.”

• “The race to innovation in quantum computing is proving to be the great scientific race of the 21st century, and Rome Lab is leading the pack. The impacts of falling behind international competitors like China and Russia when it comes to this emerging technology would be wide-ranging and severe—from our economic stability to our national security,” said U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-NY.

• Congressman Anthony Brindisi, D-22, Utica, said “with the federal, state, and local government, as well as academia and private sector working together, our region has been put on the map for innovating and keeping our country safe.”

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