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Published on April 02, 2024
Chicago Eyes a Quantum Leap: Governor Pritzker Unveils Plan to Elevate City with $60 Billion Tech Hub InitiativeSource: X/Governor JB Pritzker

CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker has set the stage for Illinois to dive deeper into the quantum pool, with an eye on securing a tech-rich future for Chicago. As reported by the state's official news, the governor, alongside Innovate Illinois, has cast the spotlight on The Bloch Quantum Tech Hub, unveiling a multi-year roadmap designed to harness quantum tech for tackling complex challenges like fraud detection and drug discovery. The ambitious plan could inject a whopping $60 billion into Chicago's economy over the next ten years.

Embracing cross-sector collaboration, The Bloch has rallied a coalition of more than 50 entities, including heavyweight Fortune 500 companies, sprightly startups, and heavyweight academic institutions. With a promise of creating 30,000 new quantum jobs and training 50,000 workers, the hub is poised to be a significant player in the burgeoning quantum landscape. As Pritzker was excited to say, "I'm so excited to recognize The Bloch, our EDA Tech Hub that is helping us develop quantum technology solutions for some of our world's most difficult and pressing problems," aligning the state to not just compete but excel in the quantum race.

The city's partnership with The Bloch, led by the Chicago Quantum Exchange, is a strategic move to stamp Illinois's authority in critical tech sectors. Touting a massive $625 million in public and private funding, the venture is slated to play instrumental roles in quantum research commercialization. As per the Illinois government press release, the planned investment even extends to a pioneering quantum campus featuring a state-of-the-art cryogenic facility critical for the advancement of quantum technology.

Sitting pretty with encouragement from both private and public quarters, The Bloch is envisioned as a nucleus for synergy between quantum technologists and mainstream industries. It aims to cultivate the largest quantum program led by community colleges in the US and connect tech developers with beneficial feedback loops. According to a statement issued by IBM's Jay Gambetta, "The Bloch Tech Hub's efforts, including the use of Qiskit, bring about the best chance for this, and I look forward to seeing how this collaboration will advance industries with practical applications."

The shared enthusiasm extends to the federal level, with U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin voicing their strong backing for The Bloch's quantum endeavors. "Illinois is already a global leader in quantum technologies," Senator Durbin told Illinois government's news. The project's scope isn't just to feather the cap of Illinois as a tech hub, but also tap into the potential for job creation and scientific discovery.

With the tech hub's Phase 2 bid hanging in the balance, The Bloch's potential success could redefine industry frontlines, turning the Midwest into a nexus of quantum innovation. Support from Chicago's City Colleges and tech giants, as well as the local quantum software company Infleqtion, pledges to transform the state into a quantum juggernaut.

In light of Illinois's historical investment and the collective efforts of The Bloch and its partners, the vision is not merely to push America to the forefront of quantum research but also to cultivate a generation of scientists and engineers up to the rigorous demands of tomorrow's technological challenges.

Chicago-Science, Tech & Medicine