The Maryland Quantum Alliance—a regional consortium of quantum scientists and engineers from across academia, national laboratories and industry—launched on January 29, 2020 with an event in the House of Delegates Office Building, and was recognized on the floor of the Maryland House of Delegates. Members of this alliance will drive quantum science discovery and innovation, develop pioneering quantum technologies and train the quantum workforce of tomorrow for the state of Maryland, the region and the nation.
The announcement comes at a pivotal time when quantum science research is expanding beyond physics into materials science, engineering, computer science and chemistry. Scientists across these disciplines are finding ways to exploit quantum physics to build powerful computers, develop secure communication networks and improve sensing capabilities. In the future, quantum technology may also impact fields like artificial intelligence and medicine.
The state of Maryland already leads the way in this crucial transition, with an existing workforce that spans academia, government and private-sector companies. Scientists and engineers at the University of Maryland, College Park and other institutions in the state and region already are collaborating across these areas to tackle the challenges associated with deploying quantum technology.
“With our great strength in quantum science, computing and innovation, we are well positioned to lead this initiative,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “By combining the strength of neighboring universities, federal labs and businesses, this initiative can make the whole region into a quantum powerhouse.”
Already a major hub for quantum science and technology, UMD hosts five collaborative research centers focused on different aspects of quantum science and technology: The Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS) are collaborations with the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The Quantum Technology Center (QTC) brings together UMD engineers and physicists to work on translating quantum physics into transformational new technologies. The Condensed Matter Theory Center has made pioneering contributions to topological approaches to quantum computing, and the Quantum Materials Center explores superconductors and novel quantum materials to enable new technology devices.
UMD played a key role in advocating for last year’s National Quantum Initiative Act that positions quantum information science and technology at the top of the U.S. science and technology agenda and provides $1.275 billion over five years for research. The university also is part of the Quantum Information Edge, a new nationwide alliance of U.S. national labs, universities and industry launched to advance the frontiers of quantum computing systems.
Maryland Quantum Alliance is currently comprised of the University of Maryland, College Park; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Morgan State University; Johns Hopkins University; George Mason University; The MITRE Corporation; Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory; CCDC Army Research Laboratory; Northrop Grumman; Lockheed Martin; IonQ; Qrypt; Booz Allen Hamilton; and Amazon Web Services.
In the alliance, government and academic researchers will look for new ways to work with companies both large and small to support steady progress on quantum technology research and enable its move into the marketplace.
"Quantum information science will provide important capabilities for our Warfighter,” said Dr. Pat Baker, CCDC Army Research Laboratory Director. “We are excited about a Maryland Quantum Alliance of strong regional institutions in this field to help accelerate research and transformational impact as part of persistent Army modernization."
Maryland Quantum Alliance members will also work on developing cross-disciplinary educational programs in physics, engineering, materials science and computer science that will produce the necessary workforce educated in quantum science.