New Mexico’s science, education, and economic development leaders have formed a coalition to create future quantum computing jobs in the state.
Sandia National Laboratories, the University of New Mexico, and Los Alamos National Laboratory announced the new coalition at UNM at the Quantum New Mexico Symposium.
“Quantum technology will change the world one day, and it will bring with it high-paying, high-value jobs. New Mexico already has world-class intellectual capital and research facilities. We can also bring in industry. We can change the outlook for our state by making New Mexico a national hub for this high-tech sector,” said Rick Muller of Sandia, Senior Director of Advanced Microsystems.
Quantum computers can perform certain tasks faster than would ever be possible with supercomputers. Although the technology is still experimental, funding for its development has steadily increased around the world as governments and companies monitor its economic and national security implications, Muller said.
“Whoever makes the first breakthrough will have a big advantage. As a state, we want to be part of it,” Muller said.
Ivan Deutsch, Regents Professor and Director of UNM’s Center for Quantum Information and Control, said, “The New Mexico Quantum Coalition (QNM-C) aims for a broad partnership across New Mexico, including including our main research university, our tribal colleges and our community. colleges, as well as national laboratories and industry.
The coalition is supported by more than 30 colleges, businesses, labs, and nonprofit organizations that operate in the Land of Enchantment.
“Los Alamos National Laboratory has been a world leader in quantum science for decades,” said John Sarrao, the Laboratory’s deputy director for science, technology and engineering. “The State of New Mexico is poised to benefit from quantum capabilities and technologies at Los Alamos and our other institutions. We share a commitment to collaborative quantum research and development that engages and uplifts communities and industries wider areas of our home state.
Sandia and UNM also yesterday formed the Quantum New Mexico Institute, a joint research and education initiative that will create opportunities to build New Mexico’s local quantum economy, develop a quantum-ready workforce, and collaborate with leading institutions.
“Most people don’t know that New Mexico has made many major scientific discoveries in this area of research,” said Setso Metodi, Sandia’s lead in quantum computing. “As we continue to push the science, we also want to increase the number of people who can participate.”
Other coalition activities will focus on industry engagement, business development, policy and infrastructure improvements.
Mary Monson, Sandia’s senior director of technology partnerships and business development, said the state has advantages when it comes to attracting companies to this emerging sector.
“New Mexico has a huge government presence, including two national labs with strong quantum research programs. This makes the state attractive to companies and startups that want to work on government projects. So, we ask ourselves: what else will these companies need? How can New Mexico remove supply chain barriers for manufacturers, for example? What programs do our higher education institutions need to build a quantum savvy workforce? Monson said.