PNNL Leads Quantum Nexus Summit in Seattle

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Today a coalition led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Microsoft Quantum, and the University of Washington will convene in Seattle to launch the Northwest Quantum Nexus. The invite-only Summit will establish a center of geographic and intellectual gravity in the Northwest, where a talent pool can flourish and contribute to the quantum economy, through knowledge sharing, skill and experience development, research impacts, and community engagement.

The Pacific Northwest is already a center of intellectual and creative talent in information sciences,” says Nathan Baker, director of the Advanced Computing, Mathematics, and Data Division at Pacific Northwest Ntional Laboratory. “By establishing this partnership in quantum computing, we are planting a seed in fertile ground. We are forming a nexus for nurturing a talent pool and establishing the quantum economy through knowledge sharing, skill and experience development, and community engagement.”

Quantum computing takes a giant leap forward from today’s technology – a quantum computer can solve complex problems that would otherwise take billions of years for today’s computers to solve. This has massive implications for our economic, industrial, academic, and societal landscape. At the Summit, leaders in quantum information science and fellow decision-makers will explore how the Northwest can shape the future of quantum computing and its applications while giving back to the region.

The NQN members recognize that to realize the potential of the technology and its applications will require a coordinated effort that cannot be realized by an individual existing entity. The NQN provides a nucleation site for fostering and coordinating collaboration across several dimensions.

  • Multi-disciplinary research: fostering relationships among researchers with complementary expertise towards developing a system-level platform for QIS and its applications. It is anticipated advances generated through the NQN will feed clean energy applications, particularly the discovery of new materials and processes to increase the efficiency of industrial chemical operations and recycle carbon from diverse sources.
  • Public-private partnerships: extending the principles established among the existing public-private partners to inculcate a culture of technology development and transfer as an integral part of the virtuous cycle of development. The NQN will foster an ecosystem for startup incubation and spin-off of quantum-enabled products and practices.
  • Workforce development: educating and training the next generation to become fluent in the language of quantum computing and to be prepared to join the Northwest workforce created through the effort of the NQN. It is a primary tenant of the NQN that an educated workforce will be a critical component to realize the potential of quantum computing in our lifetimes.

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