Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance Expands Impact and Reach with Addition of 10 New Partners

news story image


The Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance—a rapidly growing hub of quantum technology research, development, innovation and education organized and facilitated by the University of Maryland—has added 10 new members over the past year for a total of 24 university, government and industry partners. Together these MQA members are building a vibrant and diverse ecosystem designed to foster U.S. and regional leadership in the coming quantum technology revolution.

The new members of the Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance (MQA) are: the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), IBM, Protiviti, Quantopo, Quaxys, Bowie State University, Georgetown University, Pittsburgh Quantum Institute, University of Delaware, and Virginia Tech.           

The additions expand the power, diversity, and geographical coverage of an already strong consortium of quantum scientists and engineers in academia, national laboratories, and industry that was formally launched on January 30, 2020, as the Maryland Quantum Alliance. The MQA was recently renamed the Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance to reflect its larger, more inclusive scope. 

“We are very pleased to welcome new partners to the Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance.” said University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines. "Our region is already a world leader in quantum science and technology, and the MQA is working to expand its impact in the design, building and commercialization of quantum technologies, and to create a skilled, diverse quantum workforce. This work is essential to power the coming quantum revolution in computing, communication, sensing, materials and many other areas."

For the past year, Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance workgroups have been creating ways for MQA members to more easily collaborate, share resources, facilities, equipment, expertise and data, team-up to pursue opportunities, and educate the public about the promise of the second quantum revolution. The expanding alliance has built a powerful forum for its members to engage and work together, not only on quantum science and technology R&D, but also on quantum training, education and global thought leadership. The MQA recently expanded the number and size of its workgroups in order to launch several new initiatives in its second year. These will showcase its technical leadership on the global stage, support quantum commercialization and entrepreneurship, and expand the quantum talent pipeline.

"MQA members' wealth of relevant expertise and Maryland’s concentration of world-leading quantum institutes with cutting-edge facilities and research, made this the ideal place to launch our new quantum technologies company,” said Alan Salari, founder and CEO of Quaxys— MQA’s newest member. “We are developing the new generation of hardware systems, especially at microwave frequencies,used for control and measurement of quantum bits, the basic unit of information in quantum computing. Quaxys is committed to solving the most challenging technical hurdles to quantum technologies. And we are excited to collaborate with experts from the University of Maryland and other MQA  members in our work to bring the best of such technology to the market in the shortest time." 

The Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance is collaboratively working to empower the region and nation to lead the unfolding second quantum revolution, which is expected to bring transformative advances in computing, communication, sensing, materials and many other areas. Alliance members have formally agreed to work together to inclusively advance the regional quantum ecosystem in a host of ways, including: 

  • raising public awareness of quantum opportunities and potential, 

  • driving new quantum science discovery, 

  • developing pioneering quantum technologies, 

  • supporting quantum entrepreneurship, and startup companies

  • training a diverse, world class  quantum workforce.

“We are excited to be a part of the Maryland Quantum Alliance (MQA),” said Bowie State University Professor Chaobin Liu. “We expect that MQA will create opportunities for BSU students to leverage the world-class quantum expertise, educational resources and career opportunities in the region and to fully participate in the second quantum revolution,” said Liu, whose research and teaching focuses on probability theory and mathematical statistics, Mathematical physics and quantum computation. Bowie State University, Maryland’s first historically black public university, supports the region’s workforce and economy by engaging in strategic partnerships, research, and public service to benefit local, state, national, and global communities.

Current specific goals of the MQA include: 

  • accelerating the strong quantum innovation by and among alliance members, and across the Mid-Atlantic region
  • promoting interdisciplinary, applied & translational quantum tech research and commercialization efforts & outcomes
  • making relevant quantum expertise & tech easier to find & access
  • sharing resources and identifying regional research infrastructure needs & opportunities
  • building a quantum workforce by: facilitating curriculum sharing & access to unique equipment/labs/expertise; and creating unique shared experiential learning programs 
  • elevating diversity & inclusion as a core part alliance efforts
  • connecting/amplifying public & K-12 education campaigns
  • building international partnerships

“Building and expanding diverse collaborations across different types of organizations are the foundation for a vibrant quantum economy within the region, which is the prime purpose of the MQA,” said John Sawyer, MQA Interim Executive Director, and Director of Strategic Research Initiatives at the University of Maryland. “Our members work together to align basic and applied quantum science with real-world needs and requirements, enable more rapid discovery of creative solutions, and equitably create the necessary infrastructure and workforce to scale up quantum technologies.” 

University of Maryland Quantum Leadership

The University of Maryland is the facilitating institution for, and a leader of the Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance. Long recognized as a national and world leader in 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. 

The Clark School thanks Lee Tune for this story.

Published February 17, 2021