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Washington state’s quantum industry gets a roadmap

A newly issued report says Washington state provides one of America’s best settings for expanding the frontiers of quantum information science — but those frontiers are so strange and new that it’s hard to get a handle on their potential.

The technology landscape report, titled “Quantum Information Sciences in Washington State,” was prepared by analysts at Moonbeam for the Washington Technology Industry Association’s Advanced Technology Cluster — and issued by the WTIA in conjunction with this week’s Northwest Quantum Nexus Summit at the University of Washington.

Formed in 2019, the Northwest Quantum Nexus’ membership shows why the region is well-suited to play a leading role in the quantum revolution.

NQN’s partners include Microsoft and Amazon Web Services, which have both rolled out cloud-based quantum computing platforms; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which is working on a range of quantum applications for national security purposes; and premier research institutions including UW and Washington State University.

“This report validates our thesis that Washington state has the right mix of organizations and capabilities — ranging from startups to legacy enterprises — to ensure Washington becomes a global leader in both quantum adoption and commercialization,” WTIA’s CEO, Michael Schutzler, said in a news release.

But the report also says the state’s tech ventures aren’t taking full advantage of homegrown talent.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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