Governor Polis and Governor Lujan Grisham Urge the Department of Commerce to Fund the Regional Quantum Partnership with Phase 2 Implementation Grant

Friday, March 1, 2024

ALBUQUERQUE, NM & DENVER, CO - Today, Governor Jared Polis of Colorado and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico shared a letter encouraging the Department of Commerce to award a Phase 2 Implementation Grant to the Tech Hub of Elevate Quantum (EQ) in Quantum information science and technology (QIS). The letter highlighted the particular strengths of Colorado and New Mexico in the EQ consortium, which consists of more than 118 organizations in the Mountain West. 

“New Mexico and Colorado have a long history of creating and supporting quantum institutions. Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory play a central role in the United States’ national security research and nuclear deterrence. These institutions have deep ties to quantum computing, nuclear physics, and cybersecurity, contributing to the United States' military and strategic capabilities. JILA (Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics) is a nationally- renowned joint research institute between the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), with over 200 quantum publications in the past decade alone,” per the letter.

In October 2023, Elevate Quantum was officially designated as a Tech Hub, positioning it to apply for and secure federal funding opportunities to advance the industry.

“A variety of regional educational institutions, from Front Range Community College to Central New Mexico Community College to CU Boulder, have committed to closing the gap for non-degree holders. A key program will be Rapid Skills Building, offering quantum apprenticeships that blend practical experience with theory for everyone from high school students and non-degree holders to veterans and professionals. The growing quantum industries across our states successfully employ people of many different skill levels including technical skills and we are committed to working to meet the needs of today's and tomorrow’s quantum workforce. We are engaging our committee college systems and our Hispanic Serving Institutions to ensure that people of all backgrounds can participate in the future growth of the quantum industry,” Governor Polis and Governor Lujan Grisham wrote. 

Both Colorado and New Mexico are making investments to support the Quantum industry, with Colorado planning to invest $44 million in refundable tax credits to enable Quantum facilities, develop advanced fabrication and laboratory facilities, and a multi-university partnership, as well as investing $30 million in tax credits to a loan guarantee program, which will in turn unlock over $1 billion in private capital and support over 11,000 quantum jobs. New Mexico is pledging $8 million to support the establishment of fabrication and laboratory facilities for translational research and commercial deployment within the CREATE project, as well as specifically committing $2 million in cash to workforce development and infrastructure activities, such as Quantum Learning Labs (QuLL), which will provide institutions like Central New Mexico Community College, Fort Lewis College (Colorado-based), and Emily Griffith Technical College (Colorado-based) hands-on access to hardware. The private sector is also putting forth funding to scale operations in the region.

The letter from the Governors concluded, “Our states have a shared, deeply connected history and commitment to the nation's quantum future. With critical federal funding support through the EDA implementation grant, we will ensure that this tech hub is a global leader by 2030, positioned to secure and extend America's national security interests in quantum through the century ahead.”