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CHIPS Articles: Air Force Research Lab Launches $1M International Quantum U Tech Accelerator Competition

Air Force Research Lab Launches $1M International Quantum U Tech Accelerator Competition
In partnership with Griffiss Institute, Oneida County & SUNY, Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Office of Naval Research
By CHIPS Magazine - July 14, 2020
The Innovare Advancement Center, a new open innovation campus located at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome, New York, announces it will host the “$1,000,000 International Quantum U Tech Accelerator.”

The global engagement will take place Sept. 1-3, 2020, with in-person and virtual events, including a $1,000,000 quantum-focused pitch competition for university researchers; fast-pitch sessions for members of industry, government, and academia; keynotes and remarks by world leaders in quantum information science (QIS); and opportunities for tours to learn more about Innovare and its exciting mission and capabilities.

Participants will have an opportunity to submit a 1 to 2-page white paper to pitch at the virtual event taking place in September. White papers are due on Aug. 4 2020.

Approximately $ 1 million will be available to fund one-year seed grants to successful teams, of approximately $75,000 per grant.

This competition will be the kick-off event for the Grand Opening of the Innovare Advancement Center, a world-class facility specializing in resources to accelerate both expertise and innovation in critical research areas, including artificial intelligence/machine learning, cybersecurity, and quantum information science.

Innovare is a partnership of the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI), Griffiss Institute (GI), Oneida County (OC), and State University of New York (SUNY). The competition expands on that partnership with the support of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for a global quantum pitch event including top-tier speakers and leaders, interactive and virtual networking opportunities, as well as the global launch for Innovare Advancement Center itself, “just over the fence” from the AFRL/RI in Rome, NY, which is regionally known as the “Rome Lab.”

Innovare enables a robust high-tech entrepreneurial, R&D, and educational ecosystem for the region and the nation by driving advancements in key strategic areas, including artificial intelligence/machine learning, cybersecurity, and quantum, with Innovare-connected research taking place at partnering organizations all over the world.

“AFRL is committed to transformational areas of S&T like quantum, and we are excited to bring together the world’s leading researchers and trailblazers across government, industry, and academia,” said Brig. Gen. Heather L. Pringle, Commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Materiel Command, Dayton, Ohio. “This million dollar international quantum accelerator and the Innovare open campus provide new opportunities to accelerate quantum basic research and facilitate innovation.”

This ‘Accelerator’ provides an entry point for those talented, entrepreneurial, and energetic researchers in academia and industry to innovate with us,” said Dr. Shery Welsh, Director, Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

The Innovare launch is a significant step forward in implementing the National Quantum Initiative Act, which aims to foster the development of a quantum technology ecosystem among government, industry, and academia. The Accelerator event will connect leadingedge QIS researchers to advance technologies and applications in this critical area. 48 teams across four quantum tracks related to timing, sensing, information processing/computing, and communications/networking will compete before an elite panel of cross-agency quantum leaders. The top performing university teams will be eligible for over $1M in basic research funding provided by the AFRL/RI, AFOSR, and ONR.

“With quantum science, we are on the cusp of a technology revolution, and the nation that can best apply quantum capabilities to communications, computing, sensing, and timing will have the upper hand. It’s essential that nation be the United States,” said Rear Adm. Lorin Selby, chief of naval research. “The partners in this Tech Accelerator effort are the right organizations and people to accelerate this research, and we look forward to the results.” live up to our region’s reputation.”

To register and learn more details about the three-day engagement, please visit:

A link to the RFP for those interested in taking part in the Accelerator can be found here:

More information about Innovare Advancement Center and additional updates related to the $1M International Quantum U Tech Accelerator can be found here:

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