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IonQ, UMD to Establish First-of-its-Kind Facility to Provide Quantum Computing Access

$20M Investment From UMD Will Create National Quantum Lab in Discovery District

By Maryland Today Staff


The new National Quantum Lab (Q-Lab), to be located adjacent to IonQ in UMD's discovery district, will give UMD-affiliated students, faculty, researchers, staff and partners access to IonQ’s industry-leading trapped-ion quantum computer hardware as well as IonQ scientists and engineers.

Photo courtesy of Joint Quantum Institute

IonQ, the leading developer of quantum computing devices, and the University of Maryland, an international powerhouse in quantum research and applications, today announced a partnership to create the National Quantum Lab at Maryland, or Q-Lab. It will be the nation’s first user facility that enables the scientific community to pursue world-leading research through hands-on access to a commercial-grade quantum computer. UMD-affiliated students, faculty, researchers, staff and partners across the country will have an unprecedented opportunity to gain experience with IonQ’s industry-leading trapped-ion quantum computer hardware and collaborate with IonQ scientists and engineers.

The Q-Lab will be located in the UMD Discovery District, next to IonQ’s headquarters in College Park. Leaders in science, engineering and computing will co-locate in the Q-Lab, empowering them to work together to develop novel quantum applications. The facility will also enable training related to the use of IonQ’s commercial-ready quantum hardware, and future generations of quantum programmers will receive best-in-class support as they explore projects at the cutting edge of computing, allowing them to graduate prepared to address industry challenges.

As part of this new nearly $20 million quantum investment, UMD now has access to IonQ’s quantum hardware—the most robust in the market. Recent advances in quantum computing—including IonQ’s recent demonstration of an industry-first 4x16 multicore quantum architecture—are supporting transformative research across areas including biology, medicine, climate science and materials development.

The Q-Lab is expected to significantly democratize access to this innovative technology, generate new intellectual property and attract global scientific and engineering talent to the area. Building on the resources, programming and partnering opportunities provided through UMD’s Quantum Startup Foundry and the Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance, the Q-Lab offers another incentive for entrepreneurs and startups to bring their businesses to College Park and further galvanize the area’s robust private sector ecosystem.

“No other university in the United States is able to provide students and researchers this level of hands-on contact with commercial-grade quantum computing technology and insights from experts working in this emerging field,” said UMD President Darryll J. Pines. “We could not be more proud of IonQ’s success and we are excited to establish this strategic partnership, further solidifying UMD and the surrounding region as the quantum capital of the world.”

UMD has long been a global center of excellence in quantum computing and housed one of the laboratories out of which IonQ emerged. The first-of-its-kind Q-Lab builds upon the university’s recent $300 million investment in quantum science and more than 30-year track record of driving advances in quantum physics and technology. The university is home to more than 200 quantum-focused researchers and seven centers, including the newly announced Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Robust Quantum Simulation, a multi-institutional effort supported by a $25 million award from the National Science Foundation.

“We are very proud that the nation’s leading center of academic excellence in quantum research chose IonQ’s hardware for this trailblazing partnership,” said Peter Chapman, president and CEO of IonQ. “UMD has been at the vanguard of this field since quantum computing was in its infancy, and has been a true partner to IonQ as we step out of the lab and into commerce, industry and the public markets.”

The news continues a year of considerable momentum for IonQ. Its trapped-ion quantum computers were recently added to Google Cloud Marketplace, making IonQ the only supplier whose quantum computers are available via all major cloud providers (Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services). In addition, IonQ’s co-founders joined the White House’s National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee to accelerate the development of the national strategic technological imperative. This month, following a shareholder vote, IonQ also anticipates becoming the first publicly traded, pure-play quantum computing company via a merger with dMY Technology Group, Inc. III.



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