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qBraid leads component project in The Bloch Quantum Tech Hub

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In an ambitious multi-year strategic plan, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker aims to plant Chicago's flag as the nation's undisputed capital for quantum technology. The grand initiative includes support for The Bloch Quantum Tech Hub, a Chicago Quantum Exchange-led coalition of cutting-edge startups like qBraid, Fortune 500 titans like Microsoft and IBM, quantum development leaders like Infleqtion, prestigious universities and colleges, and over 50 public and private entities from across the Midwest region.

Addressing an audience of leaders from industry and academia at the business incubator mHUB on Chicago's Near West Side, Pritzker laid out a vision that positions Illinois at the vanguard of a technological revolution. He emphasized quantum computing's vast potential to transform everything from cybersecurity and healthcare to energy management and supply chain logistics. The "super" capabilities enable tackling enormously complex computational problems that are practically unsolvable for classical computers.

"This is technology that is growing, burgeoning and is going to be part of people's everyday lives a decade from now," Pritzker declared. "Illinois is already a global competitor in the quantum sector, and we want to ensure that we have the workforce and talent to engage in our unprecedented progress and innovation."

The Bloch Quantum Tech Hub is leveraging a staggering $625 million in public and private investments, including the proposed $500 million investment for quantum technologies that Gov. Pritzker included in his FY2025 budget.

Asked about qBraid’s growing impact, co-founder and CEO Kanav Setia stated, “At the forefront of quantum computing, we recognize a critical gap: the shortage of quantum software engineers ready to harness its potential. Our mission extends beyond innovation; it’s about education and empowerment.” qBraid aims to work with these companies to help democratize their products and extend them to the greater Chicago area, further spreading the reach of quantum computing as designated by the tech hub.

As part of this initiative, qBraid is providing users with access to advanced quantum hardware, plugging users into the IBM Qiskit ecosystem. "To make advancements using quantum computing we need to find practical quantum algorithms that work on utility-scale systems," said Jay Gambetta, IBM Fellow and Vice President of IBM Quantum. "The Bloch Tech Hub's efforts, including the use of Qiskit, bring about the best chance for this." IBM’s hardware democratized through qBraid’s platform, enabling users and enterprises to run Qiskit jobs without any set up.

Governor Pritzker drew parallels to the technological renaissance that transformed Silicon Valley beginning decades ago. He envisions a similar trajectory for the Illinois/Chicago region to emerge as a global innovation hub for the 21st century and beyond.

"Think about what happened in Silicon Valley 40 or 50 years ago, and what it has led to," Pritzker remarked. "The opportunity therefore for Illinois to lead the next wave of technology development and what that might mean for our economy and the people who live here over the next 10, 20, 30 years."

qBraid is uniquely poised to take advantage of this revolution by straddling the line between advances in quantum computing and classical technologies to further both. Last month, qBraid established itself as the first quantum computing startup to offer a completely set up NVIDIA Grace Hopper superchip on the cloud. In addition to its quantum hardware capabilities, qBraid fields an extensive suite of NVIDIA H100 GPUs, encouraging developers to combine their quantum and AI workflows together.

The Bloch initiative is ambitiously projected to generate 30,000 jobs and $60 billion in economic impact for the Chicago metropolitan area within just the next decade. Pritzker touted the broader implications for residents across Illinois: "For the average person who lives in Illinois, this means job opportunities, it means economic growth and development."

To help advance this goal, Setia further discussed where he sees qBraid’s future trajectory, supported by The Bloch Tech Hub designation. Setia envisions a future where developers, corporations, and colleges throughout Illinois are handed the potent tools of quantum computing to enhance their work with the qBraid platform.

“We’re committed to … equipping developers at leading companies with the skills and knowledge they need to integrate quantum computing into their workflows. From quantum machine learning to quantum chemistry and optimization, we’re here to guide them every step of the way, ushering in a new era of technological advancement and collaboration.”

qBraid’s unique software offerings now also include the CUDA-Q platform developed by NVIDIA, which allows developers on either side of the quantum economy to connect classical and quantum processors, allowing for advanced quantum-classical hybrid computing. By providing access to CUDA-Q , qBraid uniquely allows developers to leverage the computational power of NVIDIA chips along with quantum hardware to foster advances in finance, weather, pharmaceuticals, logistics, chemistry, and more.

By marshaling the intellectual capital and resources across universities, corporations, startups and the public sector, Chicago—and qBraid—are positioning themselves at the leading edge of the quantum computing revolution. If successful, The Bloch Quantum Tech Hub could catalyze an economic transformation reminiscent of Silicon Valley's storied rise, cementing Illinois as the nation's preeminent hub for this pivotal next-generation technology.

Quantum Advocate

Pranet Sharma

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