UMD Creates Incubator for Quantum Startups

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By Chris Carroll | Illustration by iStock The University of Maryland has already built one of the world’s most productive quantum science research enterprises, and now a new arm of the university is ready to push discoveries in this revolutionary field from the physics lab to the marketplace. The Quantum Startup Foundry will support new businesses in the quantum technology field, which is poised to disrupt everything from cybersecurity and energy to medical discoveries and the financial sector. The QSF is backed by a $10 million capital investment in quantum facilities, and will help cement UMD’s and the region’s position as “the Capital of Quantum,” featuring the Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance of universities, firms and government labs, says UMD President Darryll J. Pines. UMD Chief Innovation Officer Julie Lenzer is leading the new incubator, which connects researchers with business mentors and forges partnerships with industry. The QSF will host an October investment summit to connect funders with innovators seeking to follow in the path of IonQ, a top quantum computing firm based in UMD’s Discovery District and built in part on discoveries made at the university. “When you work to expand research, there’s a payoff,” Lenzer says. “We’re going to get more out of it in terms of innovation than ever before.”

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