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Thanks To Yearly Funding Increases Secured By Schumer, The Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, NY, Is A Global Leader Of Quantum Computing 

Senator Announces DOD Selected Rome Lab To Serve As Its Rep On The Quantum Economic Development Consortium, Aiming To Create Innovation In Quantum Research Field

Schumer: Rome Lab Can Help U.S. Stay Ahead Of International Competitors In The Great Scientific Race Of This Century

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced, following his relentless advocacy for the facility and years-long push, that the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, New York (Rome Lab) will be the Department of Defense’s (DOD) leading representative on the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C).

The QED-C, created by the National Quantum Initiative Act, which was signed into law in 2018, is spearheaded by the National Institute of Standards (NIST), and also includes the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) as other federal government representatives. In total, the QED-C has just under 100 member organizations, spanning from large corporate entities to schools and academic institutions to start-up companies. The goal of the QED-C is to combine public and private expertise to advance the quantum computing industry in the United States, and to identify research priorities and the best means of boosting the quantum workforce. Schumer said that Rome Lab’s research capabilities and expertise on quantum computing make it a phenomenal addition to the QED-C, and that it will play a critical role in developing future innovation in quantum computing.

“The race to innovation in quantum computing is proving to be the great scientific race of the 21st century, and Rome Lab is leading the pack. The impacts of falling behind international competitors like China and Russia when it comes to this emerging technology would be wide-ranging and severe—from our economic stability to our national security,” said Senator Schumer. “Fortunately, through its addition to the Quantum Economic Development Consortium, Rome Lab will be on the scene to help prevent that from happening. Accomplishments like these are exactly why I fight so relentlessly to secure federal funding for Rome Lab’s quantum research capabilities—to ensure they stay a quantum leap ahead of the competition.”

Schumer explained that Rome Lab was selected to serve as the DOD’s lead representative on the QED-C because of how advanced its quantum research capabilities are in comparison to other DOD facilities. Rome Lab has developed these capabilities, thanks to yearly budgetary increases Schumer has fought to secure for the facility, specifically for its quantum computing research. In the Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 defense budgets, Schumer helped deliver $243 million and $245 million for Rome Lab’s operations and personnel, respectively. That funding included over $13 million directly secured by Schumer for Rome Lab to establish critical components of its Quantum Computing Center of Excellence. The Lab is using the funding to create an “Open Innovation Campus” at Griffiss where researchers from the Air Force, Department of Defense (DOD), government, industry, small business community, and academia can collaborate to solve different computing problems using quantum computing technology, making it a leader in this emerging field. This past year, Rome Lab announced a partnership with Oneida County to physically locate the “Open Innovation Campus” at Griffiss International Airport.

“Following on the heels of Cree and the announcement of the Open Innovation Campus partnership at Griffiss, the designation of Rome Lab as the leader in development of Quantum Computing builds on our momentum as a national leader for high tech research and manufacturing. I thank Senator Schumer for his tireless efforts to bring jobs and investment to the region,” said Anthony Picente, Oneida County Executive.

Schumer said that the global efforts to develop QIS is the scientific race of the 21st century and has immense economic and national security implications for the U.S.—and potentially for the Mohawk Valley. Last year, Congress passed the National Quantum Initiative Act to coordinate a national strategy to accelerate public and private research and development of QIS and develop a high-tech workforce for the future. Schumer explained that this legislation, which he supported in Congress, aims to bring a coordinated approach to the federal government’s support of quantum information science (QIS) and establish a National Quantum Coordination Office to ensure ongoing federal, academic, and private sector research and development work together to accelerate QIS. It also created the QED-C as well as several new “National Quantum Information Science Research and Education Centers” to lead the charge. While fully-functioning quantum computers are years away, experts say once fully developed their power could perform at speeds millions of times faster than today’s most advanced machines and transform industries across nearly every sector of the economy, which is why places like China and Europe continue to invest billions to win the race to develop this technology.

Located in Oneida County, Rome Lab serves as the lead Air Force Research Laboratory for quantum information technology, cybersecurity, and information sciences. Since 1997, it has been the USAF’s “Superlab” and is considered the nation’s premier research organization for Command, Control, Communications, Cyber and Intelligence (C4I) technologies. The lab focuses on developing information technology for air, space and ground systems, in addition to partnering with other federal agencies, universities, private industry and other state and local governments.

Rome Lab is also a source of growth for the regional economy and a major source of employment. According to the U.S. Air Force’s 2017 economic impact analysis, Rome Lab employed over 1,200 workers with an annual payroll of $140 million and generated over $392 million in regional economic activity last year. The U.S. Air Force’s economic impact study can be found here. Because of Rome Lab’s strong commitment to excellence in developing and enhancing this nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure, as well as its commitment to employing local residents with good-paying jobs, Schumer has long fought to ensure Rome Labs has what it needs to succeed and maintain its strong workforce.