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Quantum technologies exploit the quantum properties of matter, such as entanglement, superposition and quantum entanglement, to perform specific tasks. They have applications in fields such as computing, cryptography, metrology and imaging. These technologies have great potential to revolutionize many fields, from medicine and engineering to finance and communications.
The idea of the quantum computer was born in the 1980s, but the technology has developed most rapidly in recent years, with Quantum AI from Alphabet (Google) and IBM Quantum. However, quantum computers are still in the experimental stage and their development is a considerable technological challenge, prompting many companies and research institutions to invest in this potentially revolutionary technology. In this sense, in 2021, betting on the potential of the entrepreneurial scene, venture capital funds invested 1,36 Md$ in the race to develop the quantum computer.


Boston’s university ecosystem is conducive to the development of quantum technologies. At Harvard University, the community of professors and researchers interested in quantum systems has come together in the Harvard Quantum Initiative; at MIT, the MIT Quantum Science and Engineering Consortium (QSEC) aims to reinforce the institutional partnerships between university and industry, and multiply synergies between academic players in different fields (quantum computing, quantum networks, particle physics, electronics …) with a strong involvement of researchers from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), integrated into the new MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, and the MIT Lincoln Lab in Lexington, a laboratory mainly funded by the Department of Defense (DoD).

The industry is also structured around industrial communities, like the Quantum Industry Circle (QIC) which brings together the major players in the field : IBM, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), QuEra Computing, Riverlane, Atlantic Quantum, Wellcome Leap, and two French companies Quantonation, an investment fund specializing in early-stage quantum technologies and Pasqal (Netva 2021) a startup co-founded by  Alain Aspect, the Nobel laureate, and a leader in quantum computing, based in Boston since 2022. The French footprint in Boston’s quantum ecosystem is further strengthened by the presence of two other French startups Alice & Bob, a quantum computer manufacturer and Qubit Pharmaceuticals, which uses quantum algorithms for drug discovery.

Remarkable fundraising has been made by quantum startups in Boston such as Zapata Computing ($67M) which offers a platform to help companies deploy quantum solutions, QuEra Computing ($17M) which manufactures a quantum computer by using neutral atom technology and Atlantic Quantum ($10M) which develops scalable quantum computers that meet computational challenges.


The south side of Chicago, also known as Silicon Prairie in reference to Silicon Valley, has become a major hub for innovations in quantum technologies thanks to the presence of two national laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab, along with the Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center (SQMS) the Illinois‐Express Quantum Network (IEQNET) collaborative research project and the Q-Next initiative..

In academia, the University of Chicago dedicates part of the resources of The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering to quantum engineering research, through programs such as TeachQuantum. Chicago Quantum Exchange academic initiative aims to catalyze and coordinate research into quantum technologies and train its talents by promoting exchanges between scientists, laboratories, academic institutions and industry. Duality accelerator focuses on supporting startups in the field of quantum technologies. Synergies with the healthcare sector are supported by the Discovery Accelerator a joint structure between IBM Quantum and Cleveland Clinic.

The Chicago ecosystem has enabled the emergence of innovative startups such as ($2.6M – acquired by ColdQuanta), which ensures the interoperability of any software on any quantum computer. Following the acquisition of, ColdQuanta, which specializes in hardware design for quantum computing, also set up in Chicago.

Washington DC

The DMV region (DC, Maryland, Virginia) is home to the federal agencies that coordinate national strategies in the field of quantum technologies, such as theOffice of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Department of Energy (DOE), whose laboratories are spread across various states, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which focuses on quantum metrology and sets the standards for quantum communication and post-quantum cryptography. Several universities, laboratories and research centers are major players in the region’s quantum ecosystem: George Mason University, Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland, which has two joint laboratories with NIST: the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS); the MITREresearch institute, whose initial vocation is to advance national security and which has developed the MITRE Quantum Information Science Group; the defense laboratories Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and Navy Research Laboratory (NRL); and, further north, in Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Tech powerhouses Alphabet (Google), Meta, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon are also interested in quantum technologies, and have local offices in Washington DC dedicated to government relations

To support innovation, the Q-Cat startup studio, the Quantum Startup Foundry (QSF) incubator at the University of Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance initiative aim to bring together ecosystem players and facilitate the creation and local establishment of companies. Record-breaking funds have been raised, such as that of startup ionQ ($83M pre-IPO, $350M post-IPO), which develops quantum computers.

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