Washington Technology Industry Association Launches Quantum Information Sciences Report

January 24, 2023

SEATTLE, Jan. 24, 2023 — Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA), a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering a robust, equity-centered technology sector that empowers thriving communities, has announced the launch of a new report, Quantum Information Sciences (QIS) in Washington State. Prepared by Moonbeam for the association’s Advanced Technology Cluster, the report solidifies Washington’s established expertise in quantum computing and highlights opportunities for specialization, QIS workforce expansion and collaboration with other material clusters around the country.

Washington State has long been a catalyst for technological innovation, with locally built technologies transforming not only their own industries, but driving significant economic growth both regionally and internationally. Quantum is no exception: Washington is the only U.S. quantum center of excellence that is already an established innovation hub, has exemplary academic institutions, and is home to the headquarters of major technology companies investing heavily in QIS.

“WTIA was selected by the Washington Department of Commerce as their lead partner to expand our position as a global innovation hub through an Advanced Technology Cluster,” said WTIA CEO Michael Schutzler. “This report validates our thesis that Washington state has the right mix of organizations and capabilities – ranging from startups to legacy enterprises – to ensure Washington becomes a global leader in both quantum adoption and commercialization.”

The report highlights new opportunities for the state, including specializing around current local industry strengths that also have potential for quantum, like health tech, agtech and cybersecurity. Washington state is already producing ample QIS talent – thanks to strong university programs and a statewide investment in STEM. However, the state must prioritize programming to support minorities, women and international students to build a more diverse workforce. The state should also seek to drive connections that catalyze innovation with complementary clusters globally.

Key takeaways:

Washington State

  • Washington QIS investors are exclusively in the Seattle metro area, with nearly 50% focused on software, materials and health.
  • Washington state is experiencing ‘brain drain’ with local universities producing more quantum professionals than can be employed locally.
  • 50% of students in quantum programs are foreign nationals, and many struggle getting visas to continue working within the state.

National

  • The U.S. has been actively funding QIS R&D for the past 15 years, with significant increases since 2019. Over half of the last 15 years worth of funding was allocated between 2019 and 2022.
  • Venture capital is the most common type of primary investment (55% of all deals) for QIS startups, both in terms of total number of companies and total number of investments. The deal count has also been steadily increasing over time, from 52 in 2017 to 128 in 2022, peaking at 142 in 2021.
  • Quantum sensing (QS) is expecting growth in its market share in the foreseeable future, leveraging atomic clocks, gravity sensors, PAR quantum sensors and magnetic sensors.
  • QS growth will be driven by the defense and agriculture industries.

International

  • Globally, quantum sensing shows high promise for the military and defense industry, but reducing manufacturing costs is critical.
  • Most quantum technology patents are filed by companies in China (54%) and Japan (15%).
  • There are currently 162 universities and institutions worldwide with QIS-focused educational programs and research activity.

“The Washington tech industry has built a solid foundation when it comes to QIS through the significant attraction of advanced research funding used to develop differentiated capabilities,” said Nirav Desai, CEO, Moonbeam. “As quantum evolves, Washington state is well positioned to play a coordination and leadership role in quantum adoption both nationally and globally.”

In January 2022, WTIA was awarded $550,000 from the State of Washington’s Innovation Cluster Accelerator to enable the development of an Advanced Technology Cluster to drive private investment, job creation, and world-leading innovation throughout the state. The cluster aims to build connectivity and collaboration across blockchain technologies and quantum computing, uniting corporations, academia, startups, government, and investors to power the next generation of growth for both of these sectors. In 2023, the Cluster plans to work more closely with schools on tech transfer and commercialization, develop resources around SBIR and STTR to grow local access to funding and forge new industry partnerships.

“The goal of the Northwest Quantum Nexus is to advance Quantum Information Sciences research and develop a QIS-trained workforce,” said Krysta Svore, Distinguished Engineer and VP of Advanced Quantum Development at Microsoft, a founding NQN keystone partner. “This report from WTIA and Moonbeam gives credence to our goals and demonstrates Washington’s progress and potential when it comes to increasing the visibility of QIS research and accelerating collaboration statewide.”

To download the full report, please click here.

About WTIA

Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) is a consortium that includes a not-for-profit member trade association, a not-for-profit tech apprenticeship intermediary (Apprenti), and a for profit corporation providing business services (HRBI). The organization’s mission is to foster a robust, equity-centered technology sector that empowers thriving communities. We recruit technology companies and allies that view diversity as a competitive advantage, value collaboration as essential to sustainable growth, and fully embrace the opportunity to partner with and empower the communities in which we operate.

About Moonbeam

Moonbeam Exchange advances corporate innovation using data science, ai, and immersive technology — driving efficiency in technology scouting. Through data-driven market research, B2B match-making, and market intelligence, they are globalizing access to innovation hubs.


Source: Washington Technology Industry Association

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