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Bipartisan legislation will support state's quantum ecosystem

Colorado focused on up to $70M in federal funding that could help secure as many as 10,000 jobs
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.

DENVER - At Maybell Quantum Industries, Gov. Jared Polis, Rep. Alex Valdez (D-Denver), Rep. Matt Soper (R-Delta), Senator Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village) and member of the Joint Budget Committee, Senator Mark Baisley (R-Woodland Park), and partners unveiled new details of the Quantum Tax Credit bill announced last month at the Mountain West Elevate Quantum Summit. 

This new bipartisan bill will help strengthen the state’s economy, save money for quantum business in Colorado, and position the state to compete for up to $70 million in federal funding while creating 10,000 new, good-paying jobs for Coloradans. If Colorado is awarded the federal Quantum Tech Hub funding, this bipartisan legislation will maximize the state’s competitiveness as a tech hub focused on the development of quantum by investing an additional $74 million in the industry’s development. 

“With this legislation, Colorado is further cementing our status as a global leader in quantum and positioning our state to draw down historic federal funding. Our state’s quantum industry is growing more every day, and with the support in this bill, Colorado can continue leading the way and create more than 10,000 good-paying jobs for Coloradans,” said Gov. Jared Polis. 

The legislation announced today will be introduced to the legislature on Friday, Feb. 16 with the intent to leverage Colorado’s strengths and demonstrate to the federal government that Colorado presents the nation’s best opportunity to establish a U.S.-based quantum industry hub. The bill will make meaningful investments through a multi-year refundable tax credit program to develop: 

  • $44 million in refundable state income tax credits to help fund the development of a shared quantum research facility for private sector and academic research collaboration, innovation, and commercialization. A 100 per cent refundable state income tax credit on eligible capital expenditures for the purpose of developing a collaborative quantum laboratory space and procuring professional quantum laboratory equipment.

  • $30 million for a quantum industry loan loss reserve to create greater access to capital for small and medium Colorado quantum computing companies that would otherwise have limited access to capital. A refundable 15 per cent state income tax credit earned by lenders or fund managers making loans to scale up quantum companies expanding operations in Colorado.

Collectively, these programs will increase collaboration between the Colorado research institutions and businesses advancing quantum research, bridge new discoveries from the lab to the commercial sector and support the growth of Colorado’s quantum businesses. 

"Investing in the development of quantum computing will attract new businesses, create thousands of new jobs and diversify Colorado's strong economy," said Representative Alex Valdez, D-Denver. "Ramping up Colorado's competitiveness as a quantum tech hub helps attract federal funds and brings us closer to unlocking the full potential of this emerging technology. The advancements being made in quantum technology are promising, and I'm proud to help carry this forward-thinking legislation." 

“Quantum technology represents the next generation of computing, and in the near future it will present transformational innovation to every aspect of our lives,” said Representative Matt Soper, R-Delta. “Our bipartisan bill solidifies Colorado as the best candidate for a quantum computing tech hub by leveraging the state’s existing entrepreneurial and academic strengths in quantum technology and research innovation.”

“Quantum isn’t just computing or better clocks, it’s essentially Internet in the early 90s,” said Senator Jeff Bridges, D-Arapahoe County. “From medicine to climate and beyond, we don’t know quite how quantum will change the world but we know for sure it will. We already have some of the best quantum minds and entrepreneurs here in Colorado, and this bill will maximize Colorado’s lead as a national quantum tech hub.”

“From academic research to private sector innovation: Colorado is the epicenter for quantum computing technology development,” said Senator Mark Baisley, R-Woodland Park. “I’m proud to sponsor this bipartisan legislation, which will solidify Colorado’s commitment to quantum technology and drive further small business innovation and academic research excellence.”

"We're incredibly grateful to Gov. Polis, OEDIT Executive Director Lieberman, and our legislators for this important investment in Colorado’s quantum ecosystem," said University of Colorado President Todd Saliman. "By helping to build a cutting edge, translational laboratory facility where scientists work directly with industry partners and share resources, this investment will spur critical innovation and job creation in Colorado. Together with our partners at Elevate Quantum, CU Boulder and the entire CU System are excited to build upon our outstanding legacy of excellence in quantum science and technology and develop one of the world's leading quantum economies that benefits our state and the entire nation."

“In a lot of ways, we already are a Quantum tech hub. We have more quantum jobs, flourishing companies, patents, and Nobel laureates than any other place in the US. This state support, combined with federal designation as a tech hub, will have a compounding effect on our ability to drive the vast number of breakthroughs still needed to bring this highly impactful technology to fruition and create the boon of economic opportunity for Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region,” said Jesus Salazar, Chair of the School of Mines Board of Trustees.

“In Colorado, we aren't afraid of getting our hands dirty, ” said Corban Tillemann-Dick, CEO of Maybell Quantum. “The infrastructure for the Quantum Century is being built here by machinists, welders, and technicians and by men and women installing quantum frequency combs to detect methane leaks along pipelines or at landfills. This bill will help scale these jobs and ensure that the quantum future is built by Coloradans with Colorado-made infrastructure.”

"History has shown that sustaining global key technology leadership doesn't happen by mistake. It comes from deliberate and bold investments in the tools of innovation engines. The investments by the State of Colorado announced today follow in the footsteps of the most defining and forward-looking technology investments of our time,” said Zachary Yerushalmi CEO and Regional Innovation Officer of Elevate Quantum. “These policies will ensure that Colorado and the US will continue to lead the quantum economy for decades to come. Elevate Quantum and the more than 80 quantum-focused organizations it helps represent are proud to be a founding part of that story.” 

In October 2023, Colorado and the TechHubNow! Initiative secured one of two federal designations as a Regional Technology and Innovation Hub (Tech Hub) focused on advancing quantum technology, including quantum computing, sensing, networking, and enabling hardware. The current bid for funding is led by Elevate Quantum, and the application is due at the end of February. 

The Elevate Quantum Tech Hub and Colorado are now competing with other states for up to $70 million in federal funding to develop a quantum technology ecosystem. Establishing Colorado as the global hub for quantum computing is projected to create more than $1 billion in economic impact statewide and over 10,000 jobs from this initiative alone. Measures like those announced today will be a catalyst for the ecosystem and further investments from the world’s largest companies and the federal government, including the U.S. Economic Development Administration.