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Polis announces state's competitiveness as tech hub

Bill will help save money for quantum business in Colorado
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DENVER - At The Mountain West Elevate Quantum Summit, Governor Polis, Eve Lieberman, Executive Director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and partners announced new bipartisan legislation to maximize Colorado’s competitiveness as a tech hub and strengthen the state’s economy. The bill will help save money for quantum business in Colorado, and position the state to compete for up to $70 million in federal funding and accelerate the development of the industry while creating 10,000 new, good-paying jobs for Coloradans. 

“Colorado leads the world in quantum companies, quantum jobs, and quantum innovation. By helping establish this key growth industry, including through this new legislation, Colorado can succeed as the epicenter of quantum technology and  create over 10,000 good-paying new jobs for Coloradans,” said Gov. Jared Polis. 

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. Quantum technology is widely recognized as transformational. Quantum computing alone is projected to drive $3.5 trillion in economic growth, with applications in finance, artificial intelligence, and materials analysis already gaining traction. 

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. 

“The initiatives announced today are historic. They represent not just the State’s two decades of pioneering support to advanced industries, but of Colorado again answering the call to keep the region and America as the global epicenter for a technology that will define our century,” said Zachary Yerushalmi, CEO and Regional Innovation Officer for Elevate Quantum.’

"Thanks to our partnership with the state, University of Colorado Boulder and our fellow research institutions will be able to translate cutting-edge quantum research from the lab into a positive impact on Colorado’s people and economy," said Massimo Ruzzene, CU Boulder Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation.  "Together, we are supporting the ecosystem through translating research into a quantum workforce engine.”

The legislation announced today will leverage Colorado’s strengths and demonstrate to the federal government that Colorado presents the best opportunity for the federal government’s efforts 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: 

  • Laboratory Space for Quantum Businesses to foster collaboration and innovation. A 100% refundable state income tax credit on eligible capital expenditures on real and business personal property, to develop collaborative laboratory space and procure professional laboratory equipment for Colorado quantum companies. 

  • 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% state income tax credit earned by lenders or fund managers making loans to scale up quantum companies expanding operations in Colorado

The Elevate Quantum Tech Hub is a Colorado-led nonprofit of over 75 organizations across Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming aiming to maintain the Mountain West as the nation’s leading quantum ecosystem. The consortium grew out of TechHubNow!, a public-private partnership established by Gov. Polis in April 2023 to respond to a once-in-a-generation opportunity to grow the nation’s advanced and emerging technology industries. Under the CHIPS and Science Act, the EDA oversaw a competitive process to select 31 federally designated Tech Hubs across the country, with $500 million in appropriated funding available in 2023 and $10 billion over five years.

The current bid for funding is led by Elevate Quantum, and the application is due at the end of February. 

Nearly half of Quantum jobs do not require an advanced degree, and the share of technician positions is projected to double in five years as the industry’s need for skilled trades like welding, pipe fitting and machining grows. The average quantum job pays over $125,000 per year.