In a fireside chat during last week’s 2020 Chicago Quantum Summit, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said famed Chicago architect Daniel Burnham’s adage to “make no little plans” is a fitting vision for the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago to live up to when it comes to building the quantum internet. Based on the Chicago area’s combination of elite research universities, national laboratories and a robust corporate sector, Illinois is well positioned “to become an industry leader” in the emerging field of quantum science, according to Pritzker, calling it “one of the most exciting opportunities for our economy for decades to come.”

Pritzker offered his insights on the impact of quantum science and its potential for economic growth for the state, the city, and the South Side specifically in conversation with UChicago’s Vice President for National Laboratories, Science Strategy, Innovation, and Global Initiatives Juan de Pablo as part of the summit’s second day of events on Nov. 12. The emerging quantum field is focused on developing new ways of understanding and exploiting the laws of quantum mechanics, the theory that governs nature at its smallest scales.

Hosted by the Chicago Quantum Exchange, this year’s summit was held just months after the U.S. Department of Energy announced it will fund five new National Quantum Information Science Research Centers, including centers led by UChicago-affiliated Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, which are each projected to receive $115 million in funding over the next five years.

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