The South Carolina Quantum Association: Championing Talent and Technology

March 22, 2024

Columbia, S.C. (March 22, 2024) - The South Carolina Quantum Association (SC Quantum) officially announces a groundbreaking initiative to champion the advancement of quantum talent and technology in South Carolina through $15 million in funds appropriated by the State of South Carolina.

In the coming years, quantum computing and Quantum Information Science (QIS) will contribute greatly to the fields of finance, drug discovery, aerospace design, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and data security - all areas of critical importance to South Carolina’s economy. The U.S. government named quantum an “Industry of the future,” on par with artificial intelligence and 5G, and committed more than $1.2 billion for quantum research and development budgets in 2022. However, the U.S. is being outspent on quantum by the likes of China, France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

SC Quantum’s emphasis lies in amplifying collaboration among academia, entrepreneurs, industry, and government to propel the advancement of this cutting-edge technology. Whether it will be as a leader today or a follower tomorrow, the quantum industry will play a pivotal role in South Carolina’s economy.

Quantum computing is not a substitute for classical computing but solves problems that are too complex for classical computing by utilizing the unique properties of quantum physics. It is an augmentation that orchestrates a harmonious symphony between classical and quantum systems, each contributing their unique strengths to address specific challenges.

“South Carolina can and should be a destination for quantum research and commercialization,” said SC Quantum’s Executive Director Joe Queenan. “We believe unprecedented collaboration can inspire technical discoveries that transform our region’s economy and make SC the most dynamic and globally competitive destination for quantum discovery, education, and entrepreneurship.”

With support from Sen. Dick Harpootlian and others, the South Carolina Legislature appropriated $15 million, the state’s largest investment in a tech initiative ever, in the FY2023-24 budget to SCQA which will use these funds to provide public benefits across three areas:

  • Education (workforce development, certificate and micro-credential programs)
  • Entrepreneurship (settling technologies and supporting entrepreneurs)
  • Engagement (convening of experts, demonstration projects)

“SC Quantum is putting South Carolina ahead of the curve,” Harpootlian said. “Columbia, South Carolina could be a major hub of innovation for this technology that is rapidly growing in use across the globe.”

Additional benefits of this project will include positioning the southeast as a destination for corporate and government quantum initiatives, strengthening South Carolina's economy by advancing America's leadership in Quantum Information Science, and building sustainable, entrepreneur-led economic growth across South Carolina.