Innovare Advancement Center Launches ‘$1M International Quantum U Tech Accelerator’

Innovare Advancement Center Launches with ‘$1,000,000 International Quantum U Tech Accelerator’ Led by Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, Griffiss Institute, Oneida County & State University of New York

$1M International Quantum U Tech Accelerator has Cross-Department Support from Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Office of Naval Research

Event Marks the Kickoff of Innovare Advancement Center, an Open Innovation Campus Converging Talent, Cutting-Edge Facilities, and Focused Technology Challenges in AI/ML, Cyber, Quantum, and More

Innovare Advancement Center

Innovare Advacement CenterRome, NY Innovare Advancement Center, created in partnership by the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI), Griffiss Institute (GI), Oneida County (OC), and State University of New York (SUNY), announced it will host a “$1,000,000 International Quantum U Tech Accelerator.” The global engagement will take place September 1-3, 2020, with in-person and virtual events, including a $1,000,000 quantum-focused pitch competition for university researchers; fast-pitch sessions for members of industry, government, and academia; and keynotes and remarks by world leaders in quantum information science (QIS). 

“AFRL is committed to transformational areas of S&T like quantum, and we are excited to bring together the world’s leading researchers and trailblazers across government, industry, and academia,” said Brig. Gen. Heather L. Pringle, Commander  of the Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Materiel Command, Dayton, Ohio. “This million-dollar international quantum accelerator and the Innovare open campus provide new opportunities to accelerate quantum basic research and facilitate innovation.”

“The Griffiss Institute is proud to play a significant role in fostering collaborations amongst the Air Force Research Laboratory, industry, and academia to expand technological capabilities,” said William Wolf, Griffiss Institute President. “This $1M International Quantum U Tech Accelerator is an exciting way to share with the world the new Innovare Advancement Center, which will continue to push talent and technologies ‘into the new’ for years to come.”

“Oneida County continues to emerge as a global epicenter for high-tech innovation and advancement,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “As the Innovare Advancement Center begins to take shape at our Griffiss International Airport in Rome, the partnership we have forged with Rome Lab, the Griffiss Institute, and SUNY will lead this region to new heights. This Quantum U Tech Accelerator event will be a great opportunity to showcase the amazing things that are on the horizon.”

“SUNY is proud to join our partners in announcing the $1M International Quantum U Tech Accelerator, three days of global collaboration and competition that will expand our quantum network and confirm SUNY’s position as a leader in the field,” said Grace Wang, SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development. “Quantum discoveries made by SUNY researchers are providing the foundation for new industries and shaping the careers of the future. Quantum U will accelerate both technology and talent, reinforcing SUNY’s commitment to developing a quantum-smart workforce.”

Today’s announcement expands upon that partnership with the support of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for a global quantum pitch event including top-tier speakers and leaders, and interactive and virtual networking opportunities.

“AFOSR has a long history of collaborating with academia and industry on breakthrough science critical to the future of the Air Force and Space Force capabilities,” said Dr. Shery Welsh, Director, Air Force Office of Scientific Research. “AFOSR is excited to support the ‘International Quantum U Tech Accelerator,’ and is looking forward to funding those gold nugget discoveries and creative solutions that go beyond the classical Quantum Information Science (QIS) systems in areas such as networks, communications, information processing simulation, and more. This ‘Accelerator’ provides an entry point for those talented, entrepreneurial, and energetic researchers in academia and industry to innovate with us.” 

“With quantum science, we are on the cusp of a technology revolution, and the nation that can best apply quantum capabilities to communications, computing, sensing, and timing will have the upper hand. It’s essential that nation be the United States,” said Rear Adm. Lorin Selby, chief of naval research. “The partners in this Tech Accelerator effort are the right organizations and people to accelerate this research, and we look forward to the results.”

Innovare enables a robust high-tech entrepreneurial, R&D, and educational ecosystem for the region and the nation by driving advancements in key strategic areas, including artificial intelligence/machine learning, cybersecurity, and quantum, with Innovare-connected research taking place at partnering organizations all over the world.

The Innovare launch is a significant step forward in implementing the National Quantum Initiative Act, which aims to foster the development of a quantum technology ecosystem among government, industry, and academia. The Accelerator event will connect leading-edge QIS researchers to advance technologies and applications in this critical area. 48 teams across four quantum tracks related to timing, sensing, information processing/computing, and communications/networking will compete before an elite panel of cross-agency quantum leaders. The top performing university teams will be eligible for over $1M in basic research funding provided by the AFRL/RI, AFOSR, and ONR.

This competition builds upon the success of the QIS 1st International Workshop, hosted by AFRL/RI and held at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, which enabled nearly 200 researchers and leaders from 13 countries to share their discoveries and advancements in this rapidly expanding field, facilitating invaluable opportunities to connect with the agencies spearheading or taking part in the experience.

“Significantly, the Accelerator will act as a launching pad for the discovery and promotion of international university collaborations and research in the pursuit of novel quantum solutions,” said Col. Timothy Lawrence, Director of the Information Directorate and Commander, Detachment 4, Air Force Research Laboratory. “This event perfectly dovetails with Innovare Advancement Center’s efforts to emerge as a magnetic ecosystem and global catalyst, converging world-class talent with cutting-edge facilities and focused technology challenges in artificial intelligence/machine learning, cyber, quantum, and unmanned aerial systems to accelerate the development of game-changing capabilities.”

Innovare’s key strategic partners include AFRL/RI, GI, OC, and the State University of New York (SUNY), which seek to engage partners in the above technology areas through entrepreneurial ventures and tech startups, in addition to building a robust talent pipeline at a time when scientific advancement across boundaries is needed now more than ever to remain economically and strategically competitive in this fast-changing world.

“The race to innovation in quantum computing is proving to be the great scientific race of the 21st century, and Rome Lab is leading the pack. The impacts of falling behind international competitors like China and Russia when it comes to this emerging technology would be wide-ranging and severe—from our economic stability to our national security,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “Fortunately, with the launching of the Innovare Advancement Center, Rome Lab and its partners in academia and the private sector will be on the scene to help prevent that from happening. The open innovation campus and accelerators like these are exactly why I fight so relentlessly to secure federal funding for Rome Lab’s quantum research capabilities—to ensure they stay a quantum leap ahead of the competition.”

“The Mohawk Valley and Rome Lab are a bedrock of innovation,” said Congressman Anthony Brindisi. “The partnerships and support from our community are one of the many reasons we continue to lead in this sector. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am working to deliver critical investment and resources to bolster the groundbreaking research and innovation that goes on there. With the federal, state, and local government, as well as academia and private sector working together, our region has been put on the map for innovating and keeping our country safe. I am thrilled to see what will come out of the Quantum U Tech Accelerator; I am sure it will live up to our region’s reputation.”

“Rome Lab has been identified as the lead agency to forge new research and development opportunities in the area of quantum computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. A little over three years ago, a vision for a collaborative offsite research facility bringing together the best and the brightest in academia, government, and industry has become reality with the launch of Innovare Advancement Center and the Quantum U Tech Accelerator. The addition of these cutting-edge facilities and competitions brings Rome to the forefront of new and emerging critical science and technology initiatives. This environment should help us further expand our efforts to support new entrepreneurial opportunities by providing resources here in Rome that will directly connect Rome Lab to new partners,” said Rome Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo.

“I am excited to see the establishment of Innovare Advancement Center and the announcement of this inspiring quantum accelerator, which creates the types of opportunities that can enable meaningful connections for small businesses committed to deep-tech R&D innovations,” said Noel Goddard, Qunnect Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud of our roots as a startup built on SUNY quantum technology, and the recent U.S. Air Force Virtual Quantum Collider provided critical resources for us to advance our field-deployable hardware solutions to support optical, long-distance, quantum-secured communications. We are similarly proud to be part of the Innovare community and applaud AFRL/RI, AFOSR, and ONR for their leadership to mobilize the global QIS university community around quantum-enabling technologies. We look forward to discovering new international partners through the Innovare community and contributing to a robust quantum roadmap for the future.”

“Innovare will enable us to integrate, educate, and elevate the workforce to be at the vanguard of important emerging technologies such as quantum science, artificial intelligence, neuromorphic computing, cybersecurity, and unmanned aerial systems,” said Mike Walsh, NYSTEC President & CEO. “We are looking forward to partnering with regional, state, and federal stakeholders to support and contribute to technological innovation, which we see as the most significant building block of economic and society growth. Our collective Innovare collaboration will undoubtedly foster regional economic growth and help develop the 21st century workforce needed to protect our national security.”

To register and learn more details about the three-day engagement, please visit:

A link to the RFP for those interested in taking part in the Accelerator can be found here:  

More information about Innovare Advancement Center and additional updates related to the $1M International Quantum U Tech Accelerator can be found here:

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