Chattanooga has launched a new initiative, “Gig City Goes Quantum,” to prepare for education, jobs, and business opportunities in the emerging quantum technology sector. The announcement was made by Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly during a recent meeting of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C). The initiative will leverage EPB’s Quantum Networkpowered by Qubitekk, to accelerate the commercialization of quantum technologies through collaboration with community leaders, universities, schools and companies. The goal is to spread the initiative cooperatively across the United States, starting in Chattanooga.
“The launch of EPB’s Quantum Network has positioned Chattanooga to lead in quantum information technology, but there’s still a lot we need to do to prepare our city to thrive in a new quantum age. Gig City Goes Quantum is a collaborative effort to build a new quantum ecology starting right here in Chattanooga, with student education, workforce preparation, and support of companies that are leading the way in translating quantum possibilities into real-world solutions,” Kelly said.
“Gig City Goes Quantum” will offer educational resources for students and anyone with a curious mind, thanks to support from several organizations, including Hamilton County Schools, Chattanooga State Community College, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), and the National Science Foundation. The initiative’s first effort will begin on World Quantum Day, April 14, with the goal of engaging people of all ages in over 1,000 Quantum Learning Activities by May 31.
“This partnership between EPB and Hamilton County Schools presents a unique opportunity for us to be a leader in quantum education and create a talent pipeline that is essential for advancing an innovative local economy. We believe in equipping our students with new skillsets and knowledge that they can apply towards their future career paths, whether it’s in higher education or vocational training,” Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp said.
The initiative’s collaborators include educators, scientists, entrepreneurs and community leaders focused on preparing Chattanooga for the emerging quantum sector. This sector holds the promise to revolutionize computing, cybersecurity, healthcare, finance and many other in-demand fields.
According to the Quantum Information Science and Technology Workforce Development National Plan, preparing the United States workforce is essential to economic and national security. Current talent shortages could compromise advancements, with more job openings than qualified applicants. To address this issue, “Gig City Goes Quantum” aims to equip students and professionals with the skills and knowledge required for tomorrow’s quantum jobs.
The initiative announcement took place at QED-C’s 2023 Spring Plenary Meeting, attended by large companies, emerging entrepreneurs, and government agencies that share the mission of enabling and growing a robust commercial quantum-based industry and associated supply chain.
In addition to providing livestream Quantum Learning Events, UTC has dedicated an institutional initiative to quantum information science and engineering to establish a program known for excellence in education, innovation, and economic development enabled by quantum technology. UTC will also host a quantum node connected to EPB Quantum Network, which is expected to be operational by mid-summer.
“UTC students will have unique access to experiential learning by being able to use a real-world quantum network on our campus through EPB Quantum Network. Quantum learning has applications for students enrolled in both STEM and non-STEM disciplines as well as people already in our workforce to upskill their qualifications in anticipation of new applications,” Steven R. Angle, Ph.D., Chancellor, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga said.
Chattanooga State Community College President, Rebecca Ashford, Ed.D., added, “We need ambitious workforce development strategies to prepare the range of talent who will fill tomorrow’s quantum jobs, from physicists who will design systems to the technical professionals who will maintain and repair them. ChattState’s team is preparing to meet this challenge to ensure Chattanooga can continue to lead in this space.”
Read Trend’s recap of EPB’s quantum launch announcement, here.
Learn more about EPB, here.
Learn more about Qubitekk, here.