September 7, 2023

Duke Government Relations and Duke State Relations hosted state and federal partners on August 30th for “Quantum Day” at the Duke Quantum Center (DQC) in the historic Chesterfield Building in Downtown Durham. Attendees included congressional staff members from the offices of Sen. Thom Tillis, Sen. Ted Budd, Rep. Valerie Foushee and Rep. Deborah Ross. Representatives from the NC Office of Science, Technology and Innovation, the NC Defense Technology Transfer Office, and the National Security Innovation Network were also in attendance.

Leaders from DQC, including Chris Monroe, PhD, Gilhuly Family Presidential Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics, Director of DQC; Jungsang Kim, PhD, Schiciano Family Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Professor of Physics; and Ken Brown, PhD, Michael Fitzpatrick Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Professor of Physics, Associate Professor of Chemistry welcomed the federal and state guests. DQC kicked off the program by giving an overview of quantum information science & technology (QIST) and applications of QIST – ranging from everyday activities to national and economic security. DQC leaders explained some of the basic principles of quantum computing, elaborating on how atoms, elements, ions, electrodes, and lasers work together to control a quantum system.

An integral part of the discussion was how the federal government supports quantum computing research at Duke. Collectively, members of the DQC have brought in over $170 million in funding and performed over $100 million in government contracts since 2007. Support from the federal government positions DQC and North Carolina to be at the forefront of innovation and groundbreaking research. DQC also plays a role in educating the future quantum computing workforce. Through collaboration with government agencies, private industries, and other universities, DQC’s expertise and infrastructure allows North Carolina to be a major player and contributor in the fast-emerging field of quantum computing.

Dan Vick, director of Duke University‘s Office of Export Controls, also provided attendees with an overview of how Duke balances its international collaborations with national security concerns. Duke was one of the first universities to create an office focused on export controls and continues to evolve research security compliance efforts based on federal policies and procedures in place.

The day ended with a tour of the labs at Duke Quantum Center. Participants were able to view quantum computer stacks and simulators while learning more about the infrastructure and technology needed to support quantum components.