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South Carolina Proposed $15 Million to Provide Quantum Computer Access

Charleston, South Carolina, USA Bridge

Insider Brief

  • South Carolina is proposing that $15 million in the current state budget will help facilitate access to quantum computing.
  • Senator Dick Harpootlian, a vocal quantum advocate for the state, was credited with the initiative.
  • The South Carolina Quantum Association envisions a future where this investment catalyzes the region into a hub of quantum computing excellence.

The South Carolina state legislature has earmarked $15 million in the current state budget to facilitate access to quantum computing within the Palmetto State,WIS Channel 10 reports, adding that the funding announcement marks one of South Carolina’s largest tech initiative investment to date.

According to the station, this initiative was largely propelled by Senator Dick Harpootlian, D – Richland, who has been a vocal advocate for the state to be at the forefront of adopting quantum technology.

“The quantum technology is the technology of the future, and we at South Carolina shouldn’t be lagging behind. We can be on the cutting edge of that,” Harpootlian said, as reported by WIS.

Students at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business are among the first in the state to benefit from this investment. They have gained access to quantum computers through a web portal, allowing them to tackle complex problems that would be impractical to solve on traditional computers.

For instance, senior Jordan Fowler shared with the station that quantum computing could dramatically change how we tackle complex financial problems, such as portfolio optimization.

“If we were to do it classically [on a regular computer], it would take hundreds, if not thousands of years sometimes, when a quantum computer would take minutes,” senior Jordan Fowler told WIS.

Joe Queenan, Executive Director of the South Carolina Quantum Association, envisions a future where this investment catalyzes the region into a hub of quantum computing excellence.

“This is one of those transformational investments,” Queenan told WIS.

This quantum computing access was made possible by the $15 million allocated by the legislature, a sum that was secured after Harpootlian’s initial request for $25 million to purchase a quantum computer was vetoed by Governor Henry McMaster two years prior, according to WIS.

The revised request aimed to fund rental time on quantum computers located elsewhere in the country, a proposal that was ultimately approved.

The South Carolina Quantum Association, formed to oversee the program, is focused on leveraging this technology for educational purposes, the station reported. The association, along with local educators, aims to prepare students for future careers in this emerging field and retain talent within the state.

“We want to utilize the technology to help, one, prepare our students for the future, and then two, help them get jobs using it,” Brandon Mendez, a clinical assistant professor of finance at USC, explained to the station.

The initiative also aims to foster a conducive environment for economic growth and innovation within South Carolina. By equipping students with cutting-edge skills and encouraging them to remain in the state post-graduation, the program hopes to attract new companies and support the launch of startups in the quantum computing sector.

As reported by the station, the program is currently in its execution phase, with plans to seek federal grants to build upon the state’s investment.

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Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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The Future of Materials Discovery: Reducing R&D Costs significantly with GenMat’s AI and Machine Learning Tools

When: July 13, 2023 at 11:30am

What: GenMat Webinar

Picture of Jake Vikoren

Jake Vikoren

Company Speaker

Picture of Deep Prasad

Deep Prasad

Company Speaker

Picture of Araceli Venegas

Araceli Venegas

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