UArizona investment in quantum innovation will stimulate economic prosperity across state

March 21, 2024

A new external report forecasts that quantum initiatives at the University of Arizona will create new jobs and generate $220M+ in economic activity in the next decade

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A new external report forecasts that quantum initiatives at the University of Arizona will create new jobs and generate $220M+ in economic activity in the next decade.


A recently completed, comprehensive impact report points to massive economic stimulus coming from Southern Arizona through the development of quantum technologies spearheaded by the University of Arizona.

The analysis predicts activity directly and indirectly tied to UArizona’s quantum developments will generate more than $220M in the next ten years.

The state of Arizona will benefit from approximately $22M in annual public and private investments, $77M in labor income, and $20M in tax revenues. It is also estimated that the University’s quantum initiatives will support around 1,220 jobs in Arizona over the next ten years. This includes the direct jobs supported by quantum research and development, the indirect jobs supported by supply chain businesses, and the induced jobs supported by increases in local consumer spending.

UArizona, lead institute and host of the Center for Quantum Networks (CQN), is vital to the success of this field, according to the Rounds Consulting Group who produced the report.

CQN is a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center established at the University of Arizona in 2020 through a $26M five-year grant and anticipated $24.6M five-year extension. It is funded by NSF #1941583.

Partnering with a total of ten universities—including Harvard, MIT, and Yale as the core partners—CQN aims to develop the inaugural U.S.-based quantum network capable of swiftly distributing secure quantum information across extensive distances.

“The University of Arizona saw quantum’s potential early on and unwaveringly supported the nascent research before it was popular,” said Julie Emms, administrative director of CQN. “As the potential of quantum becomes known, funding opportunities are multiplying exponentially, to the tune of billions of dollars. Industry and government recognize the value of our early foothold and expertise in the science and are coming on board with us.”

The center is creating a first-of-its-kind quantum network system test bed located in UArizona’s new state-of-the-art Grand Challenges Research Building (GCRB). The test bed will allow researchers and private companies to experiment with emergent quantum technologies.

“We are truly excited to see the results of this impact analysis,” said Heath Vescovi-Chiordi, economic development director for Pima County. “It clearly demonstrates the impact potential of this technology and shows the importance of UArizona’s investment.”

In addition to its work through CQN, the university has established the Arizona Quantum Initiative (AQuI) to stimulate the development of quantum-related economic activity throughout the state. AQuI promotes and supports quality education, cutting-edge research, and effective partnerships in all areas of quantum technology development.

“The City of Tucson is excited by the Rounds report findings and its demonstration of the significant impact the Arizona Quantum Initiative will have not only in Southern Arizona but the entire state,” said Barbra Coffee, economic initiatives director for City of Tucson.

Emms pointed out that, in addition to providing fertile soil for economic activity around quantum technologies, the university aims to influence the field so that it pursues the common good. She said CQN is recruiting humanities researchers to study the legal and social impacts of emerging quantum technologies and offering quantum education to traditionally underrepresented students and communities. 

Luis Cordova, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Rounds Consulting Group, believes the analysis is probably conservative in its assessment of the statewide impact related to quantum research and innovation. “Our findings indicate that the development of a quantum network hub in Arizona has the potential to create over 1,200 new jobs and generate over $250M in economic activity within a decade. However, given the nature of the fast-paced and evolving industry, this is likely an underestimation of the potential impact of quantum technology.”

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