Incubator to leverage region’s quantum ecosystem, including UIUC, Argonne and P33, to help startups bring innovations to marketplace
The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Chicago Quantum Exchange today announced the launch of Duality, the first accelerator program in the nation that is exclusively dedicated to startup companies focused on quantum science and technology—a rapidly emerging area that is poised to drive transformative advances across multiple industries.
Duality’s purpose is to help quantum startups bridge the gap between the laboratory and the marketplace that is a critical barrier to success for emerging technologies. Led by the Polsky Center and the Chicago Quantum Exchange, Duality is also reinforced by founding partners, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Argonne National Laboratory and P33.
The launch of the quantum accelerator comes at a time when countries around the world are racing to unlock the potential of quantum technology. The Chicago area has emerged as a leading global quantum center, notably last year when the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation announced that three of the eight federally funded quantum information science research centers and institutes would be based in the region. Quantum science and technology has the potential to transform industries in the same way that the internet has reshaped the world in recent decades, and leaders hope that the Chicago area is positioned to benefit as the center of the quantum world in the same way that Silicon Valley transformed as it became the center of the tech revolution.
With a minimum $20 million investment over the next 10 years from a broad ecosystem of corporate and academic partners, Duality will help up to 10 quantum startups per year grow their businesses in the Chicago area. The program will be based within the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a global leader in management education. Chicago Booth is widely known for its thought leadership—with nine Nobel laureates—and its impact on the global business community.
The name Duality refers to a core principle of quantum mechanics, in which a single entity may act as both a particle and a wave. The name also evokes the accelerator’s unique role of bringing together the dual expertise from both leading quantum scientists and business partners to grow and scale quantum startups. Duality will provide entrepreneurs with support from leading quantum researchers, as well as business and entrepreneurial expertise from Chicago Booth, Chicago Quantum Exchange’s corporate partners, the Polsky Center’s broad network, and the networks, facilities, and programming from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Argonne National Laboratory, and P33. Students and researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will have the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from experts in this expanding quantum technology development ecosystem.