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Innovare Advancement Center in Rome selects 36 teams for quantum accelerator

By Eric Reinhardt (


ROME, N.Y. — The Innovare Advancement Center in Rome has announced the 36 research teams that have been selected to pitch their “potentially game-changing” quantum research and innovations as part of the live, virtual “Million Dollar International Quantum U Tech Accelerator.”

The event, involving teams from around the globe, is set for Sept. 1-3, has cross-department support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and Office of Naval Research (ONR).

The Innovare Advancement Center in Rome has announced the 36 research teams that will pitch their quantum research and innovations as part of the live, virtual “Million Dollar International Quantum U Tech Accelerator,” which is set for Sept. 1-3. (Rendering provided by Innovare Advance Center)

The Innovare Advancement Center is a partnership between the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI); New  York State; Oneida County  (OC); the City of Rome; the Griffiss Institute (GI); NYSTEC; and the State University of New York (SUNY).

The Innovare Advancement Center is located near AFRL/RI in Rome, which is regionally known as the Rome Lab.

Hundreds of “top-tier” researchers, members of industry, and higher-education leaders from around the world have already registered to attend this “first-of-its-kind” event centered around a $1 million, quantum-focused pitch competition for university researchers.

The public is also invited to take part and learn more about how advanced research — “especially related to quantum” — can lead to “incredible technological progress,” Innovare said.

The event includes a keynote address, “Quantum Fundamentals for Everyone,” by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force Acquisition Executive Will Roper.

In addition, the schedule also includes “Coffee and Concepts” fast-pitch sessions for members of industry, government, and academia, and remarks by world leaders in quantum information science (QIS). 

Nearly 250 teams from 22 countries submitted proposals to take part in this pitch competition. Of those, 36 teams have been selected to pitch their concepts related to quantum timing, sensing, information processing/computing, and communications/networking. A panel of judges will, “in real-time,” select 18 teams to win a portion of the more than $1 million in basic research funding provided by the AFRL/RI, AFOSR, and ONR.

The teams selected to compete plan to pitch ideas ranging from quantum sensors for GPS-denied navigation and a chip-scale integrated quantum platform, to ion traps and “innovative lasers.”


Selected participants

Innovare Advancement Center says the selected researchers and respective institutions include: 

  • Spyros Gallis - SUNY Polytechnic Institute
  • Britton Plourde - Syracuse University
  • Antonio Sergio Bezerra Sombra - Federal University of Ceara – UFC
  • Gurudev Dutt - University of Pittsburgh
  • John Close - The Australian National University (ANU)
  • Phillippe Bouyer - Institut d’Optique Graduate School, CNRS
  • Marcus Doherty - Australian National University
  • David Simpson - University of Melbourne
  • Paul G. Kwiat - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Andre Luiten- University of Adelaide (UoA)
  • Peter Brereton - U.S. Naval Academy (USNA)
  • Doyeoi (David) Ahn - University of Seoul
  • Fred Chong - University of Chicago
  • Shay Hacohen-Gourgy - Israel Institute of Technology
  • Simon J. Devitt - Center for Quantum Software and Information, University of Technology Sydney
  • Andrii Sotnikov - NSC Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology
  • Eric C. Larson - Southern Methodist University (SMU)
  • Kavan Modi - Monash University
  • Andrew G. White - University of Queensland
  • Anton Lukyanenko - George Mason University
  • Shyam Shankar - University of Texas at Austin and New York University
  • Paolo Pintus - University of California Santa Barbara
  • Shuo Sun - JILA and University of Colorado Boulder
  • Ofer Firstenberg - Weizmann institute of Science
  • Tobias J. Kippenberg - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)
  • John Bartholomew - University of Sydney
  • Marko Loncar - Harvard University
  • Alp Sipahigil - UC Berkeley
  • Paul C. Haljan - Simon Fraser University
  • Thomas Purdy - University of Pittsburgh
  • Alex Hayat - Technion, Israel Institute of Technology
  • Nicolas Grandjean - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)
  • Ryan Behunin - Northern Arizona University
  • Shimon Kolkowitz - University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Uriel Levy - The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (HUJI)
  • R. Jason Jones - University of Arizona

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