Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has put forward a proposed budget to state legislators that includes $500 million to support quantum technologies in the Prairie State.

Of that $500 million, $200m would be spent on a cryogenic facility with a further $100m would be used for the development of a quantum campus. The final $200m would be spent on matching funds.

Flag of Illinois
Flag of Illinois – Wikimedia Commons

“We already were establishing ourselves as a leading hub for quantum development—now we have the opportunity to take it a big step further,” Pritzker told Axios in an interview. The state already houses Duality, the nation’s first quantum startup accelerator, and four of the 10 National Quantum Initiative Act research centers.

At 124 miles long, Illinois also has one of the nation’s longest quantum networks located in it.

State funding is not the only way Illinois is looking to cement itself as a quantum hub. As Pritzker’s proposal is being weighed up, a coalition, led by the Chicago Quantum Exchange (CQE) at the University of Chicago, is hoping to secure $70m in federal funding in the second phase of a government program that last year saw the region designated as a US Regional Innovation and Technology Hub for quantum technologies.

The CQE has previously received $280 million in federal funding as part of the 2018 National Quantum Initiative Act and a combined $150 million from IBM and Google to the University of Chicago and the University of Tokyo last year for two separate plans to advance quantum computing.

“The University of Chicago is deeply committed to research in quantum science and technology research, and we are enthusiastic about our partnerships with the remarkable research universities and national laboratories as we form the world’s premier quantum technology community,” said University of Chicago president Paul Alivisatos.

“Governor Pritzker has been fostering the innovation environment in Illinois, and today’s announcement will uplift these efforts. The advancement of quantum technologies with these extraordinary investments will lead to equally extraordinary advances for the state and for the nation as a whole.”

Despite the state’s current focus on quantum, it's not the only technology Illinois is hoping to support. In October 2023, the state also submitted a bid to house the headquarters of the National Semiconductor Technology Center, an R&D accelerator that was established under the US CHIPS and Science Act.