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Corker, Brock lead Chattanooga Quantum Collaborative's workforce, economic, infrastructure push for 'thriving ecosystem'
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THE CHATTANOOGA Quantum Collaborative today provided a bit more detail regarding its plans to help generate workforce, economic and community gains by building upon the region's existing footprint in application and deployment of quantum-computing technologies and infrastructure.

Prior to today's announcement, the Collaborative's most overt action was its Feb. 29 convening of the first in a series of Chattanooga Quantum Conversations, as previously reported by VNC here.

Among CQC's "immmediate action items" disclosed thus far, and VNC's related notes:

Leveraging the EPB Quantum Network of Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, which is powered by Qubitekk. EPB also recently announced a partnership for "Energy resilience and Quantum Science" with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ORNL, which is, among other affiliations, a member of the UT-Battelle- and DOE-backed Quantum Science Center.

Creating a plan for achieving CQC's mission across the coming decade, with preparatory efforts including drawing upon both national experts in related fields, as well as upon local stakeholders in key domains.

Leading the local celebration of World Quantum Day 2024, during the span of April 14-May 31, by offering virtually educational content for attendees interested in learning more about "the science and implications" of quantum technology.

In the context of The Company Lab's CO.MOBILITY SUMMIT 2024, May 20-22, and potentially in other venues, the CQC is also working to engage professionals with quantum-related expertise for discussions with groups from varying professions and industries.

Although only briefly alluded to in today's release, the CQC and its allies seem very likely to seek, directly and indirectly, federal and state funding support to advance its ends.

The CQC aims in "the long term" to generate "$5BN in regional economic and social benefit" and, en route, to generate a "5,000-strong regional quantum-ready workforce." No detailed plan has yet been created. The CQC asserts that an earlier analogous EPB 1GigPS infrastructure push produced $2.8BN in regional benefits during its first decade, but a lack of details -- particularly regarding projected inflation during the life of the new initiative -- raises questions. The focus on expanding the supply of "quantum-ready" workers is probably more reliable.

VNC notes that although University of Tennessee Chattanooga is represented among those expressing support for the initiative this month, UTC's Quantum Initiative was not explicitly mentioned. A UTC faculty member told VNC on Jan. 21 that the search for a Director for its new Quantum Center was then being "finalized," but no such appointee has yet been revealed.

Bob Corker

The nonprofit CQC is led by two entrepreneurs and public servants: Chairman Bob Corker, a long-time businessman and one of the state's former U.S. Senators, as well as state government's former finance commissioner; and, Charlie Brock, the business owner, advisor and investor who has long supported and now chairs the board of Chattanooga's The Company Lab and who, during a crucial period, served as CEO of state economic development's nonprofit subsidiary, Tennessee Technology Development Corporation dba Launch Tennessee.

Charlie Brock

According to his LinkedIn profile, Brock has served as CEO of the Collaborative since September 2023, following the organization's August 2023 registration with Tennessee secretary of state.

Today's primary full CQC announcement is here. Separately, a collection of 11 endorsements from prominent federal, state and community leaders -- including some CQC board members -- was provided in this document.

Those cited in the press release and/or the companion document include the aforementioned Chairman Corker and CEO Brock, as well as Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly, EPB CEO David Wade, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, UT-Chattanooga Chancellor Steven Angle, ORNL Director Stephen Streiffer, TVA VP Joe Hoagland, Chattanooga SCC Rebecca Ashford, Qubitekk Co-Founder/CTO Duncan Earl, CoLab CEO Tasia Malakasis, Chattanooga Chamber CEO Charles Wood.

The CQC initiative comes amid a veritable explosion of science-, education-, business- and venture-oriented initiatives in many U.S. states, including these in North Carolina and South Dakota, among many others in the U.S. and abroad.

Naturally, there are now emerging the inevitable city and regional rankings of prospective Quantum contenders, such as this one.

CQC's state registration was made in August 2023 by Fred Hitchcock, an attorney with the Chambliss law firm who has also served on such initiatives as the Chattanooga Smart City Collaborative.

Today's press releases were managed by Danna Bailey, who is not only Qubitekk's chief communications officer, but has also served as CQC's part-time technology evangelist, and earlier had a stint with EPB.

Related coverage here for: EPB | Charlie Brock | Qubitekk | Colab CoMob | On Quantum: McKinsey and Brookings Institution. VNC

.last edited 26 March 2024 1227 CDST

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Tags: Bob Corker, Chambliss Bahner Stophel, Charles Wood, Charlie Brock, Chattanooga Quantum Collaborative, Chuck Fleischmann, CoMobility, CoMobility Summit, CQC, Danna Bailey, David Wade, Duncan Earl, economic development, Electric Power Board Chattanooga, EPB, EPB Quantum Network, Fred Hitchcock, infrastructure, Joe Hoagland, Launch Tennessee, LaunchTN, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ORNL, quantum, quantum computing, Quibitekk, Rebecca Ashford, Stephen Streiffer, Steven Angle, Tasia Malakasis, Tennessee Technology Development Corporation, Tim Kelly, TTDC, workforce, World Quantum Day

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