Rome, N.Y. – The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate (AFRL/RI) has teamed up with a conglomerate of academic, industry and government agencies from around the world to grow the quantum innovation ecosystem with a springboard international quantum pitch event and the launch of an open innovation center based in central New York State.

Innovare Advancement Center, a partnership between AFRL/RI, New York State, Oneida County, the City of Rome, the Griffiss Institute, NYSTEC, and The State University of New York (SUNY), announced the 36 research teams from around the world who 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 global engagement, taking place Sept. 1-3 boasts cross-department support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and Office of Naval Research (ONR).

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. Notably, members of the public are also invited to take part and learn more about how advanced research, especially related to quantum, can lead to incredible technological progress, with a keynote, “Quantum Fundamentals for Everyone,” by astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force Acquisition Executive Dr. Will Roper. The event will also feature “Coffee and Concepts” fast-pitch sessions for members of industry, government, and academia, and remarks by world leaders in quantum information science (QIS).

Information Directorate deputy director, Dr. Michael Hayduk, who is also responsible for coordinating the quantum research across AFRL, asserts that, “The Air Force is committed to building a quantum information science alliance of principal investigators across academia, industry, and the government to accelerate advancements in this emerging field with events like this accelerator and the partnerships that are amplified by the Innovare Advancement Center.”

Nearly 250 teams from 22 countries submitted proposals to take part in this unique pitch competition. Of those, 36 teams have been selected to pitch their potentially game-changing concepts related to quantum timing, sensing, information processing/

computing, and communications/networking at the event when an elite 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.

“These collaborative research initiatives will feed the bleeding edge of quantum innovation for the U.S. military and coalition partners,” said Col. Timothy Lawrence, director of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate in Rome, N.Y.

Selected researchers will be represented from institutions around the world: Federal University of Ceara – UFC; University of Pittsburgh; The Australian National University (ANU); Institut d’Optique Graduate School, CNRS; Australian National University; University of Melbourne; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; SUNY Polytechnic Institute; University of Adelaide (UoA); U.S. Naval Academy (USNA); University of Seoul; University of Chicago; Israel Institute of Technology; Center for Quantum Software and Information, University of Technology Sydney; NSC Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology; Southern Methodist University (SMU); Monash University; University of Queensland; George Mason University; University of Texas at Austin and New York University; University of California Santa Barbara; JILA and University of Colorado Boulder; Weizmann institute of Science; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL); University of Sydney; Harvard University; UC Berkeley; Simon Fraser University; Syracuse University; University of Pittsburgh; Technion, Israel Institute of Technology; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL); Northern Arizona University; University of Wisconsin-Madison; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (HUJI); University of Arizona

AFRL is one of Innovare’s key strategic collaborators seeking to achieve the team’s vision: engage partners to initiate entrepreneurial ventures and tech startups in key strategic areas, including artificial intelligence/machine learning, cybersecurity, and quantum, in addition to building a robust talent pipeline at a time when scientific advancement across boundaries is needed now more than ever to remain economically and strategically competitive in this fast-changing world.

As Innovare-connected research takes place at partnering organizations all over the world, the Innovare launch is concurrently a bold step forward in implementing the National Quantum Initiative Act, which aims to foster the development of a quantum technology ecosystem among government, industry, and academia.

To learn more details about the three-day engagement and to register to attend, please visit:

More information about Innovare Advancement Center and additional updates related to the $1M International Quantum U Tech Accelerator can be found here:

About AFRL

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,000 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit:

About Innovare Advancement Center

Innovare Advancement Center aims to be a global catalyst to converge world-class talent with cutting-edge facilities and focused technology challenges to accelerate the development of game-changing capabilities that protect and empower our country. An open innovation environment immediately adjacent to Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate in Rome, NY, Innovare Advancement Center offers a globally connected innovation ecosystem in which world-class scientific, engineering, and entrepreneurial talent from universities, government, and industry can leverage highly specialized resources in critical research areas, including artificial intelligence/machine learning, cybersecurity, quantum, and unmanned aerial systems to tackle the country’s greatest challenges to national security and economic competitiveness. To learn more, visit

Photo Caption:

Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, will join U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force Acquisition Executive Dr. Will Roper, in delivering a keynote presentation, “Quantum Fundamentals for Everyone,” at 10 a.m. Eastern, September 3, during the live, virtual “Million Dollar International Quantum U Tech Accelerator.” Photo courtesy of © Amazon.