Last week, the Chicagoland Chamber’s Vice President of Government Relations and Strategy, Brad Tietz, testified in the Illinois House Revenue & Finance Committee in support of the Chamber’s HB 4766, an initiative to incentivize new and expanded research and development in quantum information science in Illinois.

Brad was joined by State Representative Mark Walker, who has been the Chamber’s fierce champion on economic development issues, including being the chief sponsor of HB 4766. During the hearing, members of the Revenue & Finance Committee also heard from two experts leading the regional and national discussion on quantum development.

Preeti Chalsani, PhD, Chicago Quantum Exchange, Duality Quantum Accelerator, and the University of Chicago – Polsky Center and Farah Fahim, PhD, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, both offered incredible insights into both the theoretical and practical future uses of quantum computing and quantum science in our regional and national economies.

Quantum information science development, including quantum computing, is a sector that has experienced significant growth in recent years, with a report from Boston Consulting Group estimating that by 2035, the sector could see revenue growth of up to $850 billion—with broad application across numerous industries including, finance, natural science, battery design, TDL, and cybersecurity. Outside of the rapidly growing private investments in the space, federal and now state action is quickly leading the way to unique public-private opportunities, with the Biden Administration recently naming Chicago an official U.S. Regional and Innovation Technology Hub. Earlier this year, Governor Pritzker included a substantial capital investment in quantum in his FY25 budget proposal.

Chicago, and the State of Illinois, currently offers incredible access to renowned academic institutions, national laboratories, and businesses that are already betting big on quantum. For example, the Chicago Quantum Exchange is a premier intellectual hubs bringing together multi-sector voices and partners leading on quantum. Additionally, Chicago is also home to the Duality Quantum Accelerator, which is the first quantum startup accelerator of its kind in the United States. Combining all of these assets and leveraging the combined power of public and private efforts in the race for obtaining a quantum advantage, we have a significant opportunity to grow a diverse workforce necessary to support the growth of quantum in the region and Illinois. HB 4766 is one tool in the toolbox to incentivize the private sector to continue investing in quantum in a meaningful way. 

The hearing was a subject matter only proposal, meaning no vote was taken, however, we were able to have a thoughtful conversation and received positive feedback from various members of the Committee. We will continue to work with our chief sponsor and our partners to push for passage of the legislation later in the Spring legislative session.