Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has called for Illinois and Chicago to become “the Silicon Valley of quantum development,” and while there has been strong activity in the space in recent years, the key will be to keep the momentum going, local experts say.

Chicago is home to Duality, the first accelerator designed to support quantum startups that is part of the University of Chicago’s $20 million Polsky Deep Tech Ventures, and has seen federal funding flow toward Illinois-based Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator, two of five quantum research centers across the U.S.

Meanwhile, Illinois quantum startups have raised $33.2 million through 27 deals since 2017, the second-most deals made by quantum startups after California, according to a new report by World Business Chicago. The numbers are even better when looking at federal contract funding for quantum science, with the state leading the U.S. with 27 contracts totaling just over $51 million.

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