The summer of 2020 will likely long be remembered as a tipping point for racial and social justice in the U.S., as protests against systemic racism and police brutality against the Black community swept across the country. These events have also served as a wake-up call to tech companies and other industries—they have a vital role to play in promoting equity in education and career opportunities.
IBM Quantum is answering this call through a new collaboration with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that will help prepare these students for careers in quantum computing. A nascent area of technology and business, quantum computing will benefit greatly from a diverse community of researchers, developers and businesses that can help advance the technology and identify commercial applications.
The new IBM-HBCU Quantum Center announced this week at IBM’s Quantum Summit is a multi-year investment that will bring together researchers and students across a network of 13 HBCUs. The program will provide these schools access to IBM quantum computers via the cloud, educational support for students learning to use the Qiskit open source software development framework, and funding for undergraduate and graduate research – all to create a more diverse quantum-ready workforce from students studying not just physics and chemistry, but computer science and business, and more. Students at the participating HBCUs will become familiar with this technology and have career options rooted in quantum computing.