The technology giant IBM has announced the establishment of the quantum education and research initiative for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU), aimed at driving a diverse and inclusive quantum workforce. Led by Howard University and 12 additional HBCUs, the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center will offer access to its quantum computers, as well as collaboration on academic, education, and community outreach programs.
The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center is a multi-year investment designed to prepare and develop talent at HBCUs from all STEM disciplines for the quantum future. It will emphasize the power of community and focus on developing students through support and funding for research opportunities, curriculum development, workforce advocacy, and special projects.
The 13 HBCUs intending to participate in the Quantum Center were prioritized based on their research and education focus in physics, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and other STEM fields. They include: Albany State University, Clark Atlanta University, Coppin State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Southern University, Texas Southern University, the University of the Virgin Islands, Virginia Union University, and Xavier University of Louisiana.
In addition, as part of the company’s continued efforts around diversity and inclusion, IBM will make a $100 million investment in technology, assets, resources and skills development through partnerships with additional HBCUs through the IBM Skills Academy Academic Initiative.
Colleges and universities that will benefit from this initiative are Clark Atlanta University, Fayetteville State University, Grambling State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Johnson C. Smith University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, Southern University System, Stillman College, Virginia State, and West Virginia State University.
Carla Grant Pickens, chief global diversity & inclusion officer for IBM stated that “we believe that in order to expand opportunity for diverse populations, we need a diverse talent pipeline of the next generation of tech leaders from HBCUs. Diversity and inclusion is what fuels innovation and students from HBCUs will be positioned to play a significant part of what will drive innovations for the future like quantum computing, cloud and artificial intelligence.”