WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Major national technological advances are happening right here in NEPA. On Monday, US Representative Matt Cartwright, leaders from the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense and several private companies announced a first-of-its-kind quantum and space technology collaboration.
The officials say the collaboration is part of a five-year plan aimed at accelerating the development of quantum technology in space and the national defense effort, and they say it starts in the Diamond City.
Building the future right here in our backyard. On Monday, officials met at the Luzerne Bank Building in Downtown Wilkes-Barre for a major announcement.
“This was a fantastic announcement from basically a consortium of government and business agencies to explore the expansion of quantum science and quantum research,” Cartwright said.
Quantum technology explores how matter and energy behave at the level of atoms or subatomic particles. Officials say quantum science and technology has led to the development of things like GPS satellites, smartphones and medical devices.
Future advances from the private/public partnership promise to improve space-based navigation, national security and communications. The collaboration aims to create more jobs within the next several years.
“It means more economic opportunity for Northeastern Pennsylvania. We can’t say exactly what form it will take, but it’s about keeping an eye on the future,” explained Cartwright.
Representative Cartwright says our area’s manufacturing industry has primed it to become an epicenter for the nation’s quantum supply chain.
“We have so many people who are ready, willing and able to work hard in manufacturing jobs around here, and those are the kinds of jobs that that kind of thing will lead to,” Cartwright added.
One of the collaboration’s partners, Nebula Space Enterprise, will house a space research and data center in the Luzerne Bank Building on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre and will expand in the near future. CEO and founder of Nebula Space Enterprise Michael Bloxton bought the building last year.
“The community has done a great job of preparing an opportunity to come in,” Bloxton said.
The company will cooperate with the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Energy. The collaboration also aims to bring in local universities and colleges and develop a more quantum-based curriculum.
Bloxton says this kind of collaboration is a first for the area and a first nationwide.
“Nobody else in the nation has really stepped up to become the nation’s quantum supply chain. And it’s a critical opportunity, it’s actually a critical need, and it’s a great opportunity, and I can’t think of a reason why we can’t do that here in Wilkes-Barre in northeastern Pennsylvania,” Bloxton added.
Officials did not discuss the details of their plans at Monday’s conference, but say work from the collaboration will begin in early 2024.