ROME, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – At the ribbon cutting for Rome’s new Air Force Research Lab “Extreme Computing” facility on Tuesday, August 8, Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that they have secured funding in the Senate’s Defense Appropriations Bill for Rome to become a leader in Quantum Computing.

The senators announced that the Appropriations Bill provided $44 million in projects for the new research lab.

“The Rome Lab and powerhouse workforce of the Mohawk Valley are going to be the ones to take us to the next frontier and ensure America leads the globe in the quantum computing super race. The Extreme Computing Facility opening today is only the beginning, I am proud to announce that I have secured over $44 million in the Senate Defense Appropriations Bill to supercharge these efforts, bolster our national security, and make sure Rome Lab is America’s leader in quantum computing and UAS technology,” Senator Schumer said in a statement.  “This funding means that the next generation of the most advanced computers and technological research for our most sensitive military applications will happen right here at the Rome Lab. Now more than ever, we need to ensure that our nation stays ahead of our international competitors in virtual battlefields and ensure the technology of tomorrow is developed right here in the Mohawk Valley.”

Projects funded for the new research lab include:

• $10 million for Distributed Quantum Networking Testbed and Quantum Cloud Computing Environment

• $4 million for Photonic Quantum Computing, which will develop a next-generation ion trap computer.

• $10 million for a Trusted DoD/Federal UAS Traffic Management (UTM) Advanced Air Mobility Enhancements and Operational Readiness. This system will manage Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) traffic to support the emerging FAA/NASA Advanced Air Mobility vision and provide a real-time interface to Air Traffic Control.

• $10 million for a Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) testbed which creates an operational-like environment that allows the warfighter to test cutting-edge technology and tools and provide feedback for researchers.

•$10 million for a Multi-Domain Radio Frequency Spectrum Test Environment.

“The Rome Air Force Research Laboratory has garnered a reputation as one of America’s premier military research facilities, and this new Extreme Computing Facility will ensure that we remain a leader in advanced computing,” Senator Gillibrand said in a statement. “I am proud to have worked to secure this new funding and will continue to fight to ensure the Mohawk Valley is leading the way in defense research.”

The new facility – which the senators were in attendance to open on Tuesday — is a result of $7.5 million in funding that the Senators secured across the federal budgets from 2020 to 2022. It is focused on basic research for national defense applications, and it is headlined by two quantum computing laboratories for basic research into quantum computing, networking and security. The facility also has two neuromorphic computing laboratories for research in machine learning models to closely imitate human neurocognition.

“We are very thankful for Senators Schumer and Gillibrand’s continued advocacy of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The establishment of the new Extreme Computing Facility furthers the critical research and development to foster the growth of quantum computing, artificial intelligence, UAS (drones), and more, all vital to our national defense structure. The Senators’ announcement of new funding for R&D totaling in the tens of millions of dollars ensures the AFRL professionals will have the tools necessary to develop new systems related to quantum computing and cybersecurity to protect our country from external threats,” Rome Mayor Jacqueline Izzo said in a statement.