IBM Establishes First Quantum Education and Research Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities


Quantum Center part of broader HBCU investment, including additional $100M in Skills Academy technology, assets, resources and skills development 

Today, IBM is announcing its first IBM
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.
In addition, as part of the company’s
continued efforts around diversity and inclusion, IBM will make a $100M
investment in technology, assets, resources and skills
development through partnerships with additional HBCUs
through the IBM Skills Academy Academic Initiative.
“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,” said Carla Grant Pickens, Chief Global Diversity &
Inclusion Officer, IBM.
Driving Diversity and Inclusion in Quantum

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

“Diversity is a source of competitive
advantage, essential to create a thriving quantum industry,” said Dario Gil,
Director of IBM Research. “We could not be more excited about partnering with
our HBCU colleagues to help educate and empower the first generation of quantum
computing native students and researchers.”

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, University of the
Virgin Islands, Virginia Union University, and Xavier University of
“Howard University has prioritized our efforts
to support our students’ pathway to STEM fields for many years with exciting
results as we witness more and more graduates becoming researchers, scientists
and engineers with renown national companies. Our faculty and students look
forward to collaborating with our peer institutions through the IBM-HBCU
Quantum Center. We’re excited to share best practices and work together to
prepare students to participate in a quantum-ready workforce,” said President
Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA.
For more about the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center,
read HBCU Center Driving Diversity
and Inclusion in Quantum Computing
Investing in Under-Represented Talent to Drive

As part of the Skills Academy Academic
Initiative in Global University Programs, a multi-year program, IBM is donating
more than $100M in assets, including university guests lectures,
curriculum content, digital badges, software and faculty training to select
HBCUs by the end of 2020.
The IBM Skills Academy is a comprehensive,
integrated program designed to create a foundation of diverse and high
demand skill sets that directly correlate to what students will need in the
workplace. The learning tracks address topics such as artificial
intelligence, cybersecurity, blockchain, design thinking and quantum computing.
The HBCUs who are part of
the Skills Academy Academic  Initiative
include: 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
The response to combating systemic racism in
the US must be timely, strategic and more than a statement of support. The
response needs to be tangible action. IBM’s investment in HBCUs is part of
the company’s efforts around social justice and racial equality by creating
equitable, innovative experiences for HBCU students to acquire the necessary
skills to unlock economic opportunity and prosperity.

To learn more about IBM’s 100 years of work on
diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace, visit

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