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UMD Professor Adds New Company to College Park Quantum Ecosystem

Q-Cat to Identify, Create and Grow Quantum-Focused Start-ups in Maryland


Sara Gavin

image ofResize Quantum Lab Ronald Walsworth 02222022 JC 4076 Professor Ronald Walsworth, Director of the Quantum Technology Center at the University of Maryland.

COLLEGE PARK, Md.--A new company founded by a University of Maryland (UMD) professor and located in the heart of the university’s research corridor helps further establish College Park as the global hotspot for quantum-related start-ups.

Quantum Catalyzer (Q-Cat) was created by Ronald Walsworth, a serial entrepreneur and former Harvard University faculty member recruited by UMD to lead its Quantum Technology Center. Q-Cat’s mission is to identify the most promising ideas in quantum technology and create companies that can translate that technology into solutions for society.

“While traditional technology incubators support young companies already in existence, Q-Cat has a unique model where we help identify technology well-suited for commercialization and build companies from scratch, serving as co-founders and providing critical, multi-faceted support to help them grow,” said Walsworth, a professor in UMD’s physics and electrical and computer engineering departments. “Q-Cat seeks to exploit the special properties of quantum physics for transformational capabilities across many sectors.”

Examples of the areas Q-Cat hopes to explore include enabling efficient green energy generation at scale, more reliable navigation, next-generation microelectronics, and lower cost healthcare imaging.

Q-Cat joins the ranks of IonQ and other companies fueling College Park’s reputation as a world leader in quantum commercialization.

“Just as the first quantum revolution roughly a century ago led to the development of transistors, lasers, and other technologies we still rely on today, we are now in the early stages of the second quantum revolution,” said Gregory F. Ball, Vice President for Research at UMD. “As research and innovation continue to develop and we understand more about the many ways in which quantum science will impact society in the future, we will need more quantum entrepreneurs to step up and help translate those discoveries into products and services for the public.”

According to research by McKinsey, investments in quantum start-ups doubled from 2020 to 2021, exceeding $1.7 billion last year alone. To date, Q-Cat has created four quantum companies from some of the most mature technology developed in the Walsworth and collaborator labs.

“We’re excited to bring the best ideas in quantum science to the market as useful technologies and we know there’s no better place to do it than right here in College Park,” Walsworth said.


About UMD

UMD is Maryland’s flagship land grant university, one of the nation's preeminent public research universities, and a global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, with more than 40,700 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and nearly 400,000 alumni all dedicated to the pursuit of Fearless Ideas. UMD is a top five global quantum research and development university with 200+ quantum scientists, and eight interdisciplinary quantum centers. Learn more:

About Quantum Catalyzer

Quantum-Catalyzer (Q-Cat) lowers the barriers to entry for the commercialization of innovative quantum technology. Led by Ronald Walsworth, PhD, a leading quantum researcher with 17 awarded US patents and co-founder of multiple start-ups, Q-Cat offers a full range of facilities, equipment, and technical and business creation expertise. Its headquarters near the campus of University of Maryland, College Park, adds to the region’s growing reputation as a center for global quantum science discovery and innovation.


Quantum Science

Areas of Expertise:

Quantum Science

Colleges and Schools:

A. James Clark School of Engineering College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

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