The Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome will receive more than $272 million, according to a joint statement Tuesday from Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer and Rep. Anthony Brindisi.
The funds are part of an annual spending package with bipartisan support which is expected to pass Congress soon, the statement said.
The spending at the Rome Lab is an increase of $27 million than in 2019 and $34 million more than President Donald Trump’s budget request, the statement said. A major recipient of the additional funds will be Rome Lab’s Quantum Computing Innovation Center, which focuses on artificial intelligence and quantum computing.
Researchers from the Air Force, Department of Defense, private industry and academia collaborate at the innovation center to solve problems related to quantum computing, the statement said.
“Not only has Rome Lab delivered real results in developing and enhancing our nation’s information science capabilities they have shown a commitment to employing local residents with good-paying jobs and partnering with local business to advance their work,” Schumer said, in a statement. “This infusion of funding will ensure that the talented people that work there will help our nation stay ahead of our international competitors in these critically important fields.”
Gillibrand said the research at Rome Lab is critical to national security, specifically to defend against cyber attacks, and strengthens the nation’s cyber infrastructure.
“I’m pleased that Rome Lab was awarded funding to help it continue to be a leader in national security and develop cutting-edge technology that keeps us safe,” she said, in a statement. “I am proud to have fought for this funding, and I will continue to ensure that the Lab has the resources it needs do important work for the Mohawk Valley, New York, and our country.”
Brindisi called the funds vital to ensuring Rome Lab remains at the cutting edge of military technology.
“I’m thrilled to see this money included in this funding legislation,” he said, in a statement. “These dollars, along with the hard working men and women at Rome Labs, will allow our military to continue to innovate and create the technologies that will lead us into the future.”
Funding for the Rome Lab has continued to increase in the past three annual spending packages, according to the statement. In fiscal year 2018, $243 million was secured for the lab’s budget; in 2019, the funding increased to $245 million.
An analysis of the Air Force Research Lab in Rome in fiscal year 2018 found an economic impact of $412 million in a five-county area. The lab was operated by 1,182 personnel, including military, civilian and contract employees.
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