WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Major national technological advancements are happening right here in NEPA. On Monday, U.S. 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 that aims to accelerate the development of quantum technology in space and national defense efforts and they say it’s starting in the Diamond City.

Building the future right here in our backyard. On Monday, officials came together at the Luzerne Bank Building in Downtown Wilkes-Barre for a major announcement.

“This was a terrific announcement of basically a consortium of government and business agencies to look into expanding quantum science and quantum research,” said Cartwright.

Quantum technology explores how matter and energy behave at the level of atoms or subatomic particles. Officials say quantum science and technology have led to the development of things like GPS satellites, smartphones, and medical devices.

Future advancements from the private/public partnership promise to improve space-based navigation, national security, and communications. The collaboration aims to bring more jobs within the next several years.

“It means more economic opportunity for northeastern Pennsylvania. We can’t say exactly what shape it’s gonna take but it’s about keeping your eye on the future,” Cartwright explained.

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 ready, willing, and able to work hard in manufacturing jobs around here, and those are the kind of jobs that this sort of thing will lead to,” Cartwright added.

One of the collaboration’s partners, Nebula Space Enterprise, will house a center for space research and data 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 purchased the building last year.

“The community has done an amazing job of preparing some opportunity to come in,” Bloxton said.

The company will work with the Department of Defense and the Department 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.

“No one else in the nation has truly stepped up to become the quantum supply chain for the nation. And that is a critical opportunity, it’s actually a critical need and it’s an amazing opportunity and I can’t think of a reason we can’t do it here, in wilkes-barre in northeastern Pennsylvania,” Bloxton added.

Officials did not discuss the specifics of their plans at Monday’s conference but say work from the collaboration is set to begin in early 2024.