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National Quantum Initiative Update Introduced in House

NOV 06, 2023
Andrea Peterson
Senior Data Analyst
frank-lucas-next-to-quantum-computer.jpg

House Science Committee Chair Frank Lucas (R-OK) stands next to a piece of an IBM quantum computer displayed in the committee room. (Image credit – House Science Committee)

Leaders of the House Science Committee introduced legislation last week that would update the National Quantum Initiative Act of 2018.

The original legislation created a multiagency quantum information science R&D program anchored by a network of QIS centers funded by the Department of Energy and National Science Foundation.

The new bill would call for an expanded network of centers, directing NASA to establish one focused on space and aeronautics applications of quantum science and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to establish up to three centers focused on quantum engineering, sensing, and measurement.

In addition, it would direct NSF to create testbeds for quantum technology R&D and a multidisciplinary hub focused on quantum curriculum and workforce development. It also instructs DOE to establish “quantum foundries” to meet the device and material needs of the quantum supply chain.

The bill recommends funding targets for these activities but does not itself provide funds for them. The original legislation did spur significant increases to federal funding for QIS, though Congress ultimately did not meet the amounts the legislation recommended.

Aside from its funding targets, the new bill would direct the White House to develop a strategy to encourage research partnerships with U.S. allies and promote the responsible development and deployment of QIS. It also would prohibit certain agency QIS programs from funding projects involving foreign countries or entities of concern.

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