Understanding the National Quantum Initiative Act
by Yuen Yiu
On Wednesday, more than a hundred attended a panel session to learn about the recent bill introduced to Congress for advancing quantum research and technology in the U.S. Last week, the House of Representatives passed the National Quantum Initiative Act, which will allocate $1.275 billion to “accelerate the development of quantum information science and technology applications” for the next 10 years. A hearing by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources has been scheduled for Sept. 25.
The initiative aligns with the community’s needs to identify, fund and foster research in both the public and private sectors, said Irene Qualters from the National Science Foundation. Mark Ritter from IBM agrees that there are economic incentives for the U.S. to invest in quantum information technologies as well.
“Our clients have problems they simply can’t solve because they are too complex” to be solved using conventional algorithms, said Ritter. He also said that it is already difficult to find quantum information experts for hire, and without long-term funding such as those proposed by the initiative, more local talents may leave the U.S. to seek opportunities abroad.
The National Quantum Initiative will aim to develop five to 10 major R&D facilities in the U.S., establish access programs that will help progress and implement the technology, and form a supporting network for research groups studying related technologies and applications.
Posted: 19 Sep 2018 by Yuen Yiu