House Approves the National Quantum Initiative Act
WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation today that will leverage the expertise and resources of U.S. industry, academia, and government to move Quantum Information Science (QIS) to the next level of research and development.
The National Quantum Initiative Act (H.R. 6227) was introduced by Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and co-sponsored by Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) along with 28 committee members.
The bill, which now must be acted on by the Senate, is designed to create a unified national quantum strategy to ensure that the U.S. continues leading breakthroughs in QIS.
Quantum computers have the potential to operate millions of times faster than today’s most advanced supercomputers. Countries that harness the power of quantum computing will revolutionize a wide range of industries, including health care, communications, financial services, and transportation. Quantum computing is also critical to maintain national security and commercial and private cybersecurity because a quantum computer could crack traditional security programs easily.
The bill forms a 10-year federal program to advance quantum science development and technology applications in the United States. It will establish a National Quantum Coordination Office within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to oversee interagency coordination and serve as a central point of contact for stakeholders. The legislation will support basic QIS research and standards development at the National Institute for Standards and Technology, authorize quantum research through Energy Department basic research programs, and establish Energy Department national research centers, authorize National Science Foundation basic research, and establish NSF multi-disciplinary quantum research and education centers. H.R. 6227 will also address fundamental research gaps, create a stronger workforce pipeline, and develop the defining quantum standards and measures for global use.
“Quantum technology is poised to redefine the next generation of scientific and technological breakthroughs. With competition from abroad, America must increase and accelerate efforts to secure leadership in the quantum sector for our national security and economic prosperity. The National Quantum Initiative Act will ensure the United States remains the global leader in science and technology. Today’s House passage is a quantum leap in the right direction.”
Ranking Member Johnson:
“At a time when China, Europe, and Russia are investing heavily in quantum research and technology development, it is imperative that we do everything we can to maintain our global standing as the leader in this area. Global leadership in quantum computing brings with it a military and intelligence edge as well as a competitive advantage in what many expect to be a massive industry in the decades to come. The National Quantum Initiative Act will set us on the right path.”
The full text of the bill can be found here.
A list of support for the bill can be found here.