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Smith Announces Intent to Introduce National Quantum Initiative Act, Hosts First Quantum Computer on Capitol Hill

Jun 12, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON - U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today announced his intent to introduce the National Quantum Initiative Act, which will position the U.S. as the global leader in Quantum Information Science (QIS). Smith is also hosting IBM’s 50-qubit quantum computer on Capitol Hill this week. This is the first demonstration and display of a quantum computer on Capitol Hill.

Chairman Smith: “It’s an honor to have the 50-qubit quantum computer here on Capitol Hill since the Science Committee soon will consider the National Quantum Initiative Act. Quantum is poised to redefine the next generation of scientific breakthroughs. We must ensure that the United States does not fall behind other nations that are advancing quantum programs.

“The National Quantum Initiative Act will accelerate quantum research and development. It will promote greater quantum research, standards, federal coordination, and collaboration among the key quantum players – laboratories, industry and universities. Quantum computing could work up to millions of times faster than our conventional computing systems and solve problems we thought were unsolvable. The United States must get there first. IBM’s 50-qubit quantum computer is just one example of American ingenuity, as U.S. technology companies are leading the way in developing quantum technologies. I thank IBM for arranging this demonstration. The National Quantum Initiative takes advantage of the best of government, industry and academia to maintain strong U.S. leadership in the field. This bill will be a quantum leap in the right direction.”

 The National Quantum Initiative Act will:

  • Bring a whole of government approach to moving QIS to the next level of research and development
  • Establish a National Quantum Coordination Office within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to oversee interagency coordination, provide strategic planning support, serve as a central point of contact for stakeholders, conduct outreach, and promote commercialization of federal research by the private sector
  • Support basic QIS research and standards development at the National Institute for Standards and Technology, support Energy Department basic research and establish Energy Department national research centers, and support National Science Foundation basic research and academic multidisciplinary quantum research and education centers
  • Encourage U.S. high-tech companies, which are investing heavily in quantum research, and a wave of quantum technology start-ups, to contribute their knowledge and resources to a national effort
  • Address fundamental research gaps, create a stronger workforce pipeline, and take the lead in developing quantum standards and measures for global use and thereby give U.S. companies and workers an enduring competitive advantage

Click here for a one-pager on the bill.

On display in 2318 Rayburn this week is a prototype of IBM's 50-qubit quantum computer. Announced in 2017, it is the world's first 50-qubit system, which was a major step toward machines that can tackle problems beyond the scope of classical computation. Through IBM Q Experience, the world’s first publicly available quantum computers, more than 75,000 users have run more than 2.5 million quantum experiments.

115th Congress