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SPIE Applauds Passage of the National Quantum Initiative Act

The bipartisan legislation, H.R. 6227, creates a comprehensive national policy to encourage quantum research and technology, and helps establish a workforce capable of creating practical applications

20 December 2018

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA and CARDIFF, UK - SPIE welcomes the passage of The National Quantum Initiative (NQI) Act, H.R. 6227, a bipartisan bill which provides "for a coordinated Federal program to accelerate quantum research and development for the economic and national security of the United States." It includes a provision to promote access to existing quantum computing and communication systems for users, an addition called for by the National Photonics Initiative, a partnership which has been working on this legislation since 2017, and of which SPIE is a founding member.

The legislation establishes the National Quantum Initiative Program to speed quantum research and development over the next ten years; creates interagency coordination by authorizing a National Quantum Coordination Office and an interagency Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; provides substantial, five-year funding authorization for collaborative centers of quantum research, bringing together university and industry partners at the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy; and increases funding authorization, also over five years, for National Institute for Standards and Technology quantum research and activities including the Quantum Economic Development Consortium.

"The passage of this landmark bill delivers the exciting promise of a future-focused, technology-smart world," said SPIE CEO Kent Rochford. "It's very welcome news, not just for the organizations involved in the National Photonics Initiative, but for the next generation of researchers, scientists, and consumers. As quantum technologies shift from the research stage to development and engineering, they are creating entirely new industries and opportunities for innovation. The bill establishes the collaborative framework that is needed to produce research breakthroughs that will ultimately lead to fully enabled quantum applications. The multi-year authorized funding provided in the bill makes clear the commitment the United States has to being a leader quantum information science and technology. SPIE stands ready to assist with implementation at the agencies involved, and to work with appropriators to fully fund this initiative."

SPIE will host the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) for a panel discussion on the photonic technologies that will enable the emerging quantum industry and how companies can support and participate in the National Quantum Initiative on 6 February, at Photonics West 2019 in San Francisco.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves 257,000 constituents from 173 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2018, SPIE provided more than $4 million in community support including scholarships and awards, outreach and advocacy programs, travel grants, public policy, and educational resources. www.spie.org.

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