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National Photonics Initiative Applauds Senate Introduction of Bipartisan Quantum Legislation

(Washington, D.C.) -The National Photonics Initiative (NPI), a broad-based collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government to raise awareness of optics, photonics and quantum science and technology, is praising the introduction of bipartisan quantum legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate today by Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. The National Quantum Initiative Act would create a comprehensive national policy to encourage quantum research and technology and help establish a workforce capable of transforming that work into real world applications. The Senate version of the NQI Act largely mirrors a version approved by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology earlier today, although does not include support for activities within the Department of Energy.

“A clear and sustained commitment to quantum research is vital to our nation’s role as a global economic and research leader and our national security” said Edward White, Chair of the National Photonics Initiative Steering Committee and Vice President Test, Assembly and Packaging for AIM Photonics. “Also essential is a well-trained workforce that is prepared to take that research from the lab to the marketplace. A national quantum initiative will help achieve these important goals. The members of NPI welcome the bipartisan action by members of the Senate Commerce Committee to make this commitment a reality. We look forward to working with members on both sides of the aisle and in both congressional chambers to advance this important legislation.”

NPI has been working with lawmakers on the issue of quantum technology since 2017. It published a white paper last year, A Call for a National Quantum Initiative, at the request of the House Science Committee. The paper explained the necessity of a new information infrastructure based on quantum technology. In October 2017, Dr. Chris Monroe, chief scientist and founder of IonQ and professor of physics at the University of Maryland, testified before the House Science Committee about the benefits of quantum technology and the need for a comprehensive policy.

With the guidance of Dr. Monroe and Dr. Michael Raymer, professor of physics at the University of Oregon, NPI unveiled the National Quantum Initiative (NQI) Action Plan in April. It was discussed with lawmakers during the annual NPI Capitol Hill Day that same month. Its goals include producing a world-leading industrial quantum technology workforce, advancing quantum technology, developing quantum software and intellectual property and continuing the research needed to support these goals.

About the NPI: The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) is a collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government to raise awareness of photonics and the impact of photonics on our everyday lives; increase cooperation and coordination among US industry, government and academia to advance photonics-driven fields; and drive US funding and investment in areas of photonics critical to maintaining US economic competitiveness and national security. The initiative is being led by top scientific societies including the American Physical Society (APS), the IEEE Photonics Society, the Laser Institute of America (LIA), The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics. For more information visit