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National Photonics Initiative Commends House Science Committee for Working Toward National Quantum Initiative Legislation

(Washington, D.C.) - The National Photonics Initiative (NPI), a collaborative alliance among industry, academia, and government to raise awareness of optics and photonics – the science and application of light – commends the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and its Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) for releasing today an outline of the National Quantum Initiative Act of 2018. The goal of the legislation is to transform quantum research into real world applications that will stimulate economic growth and keep pace with accelerating global competitiveness. The legislation is expected to be formally introduced and considered in the Science Committee this month.

“The Science Committee’s work on this legislation is an important first step in the process of establishing a comprehensive national quantum policy,” said Edward White, Chair of the National Photonics Initiative Steering Committee, and Vice President Test, Assembly and Packaging for AIM Photonics. “The NPI has long been advocating for quantum legislation and has been working closely with the Science Committee to raise awareness of the potential of quantum technology and how it can be realized through an NQI. The NPI stands ready to continue serving as a resource for the Science Committee and other legislators as this process moves forward.”

NPI has been actively working with lawmakers to lay groundwork for this important legislation since 2017. Last year, at the request of the Science Committee, the NPI created a white paper entitled A Call for a National Quantum Initiative. The white paper explored how and why it is necessary to create a new information infrastructure using quantum technology. In October 2017, Dr. Chris Monroe, chief scientist and founder, IonQ, and professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, touted the potential benefits of quantum technology in testimony before the Committee given on behalf the NPI.

In April 2018, the NPI – through the expertise of Dr. Monroe and Dr. Michael Raymer, professor of Physics at the University of Oregon – unveiled the National Quantum Initiative (NQI) Action Plan and presented it to lawmakers during the annual NPI Capitol Hill Day that same month. The operational goals of the NQI are to produce a world-leading industrial quantum technology workforce; engineer, industrialize and automate quantum technology; provide access to the emerging quantum computer systems; develop conventional technology and intellectual property; produce quantum software and new applications; and continue the research needed to support these goals. The NPI has also highlighted the role the Department of Defense can play in the NQI.

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