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National Photonics Initiative Applauds House Science Committee Action on 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, commended the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology for approving the National Quantum Initiative Act, H.R. 6227, with bipartisan support in a committee markup today. The legislation will 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. An amendment to promote access to existing quantum computing and communication systems for users was added during markup, a provision called for by the NPI and supported by the stakeholder community in a letter to committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) earlier this week.

“Under the leadership of Chairman Lamar Smith and Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee has been at the forefront of the effort to create a quantum framework that will maintain our nation’s status as a research and economic leader in this important field,” said Edward White, Chair of the National Photonics Initiative Steering Committee and Vice President Test, Assembly and Packaging for AIM Photonics. “The introduction and approval of the National Quantum Initiative Act in House Science represents a significant step in advancing our nation’s quantum research capabilities and creating the workforce necessary to sustain that development over the long term. We look forward to working the Science Committee and the broader House 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