NPI Praises House Science Committee Introduction of National Quantum Initiative Reauthorization Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 9, 2023) – 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, today praised the bipartisan leadership of the House Science Committee for introducing the National Quantum Initiative (NQI) Reauthorization Act of 2023. The legislation, which reauthorizes the NQI Act for an additional five years, was introduced by House Science Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and is set to be formally considered by the House Science Committee the week of November 13th.
“The National Quantum Initiative (NQI) Act has been an incredible success to date,” NPI Steering Committee Chair Dr. Jim McNally, PhD, said. “The original authorization expanded research funding and access to critical facilities across the country. Now is the time to build on this progress with the second round of authorization. The NPI applauds the bipartisan leaders of the House Science Committee, Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Lofgren, for introducing the NQI Reauthorization Act and looks forward to working with the committee and members to advance this important legislation.”
The NPI was an early and critical voice for initial passage of the NQI Act in 2018. Over the past five years, the NPI has hosted Congressional Visit Days for quantum stakeholders to meet with decisionmakers in the House, Senate and administration to advocate for increased quantum funding in key agencies including the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). During this year’s meetings, quantum stakeholders made several recommendations to strengthen the NQI Act which included:
- Establish education and workforce centers to ensure a quantum workforce is developed to carry out the NQI mission. This includes tasking the education centers with developing a quantum education curriculum across K-12, community colleges and non-R1 institutions in coordination with industry, academia and state governments.
- Recognize quantum sensing and task NIST to take a leadership role in its development.
- Promote more collaboration between quantum centers and industry/academia.
- Increase the scope and include additional federal agencies to participate in the NQI, starting with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
- Increased quantum funding for DOE, NSF & NIST.
- Establish an end-to-end manufacturing ecosystem addressing quantum computing, sensing and communication.
- Provide capabilities to design, fabricate and test quantum devices.
- Increased access to prototyping capabilities for researchers and developers for the next generation of innovations.
- Support the development of a quantum supply chain with significant emphasis on domestic supply as well as supply from trusted partners.
- Incentivize small, medium and diverse companies to participate in the quantum supply chain.
- Requires the President to develop a strategy for carrying out cooperative quantum research efforts with allies of the United States to bolster competitiveness against China and Russia.
- Authorizes NIST to establish up to three centers to advance research in quantum sensing, measurement, and engineering.
- Strengthens student traineeship, fellowship, and other workforce programs at NSF.
- Authorizes the creation of a new NSF multidisciplinary coordination hub to create new workforce pipelines between educational institutions and the larger quantum industry ecosystem.
- Authorizes the creation of new quantum testbeds through the NSF Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate.
- Directs the Secretary of Energy to develop a strategy for promoting the commercialization of quantum computing.
- Authorizes the DOE to support the development of quantum foundries to meet the device and material needs of the quantum supply chain.
- Formally authorizes quantum research and development (R&D) activities at the NASA and the creation of a quantum institute at the agency.
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), Optica (formerly OSA), Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, and SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics. For more information visit www.lightourfuture.org.