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National Photonics Initiative Touts National Quantum Initiative (NQI) Before House Energy and Commerce Committee

(Washington, D.C.) - The National Photonics Initiative (NPI), a collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government to raise awareness of optics photonics – the science and application of light, was represented in a hearing today before the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection. Dr. Christopher Monroe, Chief Scientist and Founder, IonQ, and Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, testified during today’s “Disruptor Series” on quantum computing about the need for a National Quantum Initiative (NQI) to facilitate growth in the U.S. economy, meet our nation’s pressing communications and security challenges, and maintain our position as a global leader in quantum innovation. This is the second time Monroe has testified before Congress on the subject of quantum technology. He previously appeared before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology in October 2017.

“Quantum technology has the potential to solve many complex problems in science and society,” Monroe said. “It is imperative that the U.S. retain its leadership in this scientific and technological frontier. Implementing a National Quantum Initiative will help maintain that leadership and bridge significant workforce gaps that exist between the world’s leading quantum researchers and engineers.”

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 unveiled the NQI Action Plan in early April and discussed it with lawmakers during the annual NPI Capitol Hill Day that same month. Monroe said the goal of the Action Plan is to provide policymakers with a framework for implementing a comprehensive quantum initiative across the federal government. “Significant research and infrastructure investments in quantum technology will put the U.S. in a position of global leadership in areas ranging from health to national security. We want to continue working with policymakers to make this happen.” He also noted that U.S. investments are critical to keeping pace with other countries that have already made significant investments in quantum technology development. These include $10 billion by China and more than $1 billion in the United Kingdom and European Union.

Edward White, Chair of the National Photonics Initiative Steering Committee, and Vice President for Test, Assembly and Packaging for AIM Photonics, said today’s hearing was an important step in the effort to advance an NQI. “Chris has been instrumental in the formation of the National Quantum Initiative and his testimony today reflected his commitment to developing quantum technology for both public and private use. The NPI thanks Chris for his leadership on this important issue and for his testimony today.”

Monroe’s full testimony can read HERE.

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