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National Photonics Initiative Praises NQI Act, Urges Key Improvements

(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--and a group of industry and university stakeholders today wrote to Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in praise of The National Quantum Initiative Act. The NQI Act would create a comprehensive and coordinated national policy to encourage quantum research and technology and establish a workforce capable of transforming that work into real world applications. It does not, however, include authorization for research activities at the Department of Energy (DOE), an issue the NPI and stakeholders encouraged lawmakers to address.
“We believe this commitment to quantum science and technology is critical to our nation’s position as a global economic leader as well as our national security,” the letter states. “We strongly urge the inclusion of authorization for new quantum research activities at the Department of Energy (DOE) before final passage of the bill. DOE, as a significant supporter of research and technology transfer, is well-placed to have a key role in the NQI.”
The NPI and stakeholders also encouraged lawmakers to add an access program to the legislation. “This important program will support the activities of NQI research and laboratory programs by providing access to new quantum computing and communications systems and simulations to U.S. researchers and users across academia, laboratories, and industry.”
The NPI has been actively working with Congress to develop a comprehensive national quantum policy over the past year. With the guidance of Dr. Christopher Monroe, professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and Dr. Michael Raymer, professor of physics at the University of Oregon, both founding stakeholders, the 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 research and technology, and developing quantum software and intellectual property.
The letter in full can be 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