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NPI Advocates Meet with Lawmakers on Reauthorizing the National Quantum Initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 19, 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, hosted a number of leading experts in the field of Quantum Information Science and Technology (QIST) this week to encourage lawmakers to reauthorize the National Quantum Initiative (NQI) Act, which was originally signed into law in 2018. Representatives from industry and academia participated, including Caltech, the Duke Quantum Center, Harvard, University of Maryland, University of Rochester, Northwestern, IBM, Intel, Infleqtion, IonQ, Google, MKS Instruments, Applied Energetics, SRI, TOPTICA USA, and NY Creates. They met with members of the House and Senate on key committees including the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology including House Science Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK). NPI’s quantum stakeholders advocated for strengthening America’s global position in this important emerging area.

“Quantum information science & technology is critical to our economic and national security, holding tremendous potential for cybersecurity, medicine, advanced communications, financial services, transportation, and more,” NPI Steering Committee Chairman Ed White said. “Continuing to fund this important R&D area will ensure that we maintain our lead in the field and address workforce needs in this future industry. The nation that leads in quantum will have a huge advantage in other key emerging fields, including artificial intelligence and synthetic biology.”

The NQI Act established the coordination framework for government agencies to expand QIS R&D. Specifically, it created a program to advance quantum development and technology applications by:

  • Establishing a whole of government approach to move QIS to the next level of research and development.
  • Establishing a National Quantum Coordination Office within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to oversee interagency coordination, provide strategic planning support, serve as a central point of contact for stakeholders, conduct outreach and promote commercialization of federal research by the private sector.
  • Supporting basic QIS research and standards development at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), fund Department of Energy (DOE) basic research programs and establish DOE research centers, and fund National Science Foundation (NSF) basic research and establish national quantum research and education centers.
  • Engaging U.S. high-tech companies, which are investing heavily in quantum research, and a wave of quantum technology start-ups, to contribute their knowledge and resources to a national effort.
  • Addressing fundamental research gaps, create a stronger workforce pipeline and take the lead in developing quantum standards and measures for global use and thereby give U.S. companies and workers an enduring competitive advantage.
Per the original NQI Act, a second authorization is necessary to continue funding authorizations for the initiative for the next five years. In their meetings with policymakers, NPI advocates explained that continued support is necessary to ensure the benefits of this critical research flow to our economic and national security and additional federal funds will be needed to help engineer and industrialize quantum technology including quantum computers, communications/networking systems, and sensors. The NPI advocates explained that this support will lay the groundwork for the development of conventional technology and intellectual property needed to bring quantum technology to full fruition.

To date, the NQI Act has enabled 13 large National Quantum Initiative Research Centers and Institutes, 2,000 QIS R&D grants, which engage over 1,000 scientists and engineers from over 250 different institutions in 47 states, more than 170 companies currently participating in the Quantum Economic Development Consortium, and 41 U.S. Government-supported Nobel Laureates honored for quantum studies.

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