$1.2 billion US National Quantum Initiative (NQI) promulgated in December 2018 for a period of ten years with the approval of the budget for science activities set only for the first five fiscal years ending on 30 September 2023. There will now be activities to review the first five years of activities and make recommendations on how to go forward for the next five years and beyond. Therefore US National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee (NQAIC) just issued a report with their findings. They have found that the US has improved its quantum technology development capabilities over the past five years, but still needs to solve many scientific, engineering and systems integration challenges to realize the full benefits of leveraging quantum technology. NQAIC points out that doing so is critical to US economic and national security.
In the report, NQAIC has made recommendations for reauthorizing and expanding the scope of NQI for the next five years and beyond. Following is a summary of some of the nine main recommendations they made in the report:
- The United States must update the NQI to support US quantum information science, technology, and engineering, and signaled an intention to extend the NQI beyond its initial ten-year authorization.
- The United States should expand the NQI to increase support for fundamental research in quantum information science and engineering.
- New Federal programs should help fund industry-led partnerships to develop and advance enhanced integrated quantum systems for mission-grade and commercial technologies, and new mechanisms to fund such programs should be defined and authorized as needed.
- The agency should expand investments in small and medium-sized infrastructure to support Federally funded research that includes support for staff, equipment, maintenance, and operating costs, to ensure that the facility meets the needs of the QIST project.
- The US government should provide a new dedicated fund to ensure that declarations of international cooperation result in productive collaborative activities between participating countries.
- The nation must simultaneously accelerate progress in QIST and protect quantum technology from bad actors.
- The US government should facilitate efforts to strengthen, diversify, and secure the QIST supply chain domestically and in cooperation with partner nations. As QIST advances, measures to eliminate risk and secure international supply chains must be continually updated.
- Domestic talent in QIST should be expanded through education and training programs at all levels.
- Employing foreign talent in the US QIST workforce should be facilitated and accelerated through revised immigration policies and processes, thereby enhancing US economic competitiveness and national security.
June 3, 2023