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What is the National Quantum Initiative Act about?
The bill for quantum technologies was originally introduced in June this year. This bill is a commitment that various departments such as the NIST, NSF, and Secretary of Energy together will provide $1.25B in funding from 2019 to 2023 to promote activities in the quantum information science. The new act and the funding that comes with it will boost quantum research in the US.
As stated in the Act: “The bill defines ‘quantum information science’ as the storage, transmission, manipulation, or measurement of information that is encoded in systems that can only be described by the laws of quantum physics.”
The president signed the bill as a law last week on Friday.
What will the National Quantum Initiative Act allow?
This bill aims to further USA’s position in the area of quantum information science and its technology applications. The bill will support research and development of quantum technologies that can lead to practical applications. It seeks to:
- Expand the workforce on quantum computing
- Promote research opportunities across various academic levels
- Address any knowledge gaps
- dd more facilities and centers for testing and education in this field
- Promote rapid development of quantum-based technologies
The bill also seeks to:
- Improve the collaboration between the Federal Government of USA, its laboratories and industries, universities
- Promote the development of international standards for quantum information science
- Facilitate technology innovation and private sector commercialization
- Meet economic and security goals of USA
The US President will work with Federal agencies, working groups, councils, subcommittees, etc., to set goals for the National Quantum Initiative Act.
What’s the fuss with quantum computing?
As we mentioned is a previous post: “Quantum computing uses quantum mechanics in quantum computers to solve a diverse set of complex problems. It uses qubits to store information in parallel dimensions. Quantum computers can work through a solution involving large parameters with far fewer operations than a standard computer.”
This does not mean that a quantum computer is necessarily faster than a classical computer, a quantum computer is just better at solving complex problems that a regular one will take way too long if at all it can solve such problems. Quantum computers have great potential to solve future problems, and is hence drawing attention from tech companies and governments. Like D-Wave launching a Quantum cloud service, UK researchers working on quantum entanglements, and Rigetti working on a 128 qubit chip.
What are the people saying?
As is the general observation around the motivation for quantum computing, this comment from Reddit puts it nicely: “Make no mistake, this is not only about advancing computing power, but this is also about maintaining cryptographic dominance. Quantum computers will be able to break a lot of today’s encryption.”
Another comment expresses: “Makes sense, Trump has a tendency to be in 2 different states simultaneously.”
You can read the bill in its entirety on the Congress Government website.