National Quantum Initiative Act Approved

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The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the final version of the National Quantum Initiative (NQI) Act, H.R. 6227. The Senate passed the legislation last week, and the bill will now head to President Trump for his signature. [Update: On Friday, 21 December, the president signed the act into law.] 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 — commended the action.

“The Congress has acted in a bipartisan way to move our nation’s quantum technology policy forward,” said Ed White, chair of the NPI Steering Committee and associate vice president of Test, Assembly, and Packaging for AIM Photonics. “This critical legislation creates the comprehensive quantum technology policy our country needs to transition this exciting research from the laboratory to the marketplace.”

The NPI has been working toward approval of the NQI Act for more than a year. The final version of the act was prepared under the guidance of Christopher Monroe, Ph.D., professor of physics at the University of Maryland and CEO of IonQ Inc., and Michael Raymer, Ph.D., professor of physics at the University of Oregon, both founding stakeholders.

The NPI shared the initiative with lawmakers earlier this year. Stated goals include producing a world-leading industrial quantum technology workforce, advancing quantum information science and technology research, and developing quantum software and intellectual property. The NPI also advocated for a new quantum computing and communications access program to make quantum systems and simulations available to U.S. researchers and users across academia, laboratories, and industry.


Published: December 2018
The term quantum refers to the fundamental unit or discrete amount of a physical quantity involved in interactions at the atomic and subatomic scales. It originates from quantum theory, a branch of physics that emerged in the early 20th century to explain phenomena observed on very small scales, where classical physics fails to provide accurate explanations. In the context of quantum theory, several key concepts are associated with the term quantum: Quantum mechanics: This is the branch of...
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