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Lucas and McNerney Introduce Legislation to Accelerate Progress in Quantum Information Sciences

Sep 18, 2020
Press Release
House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas introduced legislation today to expand work by the Department of Energy (DOE) to advance quantum information sciences. The bipartisan QUEST Act was cosponsored by fellow Science Committee Member Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA). 
 
The bill establishes a program at DOE called the Quantum User Expansion for Science and Technology (QUEST). The QUEST program establishes public-private partnerships between leading research institutions and industry innovators. By giving U.S. researchers access to quantum computing hardware and quantum computing clouds, the QUEST program encourages greater participation in the development of quantum information sciences, thereby facilitating a larger and more diverse range of research into these evolving technologies.  
 
“We’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to the potential of quantum information sciences,” Lucas said. “We do know that quantum computers could possibly perform calculations millions of times faster than our best supercomputers today. Quantum computing will revolutionize the way we approach everything from healthcare to transportation to national security. That’s why we can’t risk falling behind countries like China. The National Quantum Initiative set the U.S. on a strategic course to develop quantum information sciences. The QUEST Act builds on that success and leverages the full power of our quantum science workforce by allowing academics and private industry research to access quantum computing hardware and cloud data.”
 
The National Quantum Initiative is a Science Committee bill that was made into law in 2018, establishing a national quantum information science strategy and accelerating research and development of quantum technologies. 
 
Since the passage of the National Quantum Initiative, the Administration and Department of Energy have worked to implement the legislation and prioritize quantum information science development.  
 
In 2019, the President established the National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee to help strategically develop quantum information sciences in the U.S. The Committee members were named earlier this year. 
 
In August, DOE announced that five National Labs had been selected as QIS research hubs, as authorized in the legislation. 
 
On September 16, the White House announced the establishment of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium’s (QED-C) steering committee, which includes Boeing, ColdQuanta, Google, IBM, QC Ware, and Zapata Computing. The QED-C facilitates collaboration between industry, academic, and Federal researchers to advance quantum information science in America.

 

The QUEST Act is available here

The National Quantum Initiative is available here

 

116th Congress