The National Quantum Initiative Act calls for the NSF and DOE to establish new Centers focusing on QIS research and discovery. In alignment with this goal, NSF announced the Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes solicitation and first round of Awards. DOE announced the National QIS Research Centers funding opportunity FOA and Awards. These Centers bring together multidisciplinary teams to tackle some of the most complex and urgent problems in quantum information science and engineering. With connections to universities, national laboratories and industry, these NQI Centers will explore quantum frontiers, stimulate QIS technology development, and expand QIS training opportunities. NQI Centers compliment core programs and other center-scale efforts that connect with QIS. In addition, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020 authorized the Department of Defense to explore establishing additional Research Centers to accelerate quantum information science and technology.

NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes

DOE QIS Research Centers

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Credit: Kelly Cooper Younge, University of Michigan

The National Quantum Initiative calls for strong QIS R&D programs at all levels. Core programs from several disciplines, with efforts both small and large, helped get the field of QIS where it is today. They explore a diverse range of platforms and approaches, and nurture a culture of discovery. Substantial programs for individual investigators, teams, hubs, and Center-scale efforts are supported by several U.S. Departments and Agencies.

Links to some core programs:

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The Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C ) is an industry-led consortium of stakeholders that aims to enable and grow the U.S. quantum industry. QED-C was established with support from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as part of the Federal strategy for advancing quantum information science and as called for by the National Quantum Initiative Act enacted in 2018. The mission of QED-C is to enable and grow a robust commercial quantum-based industry and associated supply chain in the United States.

Today, QED-C has support from multiple agencies and a diverse set of industry, academic, and other stakeholders. QED-C participants are working together to identify gaps in technology, standards, and workforce and to address those gaps through collaboration.

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The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation are spearheading a partnership between the Federal government, industry, professional societies and the education community that will foster a range of training opportunities to increase the capabilities, diversity and number of students who are ready to engage in the quantum workforce.  This starts with outreach and education in middle school and high school, introducing quantum technologies and science to inspire the next generation and continues by broadening access to learning materials and quantum-related curricula beyond university labs and classrooms, to community colleges and online courses.

This partnership enables a foundation for classroom and curricula materials, developed in concert with key stakeholders from the quantum information science community. It encourages hands-on experiences with quantum tools in the classroom and through online venues and connecting students to public and private quantum career opportunities via internships, externships and other pathways.

Accordingly,  the National Q-12 Education Partnership commits over the next decade to work with America’s educators to ensure a strong quantum learning environment, from providing classroom tools for hands-on experiences to developing educational materials, to supporting pathways to quantum careers. By expanding access to materials and quantum technologies through this partnership, educators in classrooms and other settings will be able to develop programs, courses, and activities to introduce students to the field and open up opportunities for quantum careers. Together, we can prepare America’s next generation workforce with the tools to succeed in the industries of the future.

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Quantum Frontiers are areas to explore where solutions to grand challenges can lead to transformative advances in quantum information science, engineering, and technology. With input from the QIS R&D community, the NQCO identified eight quantum frontiers:

  • Expanding Opportunities for Quantum Technologies to Benefit Society
  • Building the Discipline of Quantum Engineering
  • Targeting Materials Science for Quantum Technologies
  • Exploring Quantum Mechanics through Quantum Simulations
  • Harnessing Quantum Information Technology for Precision Measurements
  • Generating and Distributing Quantum Entanglement for New Applications
  • Characterizing and Mitigating Quantum Errors
  • Understanding the Universe through Quantum Information

These are elaborated upon in the Quantum Frontiers Report which cites community responses to the public request for information regarding the National Strategic Overview for QIS. Also cited are three dozen scientific and technical reports from federally funded QIS workshops, roundtables, and studies. These reports can be found in the quantum.gov publication library here.

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The Tokyo Statement on Quantum Cooperation signed in by the U.S. and Japan in December of 2019, provides a framework for like-minded countries to cooperate on the advancement of quantum information science and technology (QIST). The statement declares that international partnerships are critical to bringing together the wide range of skills, expertise, and ingenuity to accelerate the research and development around QIST. The statement highlights several core principles including good-faith cooperation based on the shared values of freedom of inquiry, merit-based competition, openness and transparency, accountability, and reciprocity. Read the whole statement here

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