(March 24, 2022) Today, the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science (SCQIS) released the strategic plan for “Bringing Quantum Sensors to Fruition.” Quantum sensing technologies have already been hugely beneficial to society, for example, with the Global Position System (GPS) utilizing atomic clocks, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) leveraging nuclear spin control for medical imaging. There are also near-term opportunities for new quantum sensors to become fieldable technologies, with similar transformative impacts. However, the long technological development arc from basic research to a commercialized product requires focused, substantial, and sustained efforts. Along with the wide application space and varied end-user requirements, maturing quantum sensing technologies requires a long-term strategy to align government agency priorities and unite private stakeholders.
To address these challenges, the report made four policy recommendations:
- Agencies leading QIST R&D should accelerate the development of new quantum sensing approaches and prioritize appropriate partnerships with end users to elevate the technology readiness of new quantum sensors.
- Agencies that use sensors should conduct feasibility studies and jointly test quantum prototypes with QIST R&D leaders to identify promising technologies and to focus on quantum sensors that address their agency mission.
- Agencies that support engineering R&D should develop broadly applicable components and subsystems, such as compact reliable lasers and integrated optics, to facilitate the development of quantum technologies and promote economies of scale.
- Agencies should streamline technology transfer and acquisition practices to encourage the development and early adoption of quantum sensor technologies.
The entire report can be found at https://www.quantum.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/BringingQuantumSensorstoFruition.pdf.