National Quantum Coordination Office Opens in White House

Federal agencies will be working with the White House to pursue quantum research and development objectives through the National Quantum Coordination Office. The office was established under the National Quantum Initiative Act signed into law in December. Numerous agencies will be working with the White House to foster unified quantum efforts.

The National Quantum Initiative Act passed Congress by unanimous consent in the Senate and a 348-11 vote in the House in December before being signed into law.

The law calls for $1.2 billion to be spent over the next five years to advance quantum information science. According to FedScoop, the law creates:

  • “A National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee that will advise the president;
  • A Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science under the National Science and Technology Council;
  • National Quantum Information Science Research Centers at the Department of Energy;
  • Research and education centers at the National Science Foundation; and
  • A ‘consortium of stakeholders’ gathered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to discuss ‘future measurement, standards, cybersecurity, and other appropriate needs for supporting the development of a robust quantum information science and technology industry in the United States.’”

In addition, the law calls for the establishment of the National Quantum Coordination Office to help agencies work together by “encouraging and supporting joint agency solicitation and selection of applications for funding of activities”, as well as “serve as the point of contact on Federal civilian quantum information science and technology activities for Federal departments and agencies, industry, universities professional societies, State governments, and such other persons,” according to the legislation.

The office is made up of workers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, NASA, and other related agencies. The office is overseen by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier said in a statement announcing the office’s opening Monday, “Our Nation is on the verge of breakthroughs in quantum. And thanks to the leadership of President Trump and Congress, America’s quantum scientists are well positioned to lead the world.”

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