June 07, 2018

Harris Introduces Bill to Increase Resources for Quantum Computing and Research to Benefit National Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, in an effort to increase the United States’ competitiveness in a critical new technology, U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris introduced the Quantum Computing Research Act, which would create a central coordination and research entity to support the development of quantum information science (QIS). The bill would establish a Department of Defense Quantum Computing Research Consortium to spur the development of a competitive edge for America in quantum computing by providing grants, oversight, and coordination of research efforts between academia, government and the corporate sector. This introduction comes on the heels of the release of the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act that directs the Secretary of Defense to create a quantum research program.   

While still in the research and development phase, quantum computing is essential to the future of the country’s economy and national security. From accelerating the discovery of new life-saving drugs to solving complex logistical problems to strengthening national security, investments in this technology will have a profound impact on Americans’ way of life. Quantum computers have the ability to run new types of algorithms that are built on the principles of quantum mechanics.

Quantum computing is the next technological frontier that will change the world and we cannot afford to fall behind,” said Senator Harris. “It could create jobs for the next generation, cure diseases, and above all else – make our nation stronger and safer. And without adequate research and coordination in quantum computing, we risk falling behind our global competition in the cyberspace race which leaves us vulnerable to attacks from our adversaries. We must act now to address the challenges we face in the development of this technology – our future depends on it.”

The Quantum Computing Research Act would establish the Office of Naval Research and the Army Research Lab, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and members of a National Quantum Initiative as the head of an East/West Quantum Consortium of Partner Universities and Companies, to coordinate and support their efforts through grant funding.

California has been at the forefront of quantum information science with facilities at the University of Southern California, Caltech, Google Venice Beach, University of California Riverside, Stanford, Rigetti Computing, and University of California Santa Barbara all investing in its development and deployment.

For text of the bill, click here.