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Lawmakers Call for DOD Quantum Center of Excellence

The 10-year plan aims to accelerate quantum research and development into operational use

Berenice Baker, Editor, Enter Quantum

May 29, 2024

2 Min Read
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House lawmakers have called for a U.S. Government quantum center of excellence for the Department of Defense (DOD).

Members of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber Innovative Technologies and Information Systems want the proposed hub to focus on military-specific applications for quantum computing.  

Setting out their ambitions in section 217 of the fiscal 2025 Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement and National Defense Authorization Act, they wrote: “The Secretary of Defense shall establish a quantum computing center of excellence at a research laboratory of a covered armed force with requisite experience in quantum computing, integrated photonics and photon qubits, superconducting and hybrid systems, and trapped ions.”

They propose that the center carries out the following activities:

  • Accelerate the transition of advanced quantum and quantum hybrid computing technology from the research and development phase into operational use.

  • Facilitate quantum computing workforce development.

  • Conduct outreach to enhance government, industry, and academia’s understanding of national security-related use cases for quantum computing and quantum hybrid technology, and operational challenges faced by the DoD that may be addressed using such technology.

  • Conduct prototyping of quantum computing and quantum hybrid applications.

  • Undertake efforts to advance the technology readiness levels of quantum computing technologies.

  • Carry out such other activities relating to quantum computing as the Secretary determines appropriate.

Related:Quantum Companies Demonstrate Technology to Legislators

The subcommittee suggests that partner organizations for the endeavor could include other armed forces research laboratories, the Defense Innovation Unit, federally funded research and development centers, university-affiliated research centers and private sector entities with expertise in quantum computing.

They suggest that if the provision is passed, the quantum center of excellence would be set to exist for 10 years post-enactment.

Military applications for quantum computing include processing complex combat data faster and in new ways, optimizing logistics, flight paths and supply chains, discovering new materials for military vehicles and accelerating machine learning for AI applications.

Applications for other quantum technology include quantum sensing, position, navigation and timing in GPS-deprived environments, quantum communication and cryptography.

The call comes as some reports claim that the U.S. risks falling behind China in quantum development despite funding blocks by many countries.

Related:U.S. Senate Passes Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Act

About the Author(s)

Berenice Baker

Editor, Enter Quantum

Berenice is the editor of Enter Quantum, the companion website and exclusive content outlet for The Quantum Computing Summit. Enter Quantum informs quantum computing decision-makers and solutions creators with timely information, business applications and best practice to enable them to adopt the most effective quantum computing solution for their businesses. Berenice has a background in IT and 16 years’ experience as a technology journalist.

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