As we have mentioned several times in these pages (see here and here), the National Quantum Initiative act, signed in 2018 expired on September 30, 2023. There has been much discussion on what a renewal of the bill should look like and now Frank Lucas (R-OK), Chairman, and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Ranking Member, of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee have introduced a bipartisan first draft of the bill for consideration. The renewal bill continues on with many of the directions started in the original bill, but it also has several additions and changes too. Whereas the original bill was heavily focused on advancing QIS research, this new proposal has more focus on commercialization and applications.

We have briefly reviewed the draft of the bill which was introduced a few days ago and here are some key things we found:

  1. The bill adds NASA to the list of agencies receiving funding in the bill. The bill would authorize them to a Quantum Institute focused on space and aeronautics applications. Previously, only the NSF, NIST, and the Department of Energy were in the original bill.
  2. International cooperation is recognized with the bill requiring the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop a strategy for cooperative quantum research efforts with allies of the United States.
  3. The bill has more emphasis on real world use cases and commercialization. It makes a change to the qualification of individuals serving on the National Quantum Advisory Committee by stating that members should include end users likely to benefit from quantum technology. In other sections they changed the phrase “science and technology” to “science, engineering, and technology”.
  4. The bill adds funding for new quantum centers and institutes. This includes the creation of Quantum Testbeds, and a new Quantum Instrumentation and Foundry Program.
  5. It strengthens workforce and STEM development programs requiring activities to increase participation of women and other groups historically underrepresented groups from STEM fields and also authorizes the establishment of a new Quantum Reskilling, Education, and Workforce (QREW) Coordination Hub.
  6. It increases the overall size of the budget. By our calculations the amount now totals over $3.6 billion including funding from the CHIPS and Science act. We have gone through the bill and put together a table below that shows the proposed funding as best as we can determine.

Like all bill these days in Washington, D.C., there will likely be a lot of discussion and many proposed amendments before this is passed. However, we are optimistic that this will occur eventually because support and U.S. leadership in quantum technology is something that is widely supported on both sides of the aisle.

Additional information about this bill is available in a press release from the U.S. House of Representatives located here, an Executive Summary located here, a fact sheet available here, a Section-by-Section summary that you can find here, and the full text of the draft bill can be seen here.

November 4, 2023