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Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

Bicameral Defense Quantum Acceleration Act proposes DoD prioritize quantum technology

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In introducing their Defense Quantum Acceleration Act last week, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) seek to hasten the implementation of quantum technologies within the Department of Defense (DoD).

Both lawmakers pitched the move as one specifically meant to counter China’s own advances. It is also meant to consolidate existing efforts, which the pair labeled tremendous, but noted lack a unified effort and focus when it comes to getting these capabilities to soldiers on a timeline.

“U.S. advancement of quantum technology is critical for our nation to compete on the global stage, as Communist China has made clear their goal to lead the world in this industry by 2049,” Blackburn said. “This legislation helps ensure the Department of Defense maximizes its developmental resources and capitalizes on the incredible work happening at the local level, including in Chattanooga and Oak Ridge.”

After appointing a Principal Quantum Advisor, the department would be charged with coordinating, understanding, and deploying relevant technologies, including quantum sensing, computing and hybrid quantum computing, annealing, communications, modeling, and more.

“I am proud to lead this critical legislation to ensure the United States maintains a quantum technological advantage over our adversaries, including Communist China,” Stefanik said. “Quantum’s impact on our national security will be considerable, and we must take immediate steps to ensure the United States is the first nation to reach quantum advantage.”

Proponents of the bill, which included companies like D-Wave, IBM, the Quantum Industry Coalition and more, pitched the move as beneficial to national security, and crucial to solving complex and revolutionary concerns facing the future of the DoD.