National Quantum Initiative Act - H.R.6227 / S.3143

Share This

Share/Save
Overview
Purpose: 
"To provide for a coordinated Federal program to accelerate quantum research and development for the economic and national security of the United States."
Primary sponsors: 
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) / Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Latest major action: 
President signed amended version of H.R.6227 into law, Dec. 21, 2018.
Committee Reports: 
Summary of provisions

Selected provisions in the final bill

  • Directs the president to implement a 10-year National Quantum Initiative Program aimed at accelerating progress in quantum information science (QIS) and technology development
  • Creates a Subcommittee on QIS within the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) and a National Quantum Coordination Office to oversee implementation of the initiative (Note: The White House created a QIS subcommittee in NSTC shortly before the House bill was introduced)
  • Specifies that the Department of Energy shall "establish and operate at least 2, but not more than 5" National QIS Research Centers and "shall allocate up to" $25 million to each center per year during the first five years of the initiative
  • Specifies that the National Science Foundation "shall establish at least 2, but not more than 5" Multidisciplinary Centers for Quantum Research and Education and "shall allocate up to" $10 million to each center per year during the first five years of the initiative
  • Specifies that the National Institute of Standards and Technology "shall allocate up to" $80 million per year to QIS during the first five years of the initiative
  • Instructs NIST to convene a "consortium" of stakeholders to discuss the measurement, standards, and cybersecurity needs of the emerging QIS industry
  • FYI's full summary of the bill is available here.

Selected provisions in the original House bill

  • Authorizes $1.275 billion for QIS R&D across DOE, NSF, and NIST over the first half of the initiative
  • Specifies that DOE “shall” allocate $125 million per year to support up to five National QIS Research Centers
  • Specifies that NSF “shall” allocate $50 million per year to support up to five Multidisciplinary Centers for Quantum Research and Education
  • Specifies that NIST “shall” devote $80 million per year to QIS. The report accompanying the bill notes that NIST currently spends about $30 million per year on QIS
  • Instructs NIST to convene a workshop that examines the measurement, standards, and cybersecurity needs of the emerging QIS industry

Selected provisions in the original Senate bill

The leaders of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee introduced a similar version of the bill in June 2018. The committee does not have jurisdiction over the Department of Energy, so those provisions were excluded. The committee approved a modified version of the bill in August 2018, adopting a substitute amendment by Committee Chair John Thune (R-SD) and three minor amendments by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA).

The amended bill:

  • Authorizes up to $550 million for QIS R&D at the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology over the first half of the initiative
  • Specifies that NSF is authorized to support up to five Multidisciplinary Centers for Quantum Research and Education and allocate $10 million per year to each
  • Specifies that NIST is authorized to expend $60 million per year on QIS and instructs the agency to convene a "consortium" of stakeholders to discuss the measurement, standards, and cybersecurity needs of the emerging QIS industry
  • Tasks the NSTC QIS Subcommittee with proposing a coordinated interagency budget for the initiative as well as submitting an annual budget and progress report to Congress

In November 2018, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee introduced the "DOE Quantum Information Science Research Act." That bill directs the DOE Office of Science to create between two and five quantum information science research centers and authorizes a budget of up to $25 million annually for each over five years.

    Actions
    Actions on the House bill: 
    President signed amended version of the bill into law
    Dec. 21, 2018
    House passed amended version of the bill on a vote of 348 to 11
    Dec. 19, 2018
    Senate passed amended version of the bill by unanimous consent
    Dec. 13, 2018
    House passed bill by voice vote
    Sept. 13, 2018
    House Science Committee approved bill
    June 27, 2018
    Bill introduced
    June 26, 2018
    Actions on the Senate bill: 
    Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved bill
    Aug. 1, 2018
    Bill introduced
    June 26, 2018