Guiding publications for US strategy on Quantum Information Science (QIS)

March 8, 2023  |  Ernest Lane

In 1999, the United States began to shape its QIS strategy. The first document on file is a Scientific and Technical Report (STR) entitled: “Quantum Information Science. An Emerging Field of Interdisciplinary Research and Education in Science and Engineering.” This is the first report of an assortment of publications that help establish the US QIS strategy. To date, 55 publications contribute to the overall US strategy to advance QIS and quantum applications. These documents consist of Scientific and Technical Reports (STR), Strategy Documents, Event Summaries, and the National Quantum Initiative Supplement to the President’s Budget.

To begin, STRs are fundamental sources of scientific and technical information derived from research projects sponsored by the Department of Energy. On an annual basis, the US has released roughly 3.5 QIS reports (on average) since 1999; consequently, these publications make up 65% of the strategic documents related to QIS. Scientific and Technical Reports describe processes, progress, the results of R&D or other scientific and technological work. Additionally, recommendations or conclusions of research, original hypotheses, approaches used, and findings are also included. Scientific and Technical Reports have proven to be highly beneficial to researchers. STRs regularly include more comprehensive or detailed information than scholarly papers or presentations since STRs include experimental designs and technical diagrams.

Continuing, released in 2009, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) released the first QIS Strategy Document entitled “A Federal Vision for Quantum Information Science.” NSTC has the aim of articulating clear goals and a vision for federal service and technology investments, focusing on information technology, and strengthening fundamental research. This interagency document set conditions to coordinate federal efforts in QIS and other related fields. Furthermore, the strategy documents establish clear national goals for service and technology investments in information technologies and health research industries.

Additionally, in 2018, a Summary of the 2018 White House Summit on Advancing American Leadership in Quantum Information Science was published as an Event Summary. Event Summaries are published by the National Quantum Coordination Office (NSQO). Event summaries provide an executive summary of key engagements related to QIS. With six summaries published to date, the current theme revolves around events that promote leadership, education, outreach, and recruitment in the field of QIS. The summaries prove to be very advantageous since they provide a read-out document that can be archived to capture event background, discission topics, key takeaways, agency funding/research award announcements, next steps, and an event conclusion.

Furthermore, the National Quantum Initiative (NQI) Act, which became law in 2018, ensures the annual release of the National Quantum Initiative Supplement to the President’s Budget. This is the final document to reference which contributes to the US QIS strategy. The supplement details the current year’s efforts, progress, and budget for the National Quantum Initiative Program, along with, projecting a budget for the next fiscal year. The supplement also provides an analysis of the progress made toward achieving the goals and priorities of the NSTC Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science (SCQIS).

Since 1999, the US began charting a way to address QIS. Vision, strategy, R&D, agency coordination, funding, and QIS promotion efforts have been consistent. The strategy has also accelerated in the last five years. As advances in Quantum Science materialize, the US continues to make strides in coordinating across the Federal government, academic institutions, and industry. 21 different agencies in addition to Nobel Laureates and international partners are invested in the US strategy to address all aspects of Quantum Science. With certainty, there is a race to clearly understand all aspects of QIS and the impact it can have on our society. The US displays an inclusive, wide reaching, firm, and consistently accelerated strategy due to developments in QIS. US strategy and efforts toward QIS places the US on a path to lead the world in QIS. Simply put, the US strategy encompasses a whole of government approach, along with, collaborating with industry, academic institutions, and allies worldwide to bring to life the remarkable potential in how QIS can change the way citizens live, work, and understand the world.

“As new technologies continue to evolve, we’ll work together with our democratic partners to ensure that new advances in areas from biotechnology to quantum computing, 5G, artificial intelligence, and more are used to lift people up, to solve problems, and advance human freedom.” – President Biden


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