National Quantum Initiative Act heads to President for signature

The National Quantum Initiative Act, legislation based on a proposal co-authored by UO Physics Professor Michael Raymer, has passed the House and Senate and is expected to be signed by the President. 

The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) is a broad-based collaborative alliance among industry, academia, and government to raise awareness of optics, photonics and quantum science and technology. Michael Raymer and University of Maryland physicist Christopher Monroe authored the proposal that is the basis for federal legislation first introduced July 2018.

The legislation will accelerate quantum research and development at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and authorizes robust funding for these agencies. 

In the media release from the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), Ed White, Chair of the NPI Steering Committee and Vice President Test, Assembly, and Packaging for AIM Photonics, said, “The Congress has acted in a bipartisan way to move our nation’s quantum technology policy forward. This critical legislation creates the comprehensive quantum technology policy our country needs to transition this exciting research from the laboratory to the marketplace. We applaud lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate for their commitment to seeing this legislation through and look forward to working with Administration officials on its implementation.”

This isn’t the first time Professor Michael Raymer’s work has been recognized by a member of Congress. In October 2017 U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Oregon) recognized Raymer’s work on the National Quantum Initiative during a hearing of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. In February Raymer hosted a visit by U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, another Oregon Democrat and UO alumnus, to share groundbreaking photonics and quantum physics research being done by UO faculty members.