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article imageU.S. is planning for a quantum computing workforce

By Tim Sandle     Sep 14, 2018 in Business
In September 2018 the the U.S. government passed a bill to foster an active quantum computing industry. Included within the bill is the foundation for developing a future-state 'quantum computing workforce'.
Quantum computers have the potential for far faster speeds and much stronger security, compared with the computers of today. Another imperative is that if we continue to rely on conventional computers there's a strong chance that we will run out of computer power within a couple of decades. These factors have led to multiple research streams across which scientists have been working to create a 'true' quantum computer for several decades.
While the area of quantum computing remains in its nascent stages, Futurism reports that scientists have made key advances in recent years on the development of working quantum computers. An example of the development push is IBM Q, which is designed to provide today’s researchers, programmers, students and scientists with a mechanism for learning the complexities of quantum computing.
Developments and future possibilities of quantum computers are seen of such importance that the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the National Quantum Initiative Act. The bill was introduced by Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and co-sponsored by Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) along with 28 committee members.
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This is a bill (H. R. 6227) designed to establish a federal program for promote research and training in quantum computing. The act will lead to $1.275 billion being provided to assist centers of excellence. As well as development, the funding is also to be used to train a new generation of quantum engineers. The legislation, according to Science magazine, will authorize the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation to create new research centers at universities, federal laboratories, and nonprofit research institutes.
Included within the bill is:
A call to "expand the number of researchers, educators, and students with training in quantum information science and technology to develop workforce pipeline";
A need to "promote the development and inclusion of multidisciplinary curriculum and research opportunities for quantum information science at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral level";
As well as to "address basic research knowledge gaps."
This imitative is supported by Christopher Monroe, from the University of Maryland. Monroe told MIT Technology Review that the establishing a new generation of engineers who understand the intricacies of quantum physics and computer engineering is an imperative.
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