(AIP.org) The House Science Committee has introduced the DOE Science for the Future Act, a bipartisan policy update for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science that recommends Congress increase its annual budget from its current $7 billion level to nearly $11 billion by fiscal year 2026. The bill also sets funding targets for the office’s six program offices and major facility construction projects, and it establishes several new programs.
The bill would expand DOE’s efforts in quantum information science and high-performance computing. Building on the 2018 National Quantum Initiative Act, the bill incorporates provisions from the Quantum User Expansion for Science and Technology (QUEST) Act, which proposes a program to facilitate researcher access to quantum computing resources, and the Quantum Network Infrastructure Act, which would back DOE’s nascent efforts to build out a “quantum internet.” The bill would also establish R&D programs focused on energy-efficient computing, heterogeneous computing architectures, and beyond-exascale systems, incorporating provisions from the Next Generation Computing Research and Development Act.
The bill has been in the works for more than a year and incorporates recommendations from various stakeholders. It is also intended to complement the NSF for the Future Act, the bipartisan policy bill for the National Science Foundation that the committee introduced in March. Although the House has not moved to integrate the bills into a larger science policy package, the NSF and DOE bills are likely to be the basis of future negotiations with the Senate over its Endless Frontier Act, which is currently awaiting a final vote on the Senate floor.