(SpectrumIEEE) Technologies such as quantum computing, quantum cryptography, and quantum communication—all of which have some potential to upset the balance of economic and military power in the world. The possible implications for national security and technological leadership have spurred the United States and China into action.
Notably, China has paid special attention to investing in quantum science as a way of bypassing traditional technological advantages enjoyed by the United States. “It’s clear that China is taking advantage of what it sees as a historic opportunity to not only catch up with but leapfrog ahead of the United States,” said Elsa Kania, an adjunct fellow with the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) in Washington, D.C., during a recent press event. China’s scientists and engineers have more recently enjoyed access to “nearly unlimited resources” in their development of quantum science and technology, according to the CNAS report.
The recent U.S. National Quantum Initiative charges various government bodies—including NASA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology—with creating a road map for quantum science and technology for the U.S. But it’s far from just a government-directed effort and is carefully crafted with input from U.S. industry and academia.