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Rand Corporation Assesses U.S. and Chinese Industrial Bases in Quantum Technology

By IQT News posted 21 Feb 2022

Jordan Smith, a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology, reviews a recent RAND Corporation report “An Assessment of the U.S. and Chinese Industrial Bases in Quantum Technology,” was completed by developing “a set of flexible and broadly applicable metrics for assessing a nation’s quantum industrial base, broadly defined, that attempt to quantify the strength of the nation’s scientific research, government activity, private industry activity, and technical achievement.” Inside Quantum Technology summarize here for our readers:

According to Smith, RAND found:

    • The U.S.’ overall scientific research output in QIS is broad, stable, and at or near the global forefront in every application domain;
    • The United States is the primary funder of open QIS research and is on track to spend $710 million on QIS research and development (R&D) in 2021;
    • S. quantum is driven by the private sector, with a range of firms pursuing a variety of technical approaches and applications and no clear technical leader; and
    • The United States leads in demonstrated technical capability in quantum computing and sensing, but not communications.

Also according to Smith, RAND made several recommendations for US policymakers in strengthening quantum, including:

  • Continue providing a broad base of government R&D support across quantum, complementing the most active areas of private investment;
  • Monitor quantum programs of key U.S. quantum technologies firms;
  • Monitor the financial health and ownership of quantum start-ups;
  • Monitor international flows of key elements of the industrial base, like critical components and materials, skilled workers, and final quantum technology products;
  • Don’t impose export controls on quantum computers or quantum communications; and
  • Periodically reassess the rapidly changing quantum industrial base.

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