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White House adds multiple quantum technologies to CET list

By Dan O'Shea posted 10 Feb 2022

The Biden White House this week released its list of critical and emerging technologies (CETs) that are expected to play an important role in national security, and to no one’s surprise there are several quantum technologies on the list.

Along with AI, biotechnologies, autonomous systems, nuclear technology and many other tech segments, the list highlights a batch of “Quantum Information Technologies,” including quantum computing; materials, isotopes, and fabrication techniques for quantum devices; post-quantum cryptography; quantum sensing and quantum networking.

This is not the first time quantum computing has made the list, as it also was on a CET list released by the Trump White House in October 2020. One of the main differences this time around is that each technology area on the list identified several sub-segments, hence the specific inclusion of segments like quantum networking and post-quantum cryptography.

This week’s release stated, “This list will be a useful resource that guides new and existing efforts to promote U.S. technological leadership, cooperate with allies and partners, advance democratic values, attract and retain diverse science and technology talent from around the world, and protect against threats to U.S. security.”

The release of the CET list is already the second time this month the White House has been talking about quantum. Last week, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced a strategic plan for quantum workforce development. That announcement came after last fall’s White House summit on quantum highlighted the sector’s skills shortage.

Government interest and funding for quantum is important to the technology’s evolution, and many government leaders around the world are taking a similar level of interest as the Biden White House. Still, the industry needs to remain cautious about this growing interest in case it evolves into policy initiatives that might inhibit the sector’s growth and competitiveness.

 

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