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­.s. Lead in Quantum Computing 'under Siege,' Says White House Cyber Adviser

data tunnel, illustration


The United States needs to invest more in quantum computing, according to Tim Polk, assistant director of cybersecurity within the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Although the federal government has been funding quantum research for decades, Polk says its global leadership position is currently "under siege," citing significant quantum programs in Canada, the U.K., the Netherlands, the European Union, and China. "Those programs are definitely going to pose a challenge to us and that's really important to us," Polk says. "We believe [quantum] will be the foundation for so much economic development as well."

Part of Polk's role at OSTP is to oversee the National Strategic Computing Initiative, an effort to promote research in high-performance computing, and a quantum research interagency working group. Polk says quantum algorithms eventually could help solve long-standing challenges in a wide range of fields. However, to really advance quantum, "we're going to need to be able to build small quantum devices that are off the shelf, commercially available, and that we can actually use not in the lab but actually in real life," he says.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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