Axios Pro Exclusive Content

What we're watching: Quantum in the NDAA

headshot
May 14, 2024
Illustration of a US eagle seal clutching cursors in its talons.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The House wants the Pentagon to prioritize near-term quantum applications, according to its version of the annual defense policy bill.

Why it matters: The U.S. government is currently focused on long-term quantum hardware development, which some industry players argue is a missed opportunity for global competitiveness.

Driving the news: The House Armed Services Committee's FY25 National Defense Authorization Act language pushes the Pentagon to focus on adopting near-term quantum technology.

  • It directs the Department of Defense to develop a quantum strategy over a period of five years after the law's enactment.
  • It also calls on DOD to create a quantum center with the purpose of accelerating the transition of advanced quantum and quantum hybrid computing technology from the R&D phase into operational use.

The language aligns with Rep. Elise Stefanik and Sen. Marsha Blackburn's Defense Quantum Acceleration Act.

  • The language has the backing of the quantum industry, which views it as "a critical step towards support for quantum annealing and hybrid applications," D-Wave's Allison Schwartz said.

What's next: HASC marks up the bill next Wednesday.

Go deeper