US government needs quantum trading strategy - TechCrunch
The TechCrunch Global Affairs Project explores the growing connection between the tech sector and global politics.
Quantum computers, sensors and communication networks have the potential to deliver huge social and market opportunities - along with so much disruption. Unfortunately for most of us it takes a Ph.D. in physics to gain a proper understanding of how quantum technologies work, and light in the field of physics is the first to acknowledge that even the understanding of quantum mechanics is still infinite.
Fortunately you do not need an advanced degree in physics to grasp the magnitude of potential change: computers that help us design new products that will combat the climate crisis, more accurate sensors without relies on GPS that enables truly autonomous vehicles and more secure communication. networks are just a few of the many technologies that could emerge from quantum technology.
The challenge of the quantum industry is not ambition; it is a scale. Physicians know how to design useful quantum devices. The challenge is to build larger machines that scale along with innovative business models. The ability of talented physicists, engineers and business leaders to tackle the problem is a source of much confidence. More private investors are betting on the technology. They can not afford not to - we may look back at quantum trading and compare it to the steam engine, electricity and the internet - they all represented the basic movements of a platform in terms of how society dealt with problems and created value.
Quantum physics, however, is more difficult to obtain than the U.S. government's regulatory and funding strategy toward the technology. Aligning a million-qubit quantum computer will be a much bigger challenge than aligning various government agencies to push business forward while navigating regulatory mines, Byzantine government contracting processes and facts geopolitical both the threats and disturbances posed by quantum technology.
While this claim may be a bit hyperbole, I have now worked in both worlds and seen it very close and personal. As a deputy CIA case officer, even at the "tip of the spear," I saw how slowly the government moves if left to its own devices. However, I also saw the value it brings if the right influencers in the right positions decide to make tough decisions.
The government can help pave the way for trade or cut the business off at its knees before it has a chance to run. The US government needs a quantum trading strategy in addition to its quantum R&D strategy. We need to get out of the lab and into the world. To drive the industry forward, the government should:
- Push for more funding to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). We can thank DARPA for the internet and GPS. I think we will one day thank DARPA, and some parts of the Department of Energy, for quantum. With more funding, DARPA should consider allocating larger sums to each company with a focus on long-term research in quantum error correction and quantum navigation.
- Ask the National Science Foundation (NSF) to purchase 20 different universities of different types of quantum computers for use by researchers and students. The NSF should provide grants to physics departments at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and economically disadvantaged schools in the Competitive Research Promotion Program (EPSCoR) program to diversify the technology industry increase quantum.
- Create a large, well - funded program within the Department of Defense for quantum sensors that goes beyond small - scale research. For example, the Pentagon could fund a $ 200 million dollar program to install a quantum positioning system (QPS) that is rugged, compact, more accurate and more secure than conventional GPS systems.
Like ambitious defense programs for new combat jets and nuclear upgrades, deep tech companies can't cross the "valley of death" on a single $ 800,000 contract at a time. They require significant long-term commitments, especially in a field as rigid as quantum technology. Furthermore, we condemn physics and engineers for spending time writing proposals to compete for future projects to keep the lights going.
The government should also provide more funding for the Pentagon's National Security Innovation Capital (NSIC) program. NSIC's role is companies that aim to help hardware cross the valley of death with non - refundable investments. If the government is really worried about this, these investments must be at least $ 5 million and above.
The money that goes into this hardware trading will definitely lead to tools used by the average person and other discoveries. The same quantum positioning systems that govern submarine navigation can power commercial autonomous vehicles and sensors for smarter and more environmentally friendly cities. Smartphones, the internet and MRI devices are examples of unexpected detections. The U.S. taxpayer gets their money back in creating long - term value even when some companies fail or miss their intended targets.
- Despite the important role of government, he needs to know where to stay out of the way. The government should not create additional regulation through export controls until U.S. companies have built the capacity for a globally controlled quantum. I understand the national security threats we face in emerging technologies and the U.S. government's desire to stop rampant IP theft, anti - competitive practices and the use of these technologies for authoritative purposes and purposes. power forecast. But our openness has been a key element of our national and economic security. Regulation at this early stage will only hamper our ability to build global quantum companies and become a greater threat.
The U.S. government needs to bring more money into the commercial sector more quickly for these emerging technologies. This new technological era requires us to compete at a speed and scale that the current government budget process is not built to handle. Smaller companies can move fast and we are in a time where speed, not efficiency, is more important in the first place because we have to scale before our geopolitical competition, which is just pouring tens of billions of dollars into the sector.
When I was at the CIA, I often heard the words "Acta non verba" or "deeds not words." In this case, the businesses are putting money on the table in the right ways, as well as not managing the business prematurely. Not everyone in senior U.S. government positions needs to believe in quantum potential. I wouldn't blame them if they have any doubts - this is really more than rocket science. But the smart move is to hoard. The US government should make such a bet by pushing a trade strategy now. At the very least it should not stand in the way.