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White House Seeks to Advance Quantum Information Science With Executive Order, National Security Memo

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President Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order and a national security memorandum to advance national programs in quantum information science as part of efforts to maintain the country’s competitive edge in quantum computing.

The EO calls for the establishment of the National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee, which will advise the president and the National Science and Technology Council’s subcommittees on QIS and the economic and security implications of quantum science on the NQI program. The committee will be under the authority of the White House.

The advisory panel should conduct meetings at least twice a year; solicit ideas and information on QIS from the research community, academia, the private sector and other stakeholders; assess the national QIS strategy; and respond to requests from the president and committee’s co-chairs for information, evaluation, analysis or advice with regard to QIS and its applications.

The national security memorandum outlines the Biden administration’s plan to counter the risks posed by quantum computers to U.S. cybersecurity.

The memo will direct federal agencies to advance a whole-of-society and whole-of-government approach to maximize the scientific and economic benefits of QIS, require the National Institute of Standards and Technology to create a Migration to Post-Quantum Cryptography Project at the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence and establish requirements for agencies update cryptographic systems.

The document will also ask agencies to come up with comprehensive plans to protect U.S. research and development, intellectual property and other sensitive tech platforms from being acquired by adversaries.

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