On May 18, the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) announced the creation of the Washington Metropolitan Quantum Network Research Consortium (DC-QNet), designed to “advance the capabilities and leadership of quantum networks” and “to create, demonstrate and operate a quantum network as a regional testbed.”
The NRL will work with the following five government agencies to “stand up” the DC-QNet:
Also outside the DC area there are two organizations affiliated with DC-QNet):
DC-QNet launches in the shadow of March’s announcement that the NATO cybersecurity center completed testing of a quantum-resistant network and in response to the May White House National Security Memorandum on Promoting United States Leadership in Quantum Computing While Reducing Risks to Vulnerable Cryptographic Systems and, in particular (as reported by Next.gov), the recommendations of the “The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, or PCAST (reconstituted by executive order in October) …and the Subcommittee on US Action Plan for Global Leadership in Industries of the Future,” which presented its first report in February:
“…according to subcommittee chairman Dario Gil, director of IBM Research… the subcommittee made a series of recommendations to the federal government…’For example, creating a national network of user facilities for quantum computers. This would boost the development of quantum algorithms and applications and quantum computer science; provide a critical scientific and computational resource to scientists at national labs and universities in the US, and serve as a catalyst for creating the market for accelerated growth in the US industry that produces quantum hardware and software.”
The framework for these facilities would be based on the High-Performance Computing, or HPC, user facilities located in the national labs, which provide researchers with access to supercomputers.
“These supported missions critical to our national security, advanced science and industry using novel approaches to computational modeling and simulation,” Gil said. ‘The benefits are deep and broad-based.’
In a similar vein, the subcommittee suggested that the government invest in a secure quantum network — a quantum internet — that would allow this research to grow.
“Similar to the creation of ARPAnet over the decades – eventually leading to the internet we have today – we need to accelerate our efforts to advance the science and infrastructure needed to create a national quantum communications network, the foundation of a future quantum internet,” Gil said. †
That network would provide a common infrastructure for researchers across the country to collaborate. †1†
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