The US Department of Energy has said that it will provide $625 million over the next five years for five recently formed quantum information research hubs as it tries to keep ahead of competing countries like China on the emerging technologies.
The funding is part of $1.2 billion allowed in the National Quantum Initiative Act in 2018.
Researchers consider quantum computers could function countless times faster than today’s advanced supercomputers, making possible prospective jobs which range from mapping complicated molecular structures and chemical reactions into boosting the ability of artificial intelligence.
“It’s absolutely imperative the United States continues to lead the world in AI and quantum. We know our adversaries around the world are pursuing their own advances,” US Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said during a White House press briefing announcing the quantum information research financing and another $100 million and investment to the National Science Foundation’s AI Research Institutes.
The hubs are comprised of top research universities, other national labs and big tech businesses in the quantum computing area such as IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and hot quantum pc start-ups Rigetti & Co and ColdQuanta Inc. An Italian research lab and a Canadian college are also taking part.
Missing from the list would be Google parent Alphabet, considered one of the best firms in quantum computing, and Honeywell International, which introduced its quantum computing business in the past year. The Energy Department spokesperson declined to comment on whether they had been a part of a proposal which didn’t get funding.
Paul Dabbar, under secretary for science at the Energy Department, said the private sector contributed another $340 million worth of work, equipment, laboratory space and other resources to the job.