ITIF's Center for Data Innovation has responded to a request for comment from the Department of Energy (DOE) on its request for information (RFI) on a roadmap to provide researchers access to quantum systems.
Congress has requested DOE to develop a roadmap to provide researchers access to quantum systems so as “to enhance the U.S. quantum research enterprise, stimulate the fledgling U.S. quantum computing industry, educate the future quantum computing workforce, and accelerate advancement of quantum computer capabilities.”
These goals are laudable and boosting access to quantum systems for academic researchers will help toward achieving them. However, to ensure researchers can use these systems to be more productive and innovate at a higher rate than their competitors, they will also need access to high-quality data and sufficient user support. DOE’s roadmap should not only focus on hardware, but comprehensively consider all the research resources individuals will need and how it can support providing access to them all. To ensure the broadest range of qualified researchers, including those at Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), can access these resources, DOE should prioritize creating a national quantum computing research cloud that provides academic researchers with affordable access to high-end quantum computing infrastructure.