How Federal Investment in Quantum Computing Affects State, Local Gov

Experts in quantum computing say the federal government’s continued support of the emerging technology will have implications for state and local government entities, particularly as it applies to economic development.

As the federal government continues to invest in the research and development of quantum computing, the time is nearing when state and local governments will have a role to play.

Quantum computing is a major emerging technology which can be used to solve complex problems far faster than traditional computing. George Thomas of the regional Potomac Quantum Innovation Center called the leap from traditional computing to quantum computing greater than the leap between traditional computing and the abacus.

The continued support of and progress for quantum computing at the federal level now means it has come time for other levels of government to prepare for the new tech. Some state governments are already laying groundwork for quantum computing, particularly in the area of economic development.

A handful of states — California, Illinois, Maryland and Virginia among them — are preparing for a quantum future, doing so by trying to ensure their region can be part of the market for companies researching and ultimately selling the technology. This can position states and the cities within them to benefit from quantum economically, bringing tax revenue and new jobs to the jurisdictions.

Quantum computing methods are situated to essentially obliterate traditional cryptography — as well as more mundane and grounded problem-solving activities, because quantum computing’s advanced speed means it provides a range of potential answers giving it the potential to improve supply chain challenges, logistics, scheduling and more.

The Trump administration put roughly $2 billion into private quantum research while Biden has demonstrated a similar commitment via support of legislation that would invest more than $100 billion in advancing a group of emerging technologies that includes quantum.

At this early stage it remains unclear exactly how quantum will develop, how it will be connected with users, and the exact ways lower-level government agencies will interact with quantum.

Still, the excitement around the potential for quantum — both in helping government become more efficient and in bolstering local economies — is growing, and it’s something that bears attention from state and local leadership.

Summarized from GovTech

Leave a Reply