Breaking down the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act

A commitment to accelerate research and innovation and develop the workforce for quantum information science

Authors: Santanu Basu, QED-C member, and Jacqueline A. Basu

Quantum information science funding in the Department of Energy (DOE)

The basic energy sciences program (section 10102 of the act) calls for the recapitalization of the Nanoscale Science Research Centers to include quantum information science.

Department of Energy Quantum User Expansion for Science and Technology (QUEST) Program (section 404)

The Department of Energy has been allocated $165.8 million over the next five years to establish the QUEST program. The program is intended to expand access to quantum computing resources among researchers based in the United States. Participant researchers will be selected through competitive, merit-based processes and provided access to the United States’s quantum computing hardware and infrastructure. By facilitating the use of U.S. quantum computing resources, the program is intended to encourage quantum research, train the quantum computing workforce, and develop the infrastructure and capabilities necessary to support quantum computing research in the United States.

Quantum information science funding in the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST)

Section 10230 instructs the director of NIST to “carry out a program of measurement research for advanced communication technologies.” The potential research areas listed in the section include optical and quantum communications technologies.

Quantum information science funding in NSF

The federal cyber scholarship-for-service program (Sec. 10316) clarifies that cybersecurity-related aspects of artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and other fields are within the scope of the NSF CyberCorps Scholarship-for-Service program.

Report on quantum networking and communications

By January 1, 2026, “the Quantum Networking Working Group within the Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science of the National Science and Technology Council, in coordination with the Subcommittee on the Economic and Security Implications of Quantum Information Science, shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report detailing a plan for the advancement of quantum networking and communications technology in the United States.” This new document will build on the earlier reports “A Strategic Vision for America’s Quantum Networks” and “A Coordinated Approach for Quantum Networking Research.”

Workforce development

Quantum information science workforce evaluation and acceleration

NSF will conduct a study on the quantum information science workforce. This study will address a wide range of topics pertaining to the quantum workforce and will make recommendations for developing it. Some key goals of the study will be (a) to identify the skills and qualifications needed by QIS workers; (b) to characterize the size and composition of the QIS workforce now and in the future; © to assess the academic coursework and interdisciplinary degree programs necessary to prepare students for QIS careers; and (d) to evaluate how well current education and skills training meets the needs of the QIS workforce and identify areas for improvement. This evaluation will investigate QIS readiness at all levels of education: K-12 students’ access to foundational curricula; K-12 teachers’ access to relevant course material and professional development opportunities; higher education curricula, lab training and degree programs; and professional certifications or other avenues for professionals to make mid-career transitions into the QIS workforce.

Incorporating quantum information science and engineering (QISE) into STEM curricula

The NSF will work to incorporate QISE into STEM curricula at all levels of education. This initiative will aim at developing age-appropriate materials for students from K-12 to higher ed, including community colleges. Further, this initiative will work to ensure that students from groups that are underserved or historically underrepresented in STEM have access to these new QISE curricula. This project will draw upon the findings and recommendations outlined in the NSF’s QIS-workforce study discussed above.

Quantum education pilot program

The NSF has been allocated $32M over the next four years to establish the “Next Generation Quantum Leaders Pilot Program.” The goal of this program is to educate students and train teachers at the K-12 level in the core principles of quantum information science. To pursue this goal, the NSF will offer competitive, merit-based grants to institutions of higher education, nonprofits, and other such organizations; these awardees will then partner with K-12 schools. The NSF grant funding will be used to develop and implement QIS curricula appropriate to the K-12 grade levels, incorporate QIS into the broader STEM curricula, offer opportunities for students to explore QIS higher education programs and career paths, and develop professional development and training programs in QIS for teachers. The legislation emphasizes that this pilot program should be implemented equitably so that the education and training opportunities it offers are widely accessible to students from many geographic areas and backgrounds, including those from groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields. Four years after the implementation of this pilot program, NSF will produce a report which assesses the program’s efficacy in developing quantum education and training, using feedback from its participants, and, assuming the program is successful, develops a plan to expand the program and integrate its methods into other existing programs.