The United States and United Kingdom Issue Joint Statement to Enhance Cooperation on Quantum Information Science and Technology

November 4, 2021
The United States and United Kingdom Issue Joint Statement to Enhance Cooperation on Quantum Information Science and Technology


This week, the United States (U.S.) and the United Kingdom (U.K.) issued a joint statement of intent to enhance cooperation on quantum information science and technology – a move that aims to boost collaboration to help realize the full potential of quantum technologies and deepen ties between the United States and the United Kingdom. Jointly signed by U.S. Presidential Science Advisor and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, Dr. Eric Lander, and the U.K. Science Minister, George Freeman, the quantum cooperation statement articulates a shared vision to promote collaborative research efforts, enhance training opportunities for scientists and engineers, and grow the market for quantum technologies.

Signing of the U.S. – U.K. quantum cooperation statement comes alongside the four-year anniversary of the inaugural U.S. – U.K. Science and Technology Agreement, and follows a recent call by President Biden to “work together with our democratic partners to ensure that new advances in areas from biotechnology, to quantum computing… are used to lift people up, to solve problems, and advance human freedom.” Recently, both governments have mobilized to harness the potential of quantum information science and technology (QIST) through dedicated strategies, funding, and initiatives. The U.S. National Quantum Initiative and the U.K. National Quantum Technologies Program both feature academic centers of excellence, industry consortia, and enhanced coordination of core research and development programs.

The U.S. – U.K. joint statement on quantum cooperation builds upon these ongoing activities, and serves as a prelude to even greater engagement, explicitly grounded in shared principles of research integrity.

“Science transcends borders, and cooperation with partners accelerates the way we bring technologies to market,” said Dr. Eric Lander, the President’s Science Advisor and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. “I am delighted we can deepen our relationship with the UK on quantum information science. By working together, we can broaden training opportunities, develop new applications for quantum technology, and think globally about how to maximize the benefits of these technologies for everyone.”

“Quantum technologies have enormous potential to revolutionize everything from helping to protect the environment to changing how we send and receive information, and the UK and US have been at the forefront of advancing this unique area of science,” said George Freeman, the Science Minister of the United Kingdom. “Today’s agreement is the latest chapter in the close partnership between our two countries in science and innovation, and I look forward to seeing the result for both nations in the years ahead.”

The joint statement will facilitate continued collaboration between the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.K. National Physical Laboratory (NPL) emphasizing metrology research and standards for quantum technologies including next-generation atomic clocks and quantum sensors.

An enhanced partnership between the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and U.K. Research and Innovation (UKRI), which is sponsored by the U.K. Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, is intended to enable additional collaboration on research in QIS working through UKRI’s Engineering and Physical Science Research Council and the NSF Directorates for Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering; Mathematical and Physical Sciences; and Engineering.

In the coming months, U.K. and U.S. industry representatives will meet to identify pathways for broader and deeper engagements, to develop the market for quantum technologies, and to build a robust and reliable supply chain for QIST.

International partnerships support the United States strategy for Quantum Information Science (QIS). The overall U.S. policy for QIS highlighted on emphasizes foundational research to expand the frontiers of quantum information science and engineering; grow a talented and adaptable workforce for industries of the future; and engage with industry to enhance economic prosperity.

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