Cover: Promoting Strong International Collaboration in Quantum Technology Research and Development

Promoting Strong International Collaboration in Quantum Technology Research and Development

Published Feb 22, 2023

by Edward Parker

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Quantum technology is still at an early stage of maturity, but it could eventually have major impacts on both economic prosperity and national security. Many U.S. allied and partner nations have strong technical capacity in quantum research and development, and effective collaboration will be critical for keeping the United States and its allies and partners competitive with other nations that are also investing significant resources into this area.

This Perspective gives a broad and mostly nontechnical overview of the current quantum technology landscape and the strategic importance of (and challenges of) research collaboration with allied and partner nations. It includes a discussion of five key policy areas in this space—talent flows, standard-setting, supply chains, export controls, and technology approach diversification—and concludes with a proposal for a desired strategic end state that may serve as a helpful unifying framework for policy decisions on this topic.

The primary audience for this Perspective is policymakers throughout the U.S. government who are working on quantum technology issues, but the material may also be of interest to officials in allied and partner nations, scientific researchers, or industry workers with stakes in U.S. policy decisions in this area.

This Perspective was conducted within the Acquisition and Technology Policy Program of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD), which operates the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense intelligence enterprise. This research was made possible by NDRI exploratory research funding that was provided through the FFRDC contract and approved by NDRI's primary sponsor.

This commentary is part of the RAND expert insight series. RAND Expert Insights present perspectives on timely policy issues. All RAND Expert Insights undergo peer review to ensure high standards for quality and objectivity.

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