More collaboration needed in quantum computing

October 04, 2018

With at least six federal agencies supporting quantum computing research and at least 10 agencies supporting synthetic biology research, more collaboration is needed to effectively marshal the agencies’ efforts to maintain U.S. competitiveness, according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). While the agencies do coordinate on the two areas through efforts such as conferences and interagency groups, the GAO found that the agencies have not fully implemented other practices, such as agreeing on roles and responsibilities and identifying common outcomes.

Experts interviewed for the report identified ways to maintain U.S. competitiveness through transformational technological advances that address federal and nonfederal entities’ roles. Such considerations include:

  • developing a strategic approach using consortia or other mechanisms to bring together potential partners;
  • fostering an environment in which information is shared among researchers while also considering the risks of information sharing;
  • focusing on technology development and commercialization, for example, by providing support across multiple stages of technology innovation; and,
  • strengthening the science and technology workforce through training, recruiting, and retaining talent.


gao, federal agency