Call for new DOD-led quantum hub builds momentum on the Hill

A House lawmaker is proposing a $20 million increase in Army RDT&E funding for a first-of-its-kind quantum center of excellence.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) walks down the steps of the House Of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol on June 14, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

When the congressional session resumes in the House next week, Rep. Nancy Mace plans to put forth a new proposal that would invest millions in the Army to set up a first-of-its-kind Quantum Computing Center of Excellence to aid the military, a senior official on the lawmaker’s team told DefenseScoop on Friday.

Quantum computing and information science marks a still-emerging and likely disruptive field that applies the laws of physics and complicated phenomena happening at atomic and subatomic levels to store, measure and move information. 

Backed by Congress, U.S. national security agencies have been increasingly prioritizing quantum-enabling activities and funding in recent years to prepare for associated technological transformation that might be on the horizon.

Mace, R-S.C., is introducing an amendment to the Defense Department’s appropriations bill for fiscal 2025 to increase funding by $20 million to the Army research, development, test and evaluation account to enable a new DOD Quantum Computing Center of Excellence.


That investment would be “offset by a decrease to Defense-Wide Operations and Maintenance,” an official from her office confirmed.

In May, DefenseScoop reported that the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems (CITI) submitted a provision in the fiscal 2025 Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement and National Defense Authorization Act for a one-stop, military-focused quantum Center of Excellence.

Such hubs, also referred to as COEs, are typically embedded within federal agencies to foster and coordinate innovation or modernization around a specific, often technology-related, topic of interest. 

CITI’s original proposal — calling for a center to be established at a “research laboratory of a covered Armed Force with requisite experience in quantum computing integrated photonics and photon qubits, superconducting and hybrid systems, and trapped ions” — made it into the House’s recently passed version of the NDAA for fiscal 2025.

The Senate has not yet passed its version of the NDAA, which will need to be reconciled with the House version before becoming law.


While Mace’s new amendment to the separate appropriations bill for the same fiscal year could drive further momentum for the creation of a new quantum COE, it would also explicitly involve the Army in the envisioned effort.

“By increasing funding for the Army RDT&E account to create a Department of Defense Quantum Computing Center of Excellence, we are committing to a future where America leads in quantum innovation. This strategic investment will give our military a decisive technological advantage, fortifying our national security against emerging global threats and keeping us ahead in the race against adversaries like China,” the official on her team told DefenseScoop.

Brandi Vincent

Written by Brandi Vincent

Brandi Vincent is DefenseScoop's Pentagon correspondent. She reports on emerging and disruptive technologies, and associated policies, impacting the Defense Department and its personnel. Prior to joining Scoop News Group, Brandi produced a long-form documentary and worked as a journalist at Nextgov, Snapchat and NBC Network. She was named a 2021 Paul Miller Washington Fellow by the National Press Foundation and was awarded SIIA’s 2020 Jesse H. Neal Award for Best News Coverage. Brandi grew up in Louisiana and received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.

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