Fed Govt, Private Partners Commit $1B To AI, Quantum Research

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The White House announced on Wednesday (Aug. 26) that federal agencies — along with private-sector partners — are committing more than $1 billion over the next five years to establish 12 new research institutes, according to The Wall Street Journal. The investment will be focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum information sciences (QIS).

The goal, officials said, is to boost the country’s efforts and ensure that the U.S. remains globally competitive in those areas.

The Trump administration said the National Science Foundation (NSF) will lead the seven AI research institutes, while the Department of Energy will be in charge of five QIS research centers. The release said that these will be “multidisciplinary and multi-institutional national hubs for research and workforce development in these critical emerging technologies. Together, the institutes will spur cutting-edge innovation, support regional economic growth and advance American leadership in these critical industries of the future.”

U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said the centers will be based on the “American free-market approach to technological advancement.”

“The United States is accomplishing yet another milestone in our efforts to strengthen research in AI and quantum,” added Ivanka Trump, advisor to the president, in the release.

Per the WSJ report, the NSF and other U.S. agencies will invest $140 million in seven institutes focused on AI, while the Energy Department will invest $625 million in the five QIS centers. The DOE’s investment will be matched by $300 million in private contributions, part of which will be in the form of donations of technology services made by Microsoft, IBM and other companies.

Earlier this month, the Journal reported that the White House’s 2021 budget proposal includes $1.5 billion for AI, up from $1.12 billion in 2020, and $699 million for QIS, an increase from about $579 million in 2020.

The total funding of $2.2 billion would mean a 30 percent increase over the $1.7 billion in spending across the two technologies. The proposal comes as China and other countries are investing in these emerging areas.

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