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NEWS | Sept. 1, 2020

NRL, Maryland Virtually Sign Partnership on Quantum Technologies

By By Paul Cage, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Corporate Communications

Although COVID-19 has disrupted business around the world for many organizations, it doesn’t mean that all work stops. U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and the University of Maryland’s Quantum Technology Center (QTC) held a so-called virtual signing ceremony during a video call where the two organizations entered into an Educational Partnership Agreement to identify and pursue opportunities related to quantum technologies research Sept. 1.

The partners plan to seek avenues to collaborate in developing quantum technologies and understanding the science that makes them possible.

“NRL and the Quantum Technology Center have much synergism between our programs that bodes well for a successful joint research and collaboration of value in quantum technologies,” said Gerald M. Borsuk, Ph.D., associate director of research for the systems directorate at NRL.

NRL has been conducting quantum research for more than 20 years in the key areas of positioning, navigation, and timing, computing, sensing, and algorithms. Future exchanges are expected to involve work to advance the scaling and integration of quantum technologies that has the potential to impact work on machine learning and the future quantum internet.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Naval Research Laboratory,” said Ronald Walsworth, Ph.D., University of Maryland professor of electrical & computer engineering and of physics, and founding director of QTC.

QTC was created at the University of Maryland to innovate, translate, and educate in quantum technology, with a focus on real-world applications and training the next generation of quantum leaders.

“QTC translates quantum science into new capabilities and technologies for real world applications,” said Walsworth. “This partnership gives QTC, UMD and the Navy the opportunity for joint research to advance quantum technology for the Navy and will help prepare a workforce trained in this critical area.”

Additional research may be performed in technologies associated with creating and implementing a quantum internet. This research would involve quantum memory, quantum repeaters and routers, as well as associated classical network theory and associated implementations.

NRL and UMD expect interactions between the two groups to involve exchange of samples and of expertise, collaborations in experimental and theoretical work, and the exchange of researchers.

“Quantum technology is developing rapidly and many organizations are quickly getting involved,” said Walsworth. “We are excited to collaborate with NRL to strengthen the current research and training activities within QTC, expand our research in areas such as machine learning and quantum networking, and notably, accelerate realization of the quantum internet.”

About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

NRL is a scientific and engineering command dedicated to research that drives innovative advances for the Navy and Marine Corps from the seafloor to space and in the information domain. NRL is located in Washington, D.C., with major field sites in Stennis Space Center, Mississippi; Key West, Florida; and Monterey, California, and employs approximately 2,500 civilian scientists, engineers and support personnel.

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