Accession Number:



SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Considerations for Maintaining U.S. Competitiveness In Quantum Computing, Synthetic Biology, and Other Potentially Transformational Research Areas

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Congressional Report]

Corporate Author:

United States Government Accountability Office

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Scientific and technological innovation contributes to U.S. economic competitiveness and prosperity. Federal agencies support transformational technological advancesthose that result in new or significantly enhanced technologies by, for example, funding research nearly 70 billion in obligations in fiscal year 2017. GAO was asked to examine support for research that could lead to transformational technological advances. This report 1 describes federal agencies and nonfederal entities support for such research in selected areas, 2 examines federal agencies coordination on this research, and 3 describes experts views on considerations for maintaining U.S. competitiveness through such advances. GAO selected quantum computing and synthetic biology as examples of research areas that could lead to transformational technological advances. GAO reviewed agency documents and interviewed federal officials, subject matter experts, and stakeholders. GAO also worked with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to convene a meeting to solicit views from 19 experts selected from government, academia, and industry, among others. GAO recommends that the agencies leading the interagency quantum computing and synthetic biology groups take steps to fully implement leading collaboration practices. The agencies agreed with GAOs recommendations.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Quantum Theory and Relativity
  • Biomedical Instrumentation and Bioengineering

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]