Stanford Center for Responsible Quantum Technology

The Stanford Center for Responsible Quantum Technology (RQT) is dedicated to advancing the development and application of quantum technologies in ways that are equitable and beneficial to society. Our mission is to foster interdisciplinary research, education, and collaboration to ensure quantum innovations are harnessed responsibly. We strive to address the societal impacts of quantum technologies, promoting competition, transparency, inclusivity, and sustainable innovation. Through rigorous research, policy advocacy, and public and private engagement, the Center aims to shape a future where quantum advancements contribute to desirable social goals.

The Center brings the quantum community together in diverse, multidisciplinary settings to investigate how society should balance the benefits and risks of applied quantum technologies. Each member of our Center brings their unique expertise and perspectives from a multitude of technical, scientific and governance backgrounds. Our annual highlight is the Stanford Responsible Quantum Technology Conference. The Center is led by Founding Director Mauritz Kop, and is part of the Stanford Program in Law, Science & Technology.

Quantum technology encompasses computation, sensing & metrology, simulation, cryptography, communication & networking, materials & devices, and quantum-classical hybrid approaches. Our institute examines how to incentivize and lead quantum innovation towards beneficial, inclusive and equitable societal outcomes while placing guardrails to enable a prosperous, safe future for everyone.

Stanford Center for Responsible Quantum Technology 42

Stanford Quantum Incubator Workshop 1.0


SQI is determined to lead American companies to the forefront of the imminent quantum revolution. Stanford students from all the Schools are invited to apply to pitch their startup ideas to a jury, to participate in the hackathon, and become active members of our emerging quantum ecosystem. Together, we can unlock the boundless potential of quantum technology and AI, creating a future that benefits society at large.

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Project Spotlight

Stanford Quantum Incubator

The Stanford Quantum Incubator (SQI) stands as a pivotal business catalyst, dedicated to advancing quantum technology development and adoption both regionally and nationally. At its core, SQI bridges the gap between academia and industry, fostering an environment ripe for much needed innovation and economic growth. Operating from the center of the emerging quantum startup scene, the Stanford Quantum Incubator helps galvanize and attract startups and university spin-offs in the quantum/AI space, in addition to the investment community (VCs, angels, incubators, accelerators, banks, funds) and other stakeholders who are part of the ecosystem (hardware/chip manufacturers, cloud, software, networks).

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Stanford Quantum Incubator

Project and Use Case-Driven Approach

The Center applies project and use case-driven approaches to fulfill its mission of proactively considering the ethical, legal, socio-economic, and policy implications of quantum technology. We operate within a golden triangle of academics, industry, and government, and we incubate a values-based quantum ecosystem with students from the 7 Stanford Schools.

Ongoing projects at the Center, include:

  1. [Innovation] Stanford Quantum Incubator (SQI) – is a Silicon Valley business catalyst dedicated to advancing quantum technology development and adoption. SQI bridges gaps between academia and industry, and helps galvanize startups and university spin-offs in the quantum/AI space while involving the investment community (VCs, angels, incubators, accelerators, banks, funds) and other stakeholders (hardware/chip manufacturers, cloud, software, networks).
  2. [Innovation] Economic Aspects of Progress in Quantum Technologies – examines the relationship between advancements in quantum technologies and economic growth. We will identify, comprehend, and model the trends and impacts of quantum technologies. Then, we’ll connect these trends to their influence on productivity enhancement, regulatory policy, and the overall well-being of society. The day when quantum computers will possess enough stable logical qubits is inevitable, likely within the next one or two decades. Therefore, we must prepare for impending economic impact and subsequent regulatory policy changes.
  3. [Innovation] Q-HCI – advances the emergence of a new field of quantum human computer interaction, or Q-HCI. The project will explore how combinations of quantum tech with interactive and conversational multimodal AI will require a novel class of quantum classical interfaces, and why the advancement of quantum computing necessitates a dedicated shift in HCI research that keeps technology from straying from its very makers.
  4. [Innovation] Q-Neuroscience and BCI – will investigate the human brain as a quantum system. What defines true humanity in the age of brain-computer interfaces? Can quantum computing help us treat neurological disorders or give us advanced insights into the mystery of the brain? What are ethico-legal, social, and policy implications of Q-Neuroscience?
  5. [Policy Advocacy] Stanford Congressional Quantum Bootcamp – will inform policymakers (senators and congressman) and the judiciary (judges and courts) about good governance principles and strategies that capitalize on the opportunities and challenges of second generation (2G) quantum technology.
  6. [Education] Quantum Hardware, Simulation & Education – catalogues and boosts responsible 2G quantum technology and engineering efforts through three avenues: quantum hardware, natural improvements to technology and processes, and assessment of the technology readiness, quantum intuitiveness, and quantum literacy  of upcoming scientific advances.
  7. [Governance] Handbook of Quantum Governance – will survey key issues in the nascent field of quantum information technology governance.
  8. [Governance] Building Global Capacity for Responsible Quantum Technologies – seeks to contribute to collaborative efforts that transcend geographical and economic boundaries, paving the way for a more equitable and technologically empowered future for all of humanity, particularly World Majority Countries.
  9. [Regulation] Regulating Quantum Technology will explore self-regulation, responsible and adaptive governance, strategic government investment, standardization, and certification for 2G quantum technology at a global level. We will explore quantum computing, sensing, simulation, and communication/networking, taking a pro-innovation attitude.
  10. [Risk Assessment] Quantum Criticality Index (QCI) – uses computational informatics analysis techniques such as machine learning, artificial neural networks (ANNs), to understand and anticipate potential risks in the progress of quantum technologies and their economic and geopolitical dimensions. QCI applies a data-based analytic methodology focused on discovering vulnerabilities in Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) supply chains.
  11. [Risk Assessment] Equipping Society for Responsible Quantum Innovation – will create decision-making frameworks to anticipate quantum technologies, grounded by philosophy and ethical analyses. We’ll focus on quantum computing’s threats to cybersecurity and the transition towards quantum-safe cryptography.
  12. [IP Incentives] Quantum Leap: Decoding Quantum Computing Innovation – Patenting Trends, Innovation & Policy Implications – will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the patent landscape in the emerging field of quantum computing, including quantum simulation. Anticipating the potential implications of quantum technologies in real-world products, commentators have started proposing governance and regulatory strategies, raising concerns, and suggesting policy recommendations focused on quantum technologies.

 

People

Mauritz Kop

Mauritz Kop

  • Executive Director, Stanford Center for Responsible Quantum Technology
  • Fellow, Transatlantic Technology Law Forum

Focus Areas

  1. Delivering insights and recommendations about opportunities and challenges surrounding quantum and AI through our annual Stanford Responsible Quantum Technology Conference.
  2. Implementing RQT by prioritizing investments in quantum applications and use cases that support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), with a focus on building global capacity for responsible quantum technologies.
  3. Investigating intellectual property in quantum discovery and invention: patents, trade secrets, fair competition, antitrust, and national and economic safety/security. We’ll conduct a comprehensive analysis of the emerging quantum patent landscape.
  4. Studying how technical standards like NIST’s postquantum cryptography (PQC), the first four quantum resistant cryptographic algorithms, can shape global innovation ecosystems when combined with QKD, certification, verification, performance benchmarking, market authorization, liability, and insurance.
  5. Exploring governance tipping points, geopolitics, export controls and supply chains, non-proliferation, globally harmonized guardrails for quantum, distributive justice, and innovation. These should be as open as possible while safeguarding human rights, fundamental freedoms, and reinforcing universal democratic principles and values.
  6. Learning from the governance of transistors, nanotechnology, nuclear technology, AI, and the internet. How can we apply successes in the semiconductor industry in the 60’s and usher in a virtuous cycle of innovation network effects for the quantum industry? How do we mindfully advance fault tolerant, error corrected, logical qubit quantum computers, circuits, algorithms and quantum data centers?
  7. Inquiring how to embed human values and norms into the quantum internet and repeater network interoperability standards and protocols.
  8. Building mutual understanding and trust between disciplines, generations and cultures, actively and deliberately steering towards quantum ecosystems with beneficial societal outcomes and a quantum safe future for the world.
  9. Cultivating quantum awareness and intuition, evaluating sensible STEM immigration rules, and actively building a skilled, interdisciplinary quantum workforce that represents all groups in society, including Women in Quantum.
  10. Exploring how quantum and AI cross-pollinate into Quantum Artificial Intelligence (QAI). Is AI needed to operate a universal QC? Are QC’s parallel computing, algorithms, and data analysis capacity fundamental to get to Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)? How can one use quantum and AI as tools for scientific discovery, as an extension of human creativity and imagination?

 

Research Methodology

Through analytical and empirical research by Stanford University professors, staff, students, and nonresidential Fellows, the Center endorses scientific inquiry and public discourse on the legal, sociocultural, philosophical, governance, legislative, and regulatory implications of accelerated technological change propelled by the entire suite of quantum technologies. Research output includes publications in law reviews, peer reviewed technical journals, projects within the nexus of quantum and law, conferences, workshops, lectures, public policy initiatives, its RQT Research Series and blog, as well as collaborative projects with other institutions.

The Center connects natural and physical sciences, social sciences, humanities, and paradigms in art beyond research silos to create synergetic insights, guided by a framework for Responsible Quantum Technology. This framework is designed to ensure that research and innovation efforts meet societal expectations and demands and enhance planetary welfare.

Publications

Towards Responsible Quantum Technology

Towards Responsible Quantum Technology

The expected societal impact of quantum technologies (QT) urges us to proceed and innovate responsibly. This article proposes a conceptual framework for responsible QT that seeks to integrate considerations about […]
Quantum ELSPI: A Novel Field of Research

Quantum ELSPI: A Novel Field of Research

Quantum technology (QT), like any new and emerging technology, brings with it ethical, legal, social, and policy implications (Quantum-ELSPI). In this introductory article to the topical collection, Quantum-ELSPI is depicted […]