By Dan Brouillette, Secretary of Energy
Under President Donald J. Trump, innovation spurred by public-private partnerships has continued America’s energy renaissance. These combined efforts help entrepreneurs to unleash the full potential of the Department of Energy (DOE)-funded research and development enterprise. These partnerships have also strengthened our national defense capabilities. At Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Lincoln Laboratory, some of the world’s brightest scientists team up with DOE and Department of Defense (DOD) researchers to develop energy technology that not only benefits Americans every day, but is also vital for national security. Energy security strengthens our national security, and together DOE and DOD public-private partnerships make our nation even stronger through innovation.
In that regard, MIT’s Lincoln Lab is producing some of the world’s most innovative advancements in the fields of missile defense systems, quantum computing, microelectronics, space, and more.
On Wednesday, August 26, I had the honor of touring MIT’s Lincoln Lab. While there, I discussed the importance of Lincoln Lab’s mission to research and development, describing it as “a broad array of advanced technologies to meet critical national security needs.” I also had the opportunity to discuss ways that DOE could increase its partnership with MIT’s Lincoln Lab to meet our shared goals and challenges.
MIT’s Lincoln Lab’s work on space systems and sensor technology has important national security applications; it ensures that U.S. space exploration is aided by world-class technology that saves American taxpayers’ money, increases the safety of future space missions, and enables the production of world-leading research and opening of new horizons of discovery. Missions like the recently launched Mars Perseverance Rover will achieve game-changing discoveries thanks to MIT’s innovative contributions.
MIT’s research is also vital for America’s leadership in the developing field of quantum information science and DOE’s leadership in the development of the nation’s quantum internet.
Earlier today, DOE Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar announced five new quantum research centers, which will serve as the leaders for quantum information science advancements as part of the National Quantum Initiative.
MIT’s Lincoln Lab is also partnering with DOE’s Berkeley Lab and supplying necessary and crucial research to quantum information sciences, including providing their expertise and tools in their Microelectronics Laboratory for qubit research.
During my visit, I discussed with public and private sector partners the importance of microelectronics, such as recent DOE-funded innovations, that can withstand harsh radiation. This will be crucial for ensuring reliable energy and equipment for America’s military in extreme conditions, whether it be on Earth or in space.
MIT’s advancements in grid resiliency will bolster America’s ability to defend our nation’s power grid, avoid disruptions, and deliver energy to Americans every day without skipping a beat in the event that a man-made or natural disaster threatens to cause mayhem to our critical infrastructure. In recent years, DOE has funded projects at MIT that assist not only America in these efforts, but our allies like India as well.
DOE’s mission is to ensure America’s security and prosperity through transformative science and technology solutions. We could not do that without partnerships like the one we have with MIT’s Lincoln Lab. We are proud to partner in research and development on space, quantum computing, grid resiliency, and microelectronics and look forward to next steps and new partnerships that will come.