(Bloomberg) -- A bipartisan group of senators, including the head of the Intelligence Committee, is pressing to create a government office dedicated to ensuring the US keeps its competitive edge in key technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

A bill being introduced Thursday calls for an Office of Global Competition Analysis that would combine intelligence and commercial data to gauge where the US is falling behind, come up with strategies to keep up with developments and protect areas where it has competitive advantages.

“To compete with countries like China, we have to secure US leadership in critical emerging technologies, such as semiconductors and artificial intelligence,” said Senator Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, who is sponsoring the bill along with Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia and Republican Ben Sasse of Nebraska. “Today, we have no idea where the United States stands in these growing sectors compared to our competitors and adversaries.”

Sponsors say the measure was shaped in part by the US’s failure to stay ahead of the rise in 5G technology.

Warner, chair of the Intelligence Committee, said during a hearing in May that the US was “caught flatfooted” by the rise of Huawei Technologies Co.’s dominant role in 5G technology, saying there were no US alternatives at the time. He said the US needs to “safeguard” its advantage in some areas, including semiconductor design.

The American Technology Leadership Act takes its inspiration from the Pentagon programs tasked with assessing the US’s battlefield capabilities relative to other countries and would be staffed by people from the Treasury, Commerce and Defense Departments along with members of the intelligence community. Outside experts would be consulted on a case-by-case basis and some projects may be handled by think tanks or federally funded R&D centers.

The bill would authorize $20 million to set up the office, and Bennet plans to advocate to include it in the Intelligence Authorization Act, his office said in a statement.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.