The Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) is calling for new quantum information science (QIS) solutions – including advanced algorithm designs and quantum networking – under a broad agency announcement (BAA) unveiled last week.
According to the April 25 BAA, the AFRL is soliciting white papers for research, design, development, concept testing, evaluation, and experimentation of QIS to support Command, Control, Communications, Computers & Intelligence (C4I)-related information and technologies.
The new contract vehicle includes $500 million in funding to be dispersed over five years. According to the agency, individual awards will not exceed three years with dollar amounts ranging from $500,000 to $27 million – with the potential to make awards up to $99.9 million.
“This effort seeks to advance and assess advanced algorithm designs and technologies harnessing emerging quantum computing techniques, and to investigate entanglement distribution across a heterogeneous quantum network, to support AFRL/RI’s C4I mission,” the BAA states.
The AFRL’s information directorate is seeking white papers on five quantum research areas: quantum algorithms and computing; memory-node-based quantum networking; quantum information processing; heterogeneous quantum platforms; and quantum information sciences.
The two-part procurement process requires interested parties to first submit a white paper. Once the AFRL has reviewed the submissions and identified possible future solutions, it will request a formal technical and cost proposal from the chosen applicants.
The total dollar amount for contracts awarded in fiscal year (FY) 2023 will not exceed $93 million, the BAA says. FY24-26 are each granted a total disbursement of $103 million, and FY27 will receive $98 million.
To be considered for an FY24 contract, applicants must submit white papers by Sept. 30.