DoE Plans to Invest Up to $625M in Quantum Research Centers

The Department of Energy’s (DoE) Office of Science announced its plan to invest up to $625 million in establishing National Quantum Information Science Research Centers in accordance with the National Quantum Initiative Act, according to a Jan. 10 funding opportunity announcement.

“The purpose of these centers will be to push the current state-of-the-art science and technology [S&T] toward realizing the full potential of quantum-based applications, from computing, to communication, to sensing,” the announcement explains.

DoE said it expects the centers to work together across multiple technical areas of interest, such as quantum communication, computing, devices, applications, and foundries. While creating a collaborative research ecosystem, the department expects each center to also maintain S&T innovation chains, an effective management structure, and necessary facilities.

The department is prepared to spend up to $625 million to support the centers, but said award sizes could vary between $10 million and $25 million per year for each center. The centers will work across academia, the Federal government, and the private sector to accelerate quantum research and development.

“The traditional linear model of discovery science leading to design, development, and commercial deployment will be insufficient to realize [quantum] potential at an acceptable pace, due to the urgency and scale of our mission. Rather, there is a need for bold, synergistic center approaches that collectively couple all elements of the S&T innovation chain in a co-design framework,” the announcement states.

The five-year project is seeking out at least two multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary teams to receive cooperative agreements, Technology Investment Agreements, field work authorizations, or interagency agreements that support the quantum initiative. The agency is accepting applications through April 10.

Katie Malone
About Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.

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