Department of Energy

Department of Energy Announces Plans for Quantum Information Science Centers

May 31, 2019

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Department Seeks Stakeholder Input on Topic Areas and Selection Criteria

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced plans by its Office of Science to establish new multidisciplinary research centers to support advanced research in the emerging field of quantum information science (QIS).

The Department indicated plans to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) in Fiscal Year 2020 to solicit applications for the establishment of two or more Quantum Information Science Centers.

“The QIS Centers will be the flagship of DOE’s participation in the National Quantum Initiative,” said DOE Under Secretary of Science Paul Dabbar. “This initiative ensures that America will remain a world leader in this pivotal, rapidly advancing field, which is creating fundamentally new ways of obtaining and processing information.”

The Department issued a combined Notice of Intent (NOI) and Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register, seeking input from stakeholders on possible topic areas, organization, requirements, review criteria, and processes for assessing applications, to help inform the development of the FOA.  Input is expected from a range of entities including DOE national laboratories, universities, nonprofits, and others with active research interests in the area.

A wide-ranging multidisciplinary area of research, QIS is expected to lay the foundation for the next generation of computing and information processing, as well as an array of other innovative technologies in sensing and related applications. 

The Centers are expected to incorporate highly collaborative research teams, spanning multiple scientific and engineering disciplines. It is anticipated that each Center will address the mission needs of more than one DOE SC program office, integrate elements from multiple topical areas, and have national scope and impact.  Three major Office of Science program offices participated in the development of the combined NOI/RFI:  Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR), Basic Energy Sciences (BES), and High Energy Physics (HEP). 

The National Quantum Initiative Act, passed by Congress and signed into law last December, called on the Department to establish between two and five National Quantum Information Science Research Centers.  Establishment of the centers will be contingent on congressional appropriations.

In response to the RFI, comments will be made publicly available as submitted, and are requested on or before 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.  All comments are to be submitted electronically HERE.

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