U.S. Department of Energy Announces $61 Million to Advance Breakthroughs in Quantum Information Science

quantum computerImage by Pete Linforth
Funding Supports New Technology and Advances in Future Quantum Internet to Enable Discovery Science and Clean Energy Applications

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $61 million in funding for infrastructure and research projects to advance quantum information science (QIS). QIS is the science of the extremely small, where molecules, atoms, and light can defy traditional laws of physics. Advances in QIS can enable new forms of computing, simulation, communication, and sensing that can advance breakthroughs needed to combat the climate crisis and strengthen America’s competitiveness.

“Harnessing the quantum world will create new forms of computers and accelerate our ability to process information and tackle complex problems like climate change,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE and our labs across the country are leading the way on this critical research that will strengthen our global competitiveness and help corner the markets of these growing industries that will deliver the solutions of the future.”

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DOE’s Office of Science currently supports five National QIS Research Centers and a diverse portfolio of QIS research projects in key areas that advance the DOE mission and support the National Quantum Initiative. Today’s new awards will pursue goals to create new quantum devices and develop a quantum internet. Quantum networks use the quantum properties of light to encode much more information than the ones and zeros in traditional computing. A quantum internet would enable linking together future quantum sensors and sharing data between quantum computers while providing a new level of security.

The selected projects include:

  • Strengthening U.S. competitiveness in QIS: Awards to five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers (NSRC) will support the development of cutting-edge infrastructure and capabilities for nanoscience-based research to strengthen America’s competitiveness in QIS to enable new discoveries and development of nanotechnologies and advance QIS, chemistry, materials, and clean energy. (Total award amount: $30 million)
  • Developing the building blocks for a quantum internet: New funding for scientists to study and develop new devices to send and receive quantum network traffic and advance the development of a continental-scale quantum internet. (Total award amount: $6 million)
  • Creating quantum internet testbeds: New funding will support the research, design, development, and demonstration of regional-scale quantum network testbeds. This new scientific infrastructure will advance the foundational building blocks of a quantum internet, including quantum internet devices and protocols, and technology and techniques for quantum error correction at the internet-scale. (Total award amount: $25 million).
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All projects were selected by competitive peer review under the DOE Office of Science Funding Opportunity Announcements, “Quantum Information Science and Research Infrastructure,” supported by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences, and “Entanglement Management and Control in Transparent Optical Quantum Networks” and “Quantum Internet to Accelerate Scientific Discovery,” supported by the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research.

The list of nanoscale QIS projects can be found here. The lists of quantum internet research and infrastructure projects can be found here.

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