(NextGov) The Energy Department in January released a nearly 100-page funding opportunity announcement pledging up to $625 million to help establish two to five multidisciplinary quantum information science research centers by 2025.
The announcement enlisted those interested from universities, national labs, institutions, agencies, the private sector and beyond to submit pre-applications by Feb. 10, and shortly after receiving early responses, Energy’s Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar recently shared an initial update on the effort and a peek into the potential power of quantum applications. Final, formal applications are due April 10. Dabbar explained, “So we’re now actually seeing who’s interested in which of those areas, and that will help us define if we do two [centers] or if we do five—or somewhere in between.”
“If people are bringing things to the table, such as fabrication facilities and other facilities that would be testbeds for computers, testbeds for quantum communication, like repeater systems—if they have that already, that’s an advantage,” the undersecretary said. “We would certainly encourage people who bring facilities to the table as part of their bid, but that doesn’t preclude us from dollars going to help build up additional facilities.”
Also still undecided: what the centers could possibly be named. “I think it’s something we want to let play out,” Dabbar said. “We’ll wait to see what people bid and see how they would name their center. We’re certainly open to that.”