Quantum News Briefs August 17:
NSF invests $38M to advance quantum information science
The U.S. National Science Foundation is investing $38 million to expand its support for quantum information science and engineering (QISE). Quantum News Briefs summarizes August 16 announcement.
From advancing the ways in which we create sustainable energy to improving cyber security, NSF’s Expanding Capacity in Quantum Information Science and Engineering (ExpandQISE) program is funding cutting-edge research across 22 grants. The program also broadens participation by building strong connections between new initiatives and existing high-impact QISE research, training, education and outreach efforts.
The “National Quantum Initiative Act” was passed in 2018 to meet the needs of the emerging field and ensure the U.S. continues serving as a global leader in science and engineering. For this purpose, NSF developed the ExpandQISE program to lower barriers to access and broaden the diversity of participating institutions.
This program helps grow QISE research capacity at institutions across the U.S. that have yet to be heavily engaged in such research and education. The support involves new collaborations between emerging research institutions and existing research centers such as NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes, Department of Energy National Research Centers, NSF Quantum Foundries, and leading QISE research Institutions. Minority-serving institutions and jurisdictions participating in the NSF Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) are especially encouraged to apply.
NSF awarded a total of $38 million across 22 grants spanning a variety of subjects, including physics, computer sciences, materials research, engineering and chemistry. Among the 22 awardee institutions are six historically Black colleges and universities and three Hispanic-serving institutions. Additionally, five awardee institutions are in jurisdictions participating in EPSCoR, which enhances the research competitiveness of targeted states, territories or commonwealths by strengthening science, technology, engineering and mathematics capacity and capability. Click here to read the announcement in-entirety.
AQT at Berkeley Lab celebrates 5 years of operation & looks ahead
AQT is a state-of-the-art quantum computing research laboratory based on superconducting circuits funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program. Established in 2018 with a five-year budget of $30 million, the DOE Office of Science awarded AQT $33 million in 2023 with year-over-year escalations for a five-year renewal.
AQT builds on the decades-long research and development at Berkeley Lab and benefits from DOE’s Office of Science investments. AQT is one of the two DOE Office of Science testbeds open to the external research community. The interactive collaborations at AQT have allowed novel quantum information science with systems engineering suitable for scientific applications and research tools that rely on gate-based quantum computing. The testbed has also allowed early-career scientists and students to access world-class quantum computing hardware and software systems, establishing a unique environment for active mentoring, open discussion, and networking between stakeholders in the quantum ecosystem while enabling the co-design of the next generation of controls, devices, and algorithms.
A two-day hybrid summit was held in May 2023 at Berkeley Lab to celebrate AQT’s renewal and discuss the future directions of AQT. The summit was a unique opportunity for users, stakeholders, and colleagues in the quantum information science (QIS) community to come together, share the latest experimental breakthroughs and lessons learned, and jointly plan the path forward. Susan Clark, the director of the Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed (QSCOUT) at Sandia National Laboratories, also presented.
QCI announces financial results: “Second half of 2023 we will deliver the Company’s first meaningful revenue”
“The conclusion of the second quarter 2023 marks the one-year anniversary of our merger with QPhoton. I am pleased to report that the full integration with QPhoton has been successfully completed. In one year’s time we have seamlessly doubled the size of the Company in terms of personnel, facilities, assets, and scope of our business. Together, combining QCi’s quantum software platform and data scientist expertise with QPhoton’s highly sophisticated quantum hardware intellectual property, we have redefined ourselves as a nanophotonic-based quantum technology company, focused on the democratization of quantum technologies. In one year, we have laid the foundation for our core technology, designed advanced quantum photonic chips to miniaturize key product components, and have begun commercialization with the release of certain first-to-market, photonic-based, quantum-enabled products and services,” commented Robert Liscouski, co-Founder, CEO & Chairman of QCi.
“The second quarter report illustrates that we have consistently maintained tight financial controls during a significant consolidation period, while rolling out a business development, marketing and sales plan to facilitate a multi-product release effort. To sum up, QCi has in one year accomplished what it has taken industry participants several years to achieve, and we believe we deliver greater quantum capability. To produce this high level of activity, we are fortunate to have secured cost-effective funding sources, entering the third quarter with sufficient cash on our balance sheet to ensure continuous funding of our operations, expanding of our business plan and fulfillment of our financing obligations. We have attracted accomplished thought leaders, scientists, engineers and financial experts to our management and professional staff, Board of Directors, Technical Advisory Board, and Advisory Team. We anticipate during the second half of 2023 that we will deliver the Company’s first meaningful revenue.” Click here to read announcement in-entirety.
Biden signs executive order barring US investment in quantum computing, Chinese chips & AI sectors
The move prohibits U.S. persons from making “certain transactions” in semiconductors and microelectronics, quantum information technologies and AI sectors and requires them to notify the Treasury Department when making such transactions.
The executive order will be implemented by the Treasury Department in consultation with other agencies, including the Commerce Department. The Treasury Department is seeking public comment on implementation of the executive order.
The order “is a narrowly targeted action to protect national security while maintaining our long-standing commitment to open investment,” a statement by the Treasury Department said.
The department said it expects to exempt “certain transactions, including potentially those in publicly traded instruments and intracompany transfers from U.S. parents to subsidiaries.”
The executive order came on the anniversary of Biden signing the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act into law, which also contains restrictions on investing in production of advanced semiconductors in China.
The Treasury Department said the new national security program would “prevent U.S. investments from helping accelerate the indigenization of these technologies in the PRC which undermines the effectiveness of our existing export controls and inbound investment screening programs which also seek to protect U.S. national security. Click here to read Nikkei Asia article in-entirety.
Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990. She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.