(UNL) The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) has received a five-year, $20 million award from the National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) to create a research and education cluster aimed at enhancing the state’s competitiveness in the field of emergent quantum materials and technologies, and boosting the participating institutions’ research and education capacity.
The collaboration’s goal is to stimulate scientific discovery in how quantum materials and systems are designed and implemented, which has the potential to revolutionize technologies used in communication and information processing.
The team also aims to grow the state’s economic competitiveness through a well-trained workforce; establish education and outreach programs to increase understanding of quantum science and technology, particularly among elementary and secondary students, underrepresented groups and rural populations; invest in new, cutting-edge equipment; make strategic faculty hires to increase research capacity and expertise; engage with local industry partners; and secure major research funding.
The field of materials science and technology is undergoing a second quantum revolution that is expected to drastically change information technology, medical technology and cryptography, which impacts security measures used in defense and banking. The new Emergent Quantum Materials and Technologies collaboration, or EQUATE, is Nebraska’s answer to leading this movement and preparing the next generation of scientists and engineers, said Matt Andrews, Nebraska EPSCoR director and the project’s principal investigator. It is supported with an NSF Research Infrastructure Improvement-Track 1 award.
UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green said the new center addressed one of seven “grand challenge areas” he outlined in his state of the university address earlier this year. Green challenged the university to “be at the nexus of this new, globally competitive effort to develop potentially transformative quantum-based applications.”