The National Science Foundation (NSF) is betting big on quantum computing, to the tune of up to $25 million.

Earlier this month NSF released a program solicitation designed to help rapidly accelerate quantum technologies. The new program, called Enabling Quantum Leap: Convergent Accelerated Discovery Foundries for Quantum Materials Science, Engineering, and Information (Q-AMASE-i), will establish foundries with “mid-scale infrastructure for rapid prototyping and development of quantum materials and devices,” according to the solicitation.

NSF is only accepting proposals from accredited institutions of higher learning, including both two- and four-year schools. The solicitation notes that the schools must have a U.S.-based campus.

NSF is specifically interested in:

  • “materials directly serving novel quantum technologies by exploring the paradigms of spintronics, valleytronics, twistronics, and hybrid 2D materials design principles where properties can be tuned and controlled, for example, by changing the parameters of stacking;
  • materials based on topological electronic phases, such as topological insulators, and topological semimetals, including but not limited to Dirac and Weyl systems, but also materials exploring quantum collective phenomena like superconductivity, charge order, or nematic order; and
  • materials whose properties emerge from the interplay of many-body interactions and topology, such as materials hosting non-Abelian quasiparticles, topological superconductivity, Majorana quasiparticles, or spin liquids.”

NSF anticipates awarding six-year grants totaling $20,000,000 to $25,000,000. The foundries will be awarded as a cooperative agreement with an initial six-year commitment, with the possibility of one six-year renewal. All materials, devices, tools, and methods developed by Q-AMASE-i award recipients will be shared with the larger science and engineering communities through a foundry-operated network.

For schools interested in applying, an initial letter of intent is due Sep. 17, 2018, and a full proposal is due Nov. 5, 2018.

Read More About
More Topics
Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.