The National Science Foundation (NSF) is providing $38 million in new funding to 22 higher education institutions to bolster research into quantum information science and engineering (QISE) aimed at outcome including the creation of sustainable energy and improving cybersecurity.

The new investments will provide funding across 22 grants through the NSF’s Expanding Capacity in Quantum Information Science and Engineering (ExpandQISE) program, which will focus on “[broadening] participation by building strong connections between new initiatives and existing high-impact QISE research, training, education and outreach efforts.”

“If we want America to be the first to explore and understand the quantum-scale frontiers of science, then we must support the excellence that exists at institutions all over our country,” said Sean L. Jones, assistant director for mathematical and physical science at the NSF.

“NSF’s support for these new projects demonstrates our commitment to nurturing innovative ideas and people, wherever they are,” stated Jones.

The ExpandQISE program was created after the passage of the “”National Quantum Initiative Act” in 2018 with the intention “to lower barriers to access and broaden the diversity of participating institutions.”

Of the 22 institutions receiving funding, six are historically Black colleges and universities, and three are Hispanic-serving institutions.

As part of this investment, awardees will be placed on two tracks. Track 1 winners will receive up to $800,000 over three years, while track 2 winners will be granted up to $5 million over five years.

“Agency-wide, NSF is laser focused on making strategic investments that enhance access and preparation in quantum and the interest and participation among diverse groups in all settings, regions and jurisdictions across the country,” said James L. Moore III assistant director for STEM Education at the NSF. “Through these investments in quantum education, the agency is creating opportunities everywhere.”

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.