Energy gets one step closer to a quantum leap

The Department of Energy took another step in its push to expand quantum computing research through new research centers.

The Department of Energy took another step in its push to expand quantum computing research Friday with the announcement of its intent to establish new research centers for next-generation computing development.

The DOE’s Office of Science indicated its intent to issue a funding opportunity announcement in fiscal 2020 to establish two or more of what it calls Quantum Information Science Centers. These centers will be the “flagship” of the quantum push, Paul Dabbar, DOE undersecretary of science, said in a release.

“This initiative ensures that America will remain a world leader in this pivotal, rapidly advancing field, which is creating fundamentally new ways of obtaining and processing information,” Dabbar said.

DOE issued a notice of intent and request for information on how the department should structure future quantum centers and review applications. DOE hopes these centers will lay the foundation for next-generation processing.


The centers’ development was mandated by the National Quantum Initiative Act, which was signed into law in December. The law provides more than $1.2 billion to build a framework of private, public and academic research to develop quantum technology.

The development of quantum computing, which utilizes advanced technologies that would exponentially grow computing power, is expected to disrupt modern technology and change the cybersecurity game, FedScoop reported last year.

In April, DOE announced $40 million available in grant funding for multidisciplinary teams developing advanced algorithms and software for quantum computers.

Responses to the RFI are due 45 days from its posting on the Federal Register.

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