The National Science Foundation has allocated $38 million in fresh funding for research into quantum information science and engineering.
In a press release, the agency said it had awarded 22 separate grants as part of the new investment to institutions researching subjects including physics, computer sciences, materials research, engineering and chemistry.
The investment is part of NSF’s Expanding Capacity in Quantum Information Science and Engineering (ExpandQISE) Program, which was launched after the National Quantum Initiative Act was passed in 2018.
That law was passed by lawmakers with the intention of supporting the emerging field and working to ensure that the U.S. continues to serve as a global leader in science and engineering. ExpandQISE is focused on working to grow research capacity at institutions across the U.S. that have yet to be heavily engaged in quantum research and education.
The latest 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.
Commenting on the research investment, NSF Assistant Director for Mathematical and Physical Sciences Sean L. Jones said: “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.”
NSF Assistant Director for STEM Education James L. Moore III added: “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. Through these investments in quantum education, the agency is creating opportunities everywhere.”
Those research initiatives are focused on exploring the limitations of the noisy, intermediate-scale quantum processors that are currently available.