This opportunity is closed.

  • Internal: 01/21/2020
  • Proposal: 02/10/2020


  • Amount: $50M to $125M
  • Duration: 5 years


DOE announces its interest in receiving applications from multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary teams (requesting support between $10 and $25 million per year) to establish National Quantum Information Science Research Centers referred to in the rest of this announcement as “Centers.” The goal of this FOA is to select applications that will accelerate the transformational advances in basic science and quantum-based technology needed to develop world-leading capabilities in Quantum Information Science (QIS), and in support of the National Quantum Initiative Act.

The purpose of these Centers will be to push the current state-of-the-art science and technology toward realizing the full potential of quantum-based applications, from computing, to communication, to sensing. The multi-disciplinary nature of the field, the reliance on complex, sophisticated, and precise physical arrangements in order to observe and utilize quantum behavior, and the potential for substantial economic consequences are the major drivers of the National Quantum Initiative. The Centers, coupled with a robust core research portfolio stewarded by the individual SC programs, will create the ecosystem needed to foster and facilitate advancement of QIS with public benefits in national security, economic competitiveness, and leadership in scientific discovery.

The following Essential Components must be incorporated in each Center:
• S&T Innovation Chain and Co-Design
• Technical Areas of Interest – topics and sub-topics
• QIS Ecosystem Stewardship
• Management Structure
• Instrumentation and Facilities

These essential components are elaborated upon in the subsequent sections, and are reflected accordingly in the Merit Review Criteria in Section V.

S&T Innovation Chain and Co-Design
The QIS S&T innovation chain is the core structure on which the QIS Centers are to be built. This innovation chain comprises the following levels:
• Applications
• Prototypes
• Systems
• Devices
• Fundamental Science

Each Center must address and integrate at least three levels of the chain including fundamental science and must blend basic research, engineering, and technology development in a co-design framework. Co-design involves multi-disciplinary collaboration that enables synergistic feedbacks among the interdependent levels of the S&T innovation chain for advancing basic research in QIS and accelerating the development of revolutionary technologies. For the duration of its work, each Center must implement a co-design approach across the levels of the chain that it includes.

The collective work of the QIS Centers will span basic research to engineering and technology development with a potential transition to industrial development. The QIS Centers will support multi-disciplinary research and development focused on the scientific barriers to enable new generations of quantum-enabled devices, systems, and prototypes across a range of applications. The Centers will advance highly promising areas of quantum information S&T from their early stages of research to the point that the risk level will be low enough for further development by industry and successful deployment of new technologies into the marketplace.

Technical Areas of Interest
As emphasized in the earlier Notice of Intent and Request for Information regarding this solicitation, it is expected that each Center will address the needs of the research communities stewarded by more than one DOE SC program office for the public benefit, and integrate elements from multiple technical areas of interest. Each Center must integrate sub-topics from at least two of the following Technical Areas of Interest.

• Quantum Communication

• Quantum Computing and Emulation

• Quantum Devices and Sensors

• Materials and Chemistry for QIS Systems and Applications

• Quantum Foundries

Eligibility & Submission Requirements

If you are interested in submitting as the lead institution, please contact Karen Drew (x4824) as soon as possible and submit a 2-page pre-proposal following the NU Procedure for Programs with Limited Submissions.

To be considered eligible for an award under this FOA, potential lead organizations are required to submit a pre-application and to receive notification from DOE that they are encouraged to submit a full proposal. Applications received from an applicant who has not submitted the required pre-application, or who has received notification from DOE that they are discouraged from submitting a full application, will be deemed non-responsive and will be rejected without further review.

An individual may be the Center Director on no more than one application. An institution may be the Lead Institution on no more than one application. There is no limitation on the number of applications in which an institution may participate.

Contact Information

Program Manager

Advanced Scientific Computing Research
Dr. Ceren Susut