New $115 Million Quantum Systems Accelerator to Pioneer Quantum Technologies for Discovery Science

Submitted by rebeccajj on Wed, 08/26/2020 - 9:55 am
JILA building

JILA, located on the CU Boulder campus.

The Department of Energy has awarded $115 million over five years to the Quantum Systems Accelerator (QSA), a new research center that will include CU Boulder.

The center, which is led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, will forge the technological solutions needed to harness quantum information science for discoveries that benefit the world. It will also energize the nation's research community to ensure U.S. leadership in quantum research and development and accelerate the transfer of quantum technologies from the lab to the marketplace.

Total planned funding for the center is $115 million over five years, with $15 million in Fiscal Year 2020 dollars and outyear funding contingent on congressional appropriations. The center is one of five new Department of Energy National QIS Research Centers announced today Jun Ye will lead CU Boulder's participation in the center, which will compliment the university's work through the CUbit Quantum Initiative and Quantum Systems through Entangled Science and Engineering (Q-SEnSE).

"The QSA's focus on the development of scalable quantum systems for meaningful applications will likely lead to major scientific discoveries and technology breakthroughs," said Ye, a fellow in JILA, a partnership between CU Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Steve O'Neil, Director of Operations for Q-SEnSE, which is funded by NSF, added: "This DOE Quantum Systems Accelerator center will have a major research program that is complementary to that of the CU-led Q-SEnSE, and together the two centers confirm Boulder as a national jewel for research in quantum science and engineering."

The Quantum Systems Accelerator brings together dozens of scientists who are pioneers of many of today's quantum capabilities from 15 institutions: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, CU Boulder, Caltech, Duke University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts University, UC Berkeley, University of Maryland, University New Mexico, University of Southern California, UT Austin and Canada's Université de Sherbrooke. "The global race is on to build quantum systems that fuel discovery and make possible the next generation of information technology that greatly improves our lives," said Berkeley Lab's Irfan Siddiqi, the director of the Quantum Systems Accelerator. "The Quantum Systems Accelerator will transform the enormous promise of quantum entanglement into an engineering resource for the nation, forging the industries of tomorrow."

The center's multidisciplinary expertise and network of world-class research facilities will enable the team to co-design the solutions needed to build working quantum systems that outperform today's computers. The goal is to deliver prototype quantum systems that are optimized for major advances in scientific computing, discoveries in fundamental physics and breakthroughs in materials and chemistry. In addition to furthering research that is critical to DOE's missions, this foundational work will give industry partners a toolset to expedite the development of commercial technologies.

The Quantum Systems Accelerator will strengthen the nation's quantum research ecosystem and help ensure its international leadership in quantum research and development by building a network of national labs, industry, and universities that addresses a broad spectrum of technological challenges. The center will train the workforce needed to keep the nation at the forefront of quantum information science, share its advances with the scientific community and serve as a central clearinghouse for promising research.

Other CU Boulder and NIST participants in the effort include John Bollinger, Adam Kaufman, Cindy Regal, Ana Maria Rey, Graeme Smith and James Thompson.

Written by Daniel Strain