(CLOSED) NSF 21-553 - Enabling Quantum Leap: Quantum Interconnect Challenges for Transformational Advances in Quantum Systems (QuIC-TAQS)

Sponsor Name: 
Description of the Award: 

The Quantum Interconnect Challenges for Transformational Advances in Quantum Systems (QuIC - TAQS) program is designed to support interdisciplinary teams that will explore highly innovative, original, and potentially transformative ideas for developing and applying quantum science, quantum computing, and quantum engineering in the specific area of quantum interconnects. Quantum interconnects are an integral part of all aspects of quantum information science. Proposals should have the potential to deliver new concepts, new platforms, and/or new approaches that will implement the transfer of quantum states efficiently across platforms and over large length scales. Progress in the area of quantum interconnects will enable breakthroughs in quantum sensing, quantum communications, quantum simulations, and quantum computing systems. This Quantum Interconnect Challenges solicitation will support the process of translating such ideas into reality.

This solicitation calls for proposals focused on interdisciplinary research that enhances the development of quantum interconnects (QuIC) that would allow the transfer of quantum states between different physical states and/or different physical systems. Proposals must articulate how the project leverages and/or promotes advances in quantum interconnects. Proposals should be innovative and must focus on quantum functionality and must result in experimental demonstrations and/or transformative advances towards quantum systems and/or proof-of-concept validations. Competitive proposals will come from an interdisciplinary research team led by at least three investigators who collectively contribute synergistic expertise from expertise from a subset of the following domains: engineering, mathematics, computational science, computer/information science, physical, chemical, biological, material science. Proposals will be judged on how likely the integrated effort is to lead to transformative advances in quantum interconnection.

The challenge in achieving quantum connected modules requires advancing basic principles and developing devices with controls and protocols. Proposed activities should explore new concepts involving quantum methods, algorithms, and/or materials that exploit quantum phenomena and enable novel efficient devices, circuits, and/or system architectures. The activities should be designed to accelerate fundamental understanding of the physical, chemical, biological, computational, or information-theoretic mechanisms that underlay the transfer of quantum information. To achieve these goals, a variety of approaches for generation, processing, communication with, and sensing of quantum states could be considered, including modeling, analysis, and computational simulations. Where appropriate, the proposed activities should include validation and verification through measurement, experimentation, and/or device demonstration.

Research topics of interest include all aspects of quantum interconnects. These range from quantum interconnects for modular quantum processors and computers, the quantum internet, quantum enhanced interconnected sensors and integrated quantum photonic platforms. In addition, research into quantum interconnects between various quantum systems and atomic/photonic, atomic/atomic and photonic/photonic interconnects is of interest.

The education of scientists and engineers with expertise in quantum technologies and advanced cyberinfrastructure who are able to work collaboratively with researchers on science and engineering topics, spanning both theoretical tools as well as experimental approaches, platforms, and testbeds, is crucially important for bringing new ideas into reality. Creative and novel approaches to K-12 and informal education tools as well as training of a new generation of teachers are needed to secure the continuing supply of talent. Reaching out and establishing impactful collaborations with underrepresented groups including collaborations with Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities provides means of growing the pool of US Science,Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) talent. We encourage proposals that include educational and workforce development components that address these goals.

Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Apr 12, 2021
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_NSF-21-533_2021 no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

1. Cover Letter (1 page, pdf):

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • PI name, departmental affiliations(s) and contact information
  • Co-PI's names and departmental affiliation(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

2. Project Description (no more than two pages, pdf) identifying the project scope that addresses the key aspects and elements of the sponsor's solicitation, principal investigators, collaborators, and partner organizations.

3. 2-page CV's of Investigators

Formatting Guidelines:

Font/size: Times New Roman (12 pt.)
Document margins: 1.0” (top, bottom, left and right)
Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Tuesday, February 16, 2021 - 4:00pm
Mikael Rechtsman (ECoS)