[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 97 (Monday, May 20, 2019)]
[Pages 22834-22836]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-10427]



Notice of Intent and Request for Information: Quantum Information 
Science Centers

AGENCY: Offices of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR), Basic 
Energy Sciences (BES), and High Energy Physics (HEP), Office of 
Science, Department of Energy (DOE).

ACTION: Notice of intent (NOI) and request for information (RFI).


SUMMARY: The Office of Science (SC) in the Department of Energy (DOE) 
intends to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) in Fiscal 
Year (FY) 2020 entitled ``Quantum Information Science Centers,'' 
subject to the availability of appropriated funds. The participating 
program offices in SC invite interested parties to provide input on the 
topic areas, organization, requirements, review criteria, and 
assessment process to be described in this FOA.

DATES: Written comments and information are requested on or before July 
5, 2019.

ADDRESSES: The DOE Office of Science is using the http://www.regulations.gov system for the submission and posting of public 
comments in this proceeding. All comments in response to this notice 
are therefore to be submitted electronically through http://www.regulations.gov, via the web form accessed by following the 
``Submit a Formal Comment'' link near the top right of the Federal 
Register web page for this notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information 
may be submitted to Dr. Ceren Susut, (301) 903-0366, [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Quantum information science (QIS)--the 
ability to exploit intricate quantum mechanical phenomena to create 
fundamentally new ways of obtaining and processing information--is at 
the threshold of a revolution. The rapid progress in this field 
promises profound impacts in the coming decades on scientific discovery 
and technological innovation. In competitive terms, QIS is creating 
potentially transformative opportunities and technically complex, 
urgent challenges for the Nation, as growing international interest and 
investments fuel accelerating global activity in quantum science and 
technology. These opportunities and challenges demand a long-term, 
large-scale commitment of U.S. scientific and technological resources 
to multi-institutional, multidisciplinary efforts that are commensurate 
with world leadership in this pivotal field. This has been recognized 
on the Federal level with the recent issuance of a National Strategic 
Overview for Quantum Information Science in September 2018 \1\ and the 
subsequent enactment of the National Quantum Initiative Act in December 
2018.\2\ DOE, with its unparalleled breadth and depth of activity as 
the Nation's leading supporter of basic research in the physical 
sciences, and drawing on the unique expertise and capabilities of the 
DOE National Laboratory complex, has key resources and infrastructure 
that are integral to this strategic and targeted U.S. initiative. DOE 
SC's activities in QIS are driven by its mission needs and connect to 
the specific foci of its subsidiary program offices, and will be 
enhanced by strategic partnerships and collaborations among SC program 
offices and between SC and other Federal agencies.

    \1\ National Science and Technology Council publication, https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/National-Strategic-Overview-for-Quantum-Information-Science.pdf.
    \2\ Public Law 115-368, https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr6227/BILLS-115hr6227enr.pdf.

    The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science (SC) hereby 
announces its intent to issue a FOA seeking to establish two or more 
multidisciplinary Quantum Information Science Centers to perform 
research to address the opportunities and challenges referred to above 
and described in the referenced documents. This is a Notice of Intent 
(NOI) only. DOE-SC may issue a FOA as described herein, may issue a FOA 
that is significantly different than the FOA described herein, or DOE-
SC may not issue a FOA at all. In addition, DOE-SC seeks input from 
stakeholders regarding the potential FOA, including the topic areas, 
organization, requirements, review criteria, and assessment process of 
prospective QIS Centers. The information received in response to this 
RFI will inform and be considered by the Office of Science in program 
planning and development. Please be aware that this notice (NOI and 
RFI) is not a Funding Opportunity Announcement, a Request for Proposal, 
or other form of solicitation, or bid of DOE to fund potential 
research, development, planning, centers, or other activity.
    Notice of Intent: The Office of Science (SC) intends to issue a 
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) entitled ``Quantum Information 
Science Centers'' in FY 2020, subject to the availability of 
appropriated funds.
    This FOA will seek applications for two or more DOE QIS Centers 
(referred to as ``Centers'') to support the National Quantum Initiative 
enacted by Congress in December 2018, and to accelerate the 
transformational advances in basic science and quantum-based 
    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 interdisciplinary 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 SC QIS 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 Centers will require highly collaborative research teams, 
spanning multiple scientific and engineering disciplines. It is 
anticipated that all types of domestic entities, including DOE/National 
Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Federally Funded Research and 
Development Center (FFRDC) contractors, will be eligible to apply as 
prime applicants, with the exception of other Federal agencies, non-
DOE/NNSA FFRDC contractors, and certain nonprofit organizations engaged 
in lobbying. By bringing together top talent from across the full 
spectrum of research and development (R&D) performers--including 
universities, private industry, non[hyphen]profits, and National 
Laboratories--the Centers will serve as world[hyphen]leading

[[Page 22835]]

R&D centers in Quantum Information Science.
    Successful QIS Centers will be expected to demonstrate the 
following attributes:
     Attack a major challenge of sufficient difficulty and 
urgency to warrant a large, multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary 
effort over a significant time period. The potential impact of success 
must be large.
     Advance both science and technology in its focus area, 
accelerating progress from discovery to prototypical technology and 
use-inspired research, taking advantage of co-design approaches that 
integrate these stages and incorporate feedbacks between them.
     Achieve self-integration across the science and 
engineering disciplines that it spans to accomplish its mission; in its 
vein, SC expects the center to catalyze integration in the wider 
scientific/technical community related to its focus area.
     Utilize well-structured ``projectized'' approach with 
clearly defined near, intermediate, and long-term goals for assessing 
     Led by a team of experts in the multiple disciplines that 
blend basic scientific research, early stage technology development, 
engineering design, and prototype development, drawing on expertise 
from DOE labs, academic institutions, and industry as appropriate.
     Serve as national resources, conveners, and leaders in 
their technical domains.
    The QIS Center effort is being jointly supported by multiple 
programs within DOE SC in recognition that the rapidly advancing 
progress in QIS is inherently multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. 
QIS Centers are intended to complement the existing base research and 
other activities within individual program offices, and to represent 
coherent efforts beyond the scope of what would normally be supported 
by those programs individually.
    Request for Information: The objective of this request for 
information is to gather input about the topic areas, organization, 
requirements, review criteria, and assessment process for prospective 
QIS Centers, in order to inform the DOE SC formulation of the 
corresponding FOA.
    Technical Areas of Interest that have been identified for the QIS 
Centers include the following. Subsidiary bullets provide examples of 
subtopics that would be valuable to address, but these lists should not 
be considered exhaustive. It is expected that each Center will address 
the mission needs of more than one DOE SC program office, integrate 
elements from multiple such topical areas, and have national scope and 

Quantum Communication

--Requirements for materials research for quantum communication 
--Requirements for scalable and adaptable quantum network 
infrastructures designed to support the transmission of diverse types 
of quantum information
--Fundamental limits on information transfer in quantum systems
--Communication techniques and tools exploiting entanglement
--Test facilities to support network development and test

Materials and Chemistry for QIS Systems and Applications

--Fundamental theory of materials and molecular systems for quantum 
--Research leading to materials and molecular systems that control 
quantum phenomena to meet quantum communication, computation, and 
sensor requirements
--Fundamental research on device physics for next generation QIS 
systems, including interface science and modeling of materials 
--Synthesis, characterization, and fabrication research for quantum 
materials and processes, including integration in novel device 

Qubit Devices and Sensors for QIS Applications and for Research 
Supported by SC

--Development of requirements for qubit devices for quantum sensor and 
detector applications
--Development of devices to meet quantum communication or quantum 
computation application requirements
--Progress on quantum-enabled imaging devices or systems, such as for 
soft-matter imaging, magnetic mapping, or improved microscopy
--Development of integration, interface, transduction, and control 
schemes for quantum device arrays
--Improving device coherence, qubit lifetime, and other performance 
--Modeling of device and controls performance
--Synthesis and fabrication of engineered quantum devices

Quantum Emulation and Computing

--System architecture selection and optimization for problem domains 
studied by SC-supported investigators
--Qubit device requirements to match architectural plans
--Programming paradigms and algorithms on selected architectures
--Programmable modular quantum emulator development addressing uses for 
SC-supported researchers (incorporating requirements input from all SC 
offices), including analog simulators
--System integration of emulation, quantum communication, and quantum 
compute systems from device/array level up
--System testbeds for performance measurement and algorithm 
development; modeling and integration of computing/communication
--Fundamental limits of quantum computation

Quantum Foundries

--Synthesis of quantum materials, structures, and devices with atomic 
--Fabrication and integration of photon and spin qubit systems
--Advanced instrumentation and tool development for quantum computers, 
sensors, and metrology
--Facilities to support device test, packaging, and integration

    The participating program offices of DOE SC are specifically 
interested in receiving input pertaining to any of the following 

(1) Topical Areas and Scope

    Are the topic areas listed above adequately defined? Should DOE SC 
consider removing, or consolidating, any of the subtopics in these 
areas? Conversely, are there aspects of quantum information science 
that are closely tied to DOE SC missions but missing from the above 
topics? If so, are there other subtopics or components that should be 
considered for inclusion under the listed topic areas? What is the 
appropriate period of performance for the proposed Centers? How might 
the DOE SC program offices consider evaluating or weighting proposed 
Centers that respond to multiple topic areas?

(2) Collaboration and Partnerships

    What partnership and collaboration models would be most effective 
in furthering QIS Center goals? What is the appropriate role of 
industry in the proposed Centers? What approaches or concerns with 
respect to intellectual property rights should be considered for the 
envisioned Centers? What external resources or capabilities are 
valuable or necessary for such QIS Centers?

[[Page 22836]]

(3) Management and Organization

    What are effective models for management of Centers of the proposed 
scale and scope? How should Centers be managed to promote the desired 
synergy of their participants and disciplines? What extent of co-
location is optimal, or necessary, for a QIS Center to be effective and 

(4) Assessment and Criteria for Success

    What kinds of metrics or criteria would be useful in measuring the 
success of a QIS Center and its impact on the field? What metrics or 
criteria should be used to assess the extent to which the proposed 
Centers are using an effective co-design approach that integrates the 
stages from scientific discovery to use-inspired research and 
incorporates feedbacks between them?

(5) National Impact and Contribution to/Alignment With NQI (and) Unique 
DOE Role and Contribution

    How can these QIS Centers contribute to advancement of the field in 
ways that are not possible with other existing or envisioned centers 
(supported by DOE, other Federal agencies, or non-Federal sources)? How 
do they complement and build on existing research programs and 
facilities supported by ASCR, BES, and HEP?

(6) Other

    What are key obstacles, impediments, or bottlenecks to progress by 
and success of interdisciplinary QIS Centers? Are there other factors, 
issues, or opportunities, not addressed by the questions above, which 
should be considered in the establishment of QIS Centers by DOE SC?
    Comments containing references, studies, research, and other 
empirical data that are not widely published should include copies of 
the referenced materials. Note that comments will be made publicly 
available as submitted. Any information that may be confidential and 
exempt by law from public disclosure should be submitted as described 
    Confidential Business Information: Pursuant to 10 CFR 1004.11, any 
person submitting information he or she believes to be confidential and 
exempt by law from public disclosure should submit via email: One copy 
of the document marked ``confidential'' including all the information 
believed to be confidential, and one copy of the document marked ``non-
confidential'' with the information believed to be confidential 
deleted. DOE will make its own determination about the confidential 
status of the information and treat it according to its determination. 
Factors of interest to DOE when evaluating requests to treat submitted 
information as confidential include: (1) A description of the items, 
(2) whether and why such items are customarily treated as confidential 
within the industry, (3) whether the information is generally known by 
or available from other sources, (4) whether the information has 
previously been made available to others without obligation concerning 
confidentiality, (5) an explanation of the competitive injury to the 
submitting person which would result from public disclosure, (6) when 
such information might lose its confidential character due to the 
passage of time, and (7) why disclosure of the information would be 
contrary to the public interest.

    Signed in Washington, DC, on May 14, 2019.
J. Stephen Binkley,
Deputy Director for Science Programs, Office of Science.
[FR Doc. 2019-10427 Filed 5-17-19; 8:45 am]