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Ideas Lab: Practical Fully-Connected Quantum Computer Challenge

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived.

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.


Quantum computing is a revolutionary approach to information processing based on the quantum physics of coherent superposition and entanglement.  Advantages of quantum computing include efficient algorithms for computationally difficult tasks, efficient use of resources such as memory and energy needed for computations, and new platforms for the simulation of quantum mechanical systems that are currently intractable using conventional computers.  Applications for quantum computing, such as integer number factoring, search and optimization algorithms, and quantum simulations, will accelerate discoveries in a broad range of disciplines including physics, engineering, and computer science.

The task of building a practical quantum computer remains a Grand Challenge1,2.  To demonstrate a practical-scale quantum computer, advances are needed in several domains, including device fabrication, quantum control, new physical-level architectures, implementation of error correction and decoherence-avoiding strategies, compilation of quantum programs, programming of quantum computers, software to operate quantum computers, and quantum algorithm design.  A co-design approach to integrating hardware, software, and quantum algorithms, adapted to the specific characteristics of the quantum-computing platform being developed, is needed to achieve quantum-computing capabilities beyond the classical computing limit and deliver on the promise of quantum computing.

This solicitation describes an Ideas Lab focused on the Practical Fully-Connected Quantum Computer (PFCQC) challenge.  Ideas Labs are intensive meetings that bring together multiple diverse perspectives to focus on finding innovative cross-disciplinary solutions to grand challenge problems.  The ultimate aim of this Ideas Lab is to facilitate the development and operation of a practical-scale quantum computer. The aspiration is that bringing together researchers from diverse scientific backgrounds will engender fresh thinking and innovative approaches that will provide a fertile ground for new ideas on the design and fabrication of quantum devices and processors and implementation of quantum information processing algorithms. This will enable the solution of science problems that are currently beyond the reach of modern high-performance computing applications on classical computers.  U.S. researchers may submit preliminary proposals for participation in the Ideas Lab only via FastLane.  The goal is to form teams of domain scientists and engineers that will develop multidisciplinary ideas that eventually will be submitted as full proposals.

This Ideas Lab advances the objectives of two of 10 Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments: "The Quantum Leap: Leading the Next Quantum Revolution" and "Growing Convergent Research at NSF". The 10 big ideas will push forward the frontiers of U.S. research, provide innovative approaches to solve some of the most pressing problems the world faces, as well as lead to discoveries not yet known. This Ideas Lab also advances the third objective of the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI), an effort aimed at developing new technological capabilities in the post-Moore's Law era.

This Ideas Lab is organized by the Division of Physics (PHY) in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), the Division of Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF) in the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), and the Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) in the Directorate for Engineering (ENG).


  1. "Controlling the Quantum World: The Science of Atoms, Molecules, and Photons," National Research Council, 2007
  2. "Advancing Quantum Information Science: National Challenges and Opportunities," Report of the National Science and Technology Council, 2016

Program contacts

Bogdan Mihaila
bmihaila@nsf.gov (703) 292-8235 MPS/PHY
Almadena Y. Chtchelkanova
achtchel@nsf.gov (703) 292-8910 CISE/CCF
Ruyan Guo
rguo@nsf.gov (703) 292-7718

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