NSF News

NSF announces Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes for biological sensing and quantum simulation

Quantum simulation institute includes two HBCU partners, biological sensing institute establishes a K12 Quantum Academy

Expanding upon its 2020 establishment of three Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes, the U.S. National Science Foundation is now launching two additional institutes to advance quantum biological sensing and quantum simulation. As with last year’s cohort, NSF expects to support each institute with an investment of $25 million over its multi-year lifecycle.

With science currently undergoing a quantum revolution, NSF is driving large-scale investments into centers that further the understanding of basic quantum phenomena, fundamental discoveries that will translate into transformative technologies.

"Our Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes program is developing the foundation of quantum information sciences, as well as developing the future students, faculty, start-ups, and industry partners who are engaged in it," said Sean L. Jones, NSF Assistant Director of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. "These two new institutes are tapping into challenging fields that have the potential to develop the next generation of tools that will establish the United States at the forefront of quantum innovation."

NSF is establishing two new institutes:

  • NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Robust Quantum Simulation. This institute, led by the University of Maryland, College Park, will develop quantum systems and develop the methods and tools for large-scale quantum simulators that will allow for quantum computation. The institute will incorporate collaborative partnerships with two historically Black colleges and universities: Morgan State University and North Carolina Central University.
  • NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Quantum Sensing in Biophysics and Bioengineering, also known as NSF QuBBE. This institute, led by the University of Chicago, will identify novel biological quantum sensing systems and develop next-generation tools for observation and discovery. The institute will partner with Chicago Public Schools to establish a Quantum Academy program that provides K-12 students the opportunities to learn the foundations of quantum science from the institute’s lead researchers.

More information about the Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes can be found on the NSF QLCI program website. A full list of awards is also available.