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DOE Awards $7M for Innovative Quantum Projects

Projects aim to make usable quantum computers and develop commercial quantum-powered bioimaging

Berenice Baker, Editor, Enter Quantum

May 9, 2024

2 Min Read
The US Department of Energy building
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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded five quantum companies a total of $7 million to further their research toward practical quantum computers and use cases for quantum bioimaging.

The funding comes via Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards made annually by the government and known as America’s Seed Fund.

Quantum Computing Awards

Three of these awards fall under the Advanced Scientific Computing Research DOE funding program and share the topic: “Technology to facilitate the use of near-term quantum computing.”

U.K.-based ColdQuanta won $1,150,000 for its project “Increased Reliability for Near-Term Quantum Computers via Low-Level Control.”

This project aims to develop advanced software for quantum computers, enhancing their efficiency and unlocking potential breakthroughs in various scientific and industrial applications.

The proposal states: “This work positions the U.S. at the forefront of quantum technological advancement.”

Atlantic Quantum, with branches in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Gothenburg, Sweden, was awarded $1,100,000 for “Software for Automatic Control, Calibration and Validation of Quantum Processors.”

The company’s proposal states that quantum computers can revolutionize computing, solving important problems beyond the reach of today's supercomputers. However, the quantum hardware available today is imperfect and suffers from “drift.”

Related:Department of Energy Announces $11.7M for Quantum Computing Research

“We will develop software to periodically perform automated calibration procedures, allowing the quantum hardware to operate with better performance,” the company said.

The DOE awarded HighRI Optics in Oakland, California, $1,099,995 for its project “Highly Efficient Low Loss Fiber-Chip Light Coupling for Quantum Networks.”

The company aims to collaborate with Raytheon and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to develop and commercialize a novel lensed fiber for efficient fiber-to-chip coupling. According to the company, this method can better package integrated photonic circuits in quantum devices for maximum performance.

Quantum Bioimaging

The DOE has awarded two quantum-based projects through its Biological and Environmental Research program with the topic “Bioimaging Technologies for Biological Systems.”

Santa Fe, New Mexico-based Mesa Photonics was awarded $1,650,000 to develop a low-cost, high-precision instrument to improve medical research, homeland security, bioenergy and nanomaterials. According to the company, the method would improve the sensitivity of existing methods by a factor of 20 to 200. 

Related:US Department of Energy Announces $9.1M in Quantum Funding

Finally, Amethyst Research, in Glasgow, U.K., was awarded $1,650,000 for its project “Extended SWIR Single Photon Avalanche Photo Detector Technology For Bioimaging.”

The company is developing an ultra-high-performance infrared detector for quantum imaging and sensing. The project summary says it “addresses a critical ‘technology gap’ that currently exists to improve and advance infrared imaging capabilities necessary for research into bioimaging and biosensing.”

About the Author(s)

Berenice Baker

Editor, Enter Quantum

Berenice is the editor of Enter Quantum, the companion website and exclusive content outlet for The Quantum Computing Summit. Enter Quantum informs quantum computing decision-makers and solutions creators with timely information, business applications and best practice to enable them to adopt the most effective quantum computing solution for their businesses. Berenice has a background in IT and 16 years’ experience as a technology journalist.

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