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Q-Lab Seed Grant Program to Support New Quantum Connections

UMD and IonQ Team up to Provide $300,000 for Quantum Research and Curriculum Development

By Maryland Today Staff

quantum computing device

Researchers are developing a quantum sensing system for precision measurements of magnetic fields in UMD's Quantum Technology Center. The university and IonQ, a leading quantum computing company located in the Discovery District, have announced a new seed grant program to support quantum research and education at UMD.

Photo by Kolin Behrens

The University of Maryland and IonQ, a leading developer of quantum computing devices, are teaming up to provide $300,000 in funding for projects designed to advance discoveries in quantum science and aid in developing a skilled quantum computing workforce for the future.

UMD researchers are invited to submit proposals for projects that can leverage the National Quantum Laboratory at the University of Maryland (Q-Lab), the nation’s first user facility that enables the scientific community to pursue research through hands-on access to a commercial-grade quantum computer located at IonQ’s headquarters in the university’s Discovery District. UMD and IonQ, founded in part on discoveries that emerged from the Department of Physics, announced the creation of the Q-Lab with a $20 million investment from the university in September 2021.

The seed grants will support a mix of research to develop algorithms or simulations that explore new uses for quantum computing, and engage researchers who work in non-quantum information science fields in exploring the potential applications of quantum computers to challenges within their own areas of expertise.

“Because quantum computing is still in its infancy, we don’t yet know what the breakthrough discoveries will be that may truly transform society,” said Gregory Ball, vice president for research at UMD. “We need researchers from all disciplines considering how quantum computing can help tackle the most complex problems.”

Funding will also go toward curriculum development including student projects, courses and teaching methods or modules that enable students to learn practical quantum computing programming skills and/or explore needs or uses for the Q-Lab facilities.

“Through the Q-Lab, UMD-affiliated students, faculty and staff have an unprecedented opportunity to gain experience with IonQ’s industry-leading trapped-ion quantum computer hardware and collaborate with our scientists and engineers,” said Peter Chapman, president and chief executive officer at IonQ. “We want to see as many people taking advantage of this resource as possible so that we can all work together to continue to advance quantum computing and build the workforce we will need to support this burgeoning field.”

The amount of each grant awarded through the program will range from $10,000 to $40,000. Researchers have until March 27 to submit proposals, and the recipients will be announced in May.

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