The National Science Foundation has announced the formation of a new institute that will explore new ways to create and connect quantum computers and networks.

Established with a $25 million, five-year NSF award, the new Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Hybrid Quantum Architectures and Networks (HQAN) includes the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The institute, which will be headquartered at the University of Illinois’ Quantum Information Science and Technology Center, will create new undergraduate and graduate training opportunities and includes partnerships with industry and government labs. It is one of only three Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes in the country.

All three Midwestern research institutions are members of the Chicago Quantum Exchange, a hub to advance quantum science by connecting institutions and companies across the region.

“Quantum information science has the potential to change the world. But to realize that potential, we must first answer some fundamental research questions,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. “Through the Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes, NSF is making targeted investments. Within five years, we are confident these institutes can make tangible advances to help carry us into a true quantum revolution.”

“The development of quantum computers is faced with a major challenge in scaling up to high numbers of qubits,” said National Science Foundation Program Director John D. Gillaspy. “This center will explore the feasibility of creating networks of small quantum computers as an alternative to more complex, larger ones. Success from these researchers would mean a faster move toward a quantum computing revolution.”

Read more at UChicago News.

Image: Illustration of an atomic computing node. A new Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Hybrid Quantum Architectures and Networks will explore how to boost and connect quantum computers and networks. Image courtesy of Kevin Singh