The US Department of Energy (DOE) is providing $11.7 million in funding for six collaborative projects looking at the possibilities of quantum computing.

Quantum Motion quantum computer
– Sebastian Moss

Funding will be split across four years, with $4.8 million delivered this fiscal year.

The projects set to receive the funding are exploring the limitations of the noisy intermediate-scale quantum processors currently available, and looking to develop tools for assessing potential quantum processors abilities.

Quantum computers, while already in existence, face many challenges to being a viable solution. The systems need to be kept incredibly cold to work and still lack desirable accuracy in performance. This being said the improvement in the performance of quantum computers is ramping up, with IBM hoping to build a 4,000 qubit quantum computer by 2025.

The institutions taking part in the research include the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Southern California, The MITRE Corporation, the University of Tennesse, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, William Marsh Rice University, The Regents of the University of California, Sandia National Laboratories, Tufts University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Universities of Maryland and Colorado.

“Quantum computing is a rapidly advancing technology that may one day push the boundaries of computational science beyond what we can achieve with exascale machines like Frontier,” said Ceren Susut, acting associate director for Advanced Scientific Computing Research.

“Today’s supercomputers allow us to explore scientific problems in ways we haven’t been able to in the past – modeling dangerous or costly experiments, accelerating clean energy options, and mitigating the impacts of climate change. It’s imperative that we understand what quantum computers are capable of so we can build future generations of supercomputers.”

The topic of quantum computing is becoming increasingly pertinent, with current quantum computers improving at a rapid rate.

In March of this year, the White House proposed that the US’ 2024 budget should see $25 billion dedicated to emerging technologies, including quantum computing.

Quantum computing companies are raising tens of millions individually in funding. Quantum Motion raised $50.8m in a fundraising round in February 2023, while French Quantum startup Pascal raised $108 million in January.