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The Air Force recently awarded 17 quantum information science grants, with a focus on basic research, to scientists and engineers at institutions across the globe.

These awards were fast-tracked following a three-day virtual pitch competition held during the Million Dollar International Quantum U Tech Accelerator.

The Innovare Advancement Center, at Rome, New York, hosted the virtual Million Dollar International Quantum U Tech Accelerator event from Sept. 1-3, 2020, with funding provided by AFRL’s Information Directorate, AFOSR, the Office of Naval Research, and additional support provided by the Griffiss Institute, New York State Technology Enterprise Corporation, and SUNY Research Foundation.

This was a multi-layered collaborative effort with the common goal of accelerating quantum innovation for the U.S. military and coalition partners.

The competition started with a global open call for white paper submissions Aug. 4, 2020, featuring four focus areas within quantum information science: Communications, Computing, Sensing and Timing.

White papers were received from 22 different countries, including the United States. From those submissions, a total of 36 white papers that met the evaluation and selection criteria were chosen for the final round to compete.

Those 36 proposers were then invited to give virtual pitches at the Million Dollar International Quantum U Tech Accelerator event. Those selected at the event were then eligible to apply for a one-year seedling grant of approximately $75,000 each.

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