The US NSF and DOE Invest $1 Billion in 5G, AI, Quantum Computing to Advance Industries of the Future

By Chantal Polsonetti

Technology Trends

The US National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), and the White House, announced more than $1 billion in awards for the establishment of 12 new AI and QIS research and development (R&D) institutes nationwide.

Together, NSF’s AI Research Institutes and DOE’s QIS Research Centers will serve as national R&D hubs for these critical industries of the future, spurring innovation, supporting regional economic growth, and training the next generation workforce.

The NSF and additional Federal partners are awarding $140 million over five years to a total of seven NSF-led AI Research Institutes.  These collaborative research and education institutes will focus on a range of AI R&D areas, such as machine-learning, synthetic manufacturing, precision agriculture, and forecasting prediction.  Research will take place at universities around the country, including the University of Oklahoma at Norman, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of California at Davis, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

NSF anticipates making additional AI Research Institute awards in the coming years, with more than $300 million in total awards, including contributions from partner agencies, expected by next summer.  Overall, NSF invests more than $500 million in artificial intelligence activities annually and is the largest Federal driver of nondefense AI R&D.

To establish the QIS Research Centers, DOE is announcing up to $625 million over five years to five centers that will be led by DOE National Laboratory teams at Argonne, Brookhaven, Fermi, Oak Ridge, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories.  Each QIS Center will incorporate a collaborative research team spanning multiple institutions as well as scientific and engineering disciplines.  The private sector and academia will be providing another $300 million in contributions for the centers.  The centers will focus on a range of key QIS research topics, including quantum networking, sensing, computing, and materials manufacturing.  

The establishment of these new national AI and QIS institutes will not only accelerate discovery and innovation but will also promote job creation and workforce development.  NSF’s AI Research Institutes and DOE’S QIS Research Centers will include a strong emphasis on training, education, and outreach to help Americans of all backgrounds, ages, and skill levels participate in the 21st-century economy.

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