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White House announces $1B in funding for AI, quantum research centers

The National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy will be investing over $1 billion over five years to build 12 new artificial intelligence and quantum information science research institutes, the White House announced. 

The seven NSF-led AI Research Institutes and five DOE QIS Research Centers aim to spur cutting-edge innovation, support regional economic growth and advance American leadership in AI and quantum science, DOE officials said. 

Working with the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate and the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration, NSF is establishing a set of university-based hubs that will advance AI research, support education and workforce development and scale computing resources to accelerate AI. The new institutes are:

  • AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography (University of Oklahoma, Norman) 
  • NSF AI Institute for Foundations of Machine Learning (University of Texas, Austin)
  • NSF AI Institute for Student-AI Teaming (University of Colorado, Boulder)
  • NSF AI Institute for Molecular Discovery, Synthetic Strategy, and Manufacturing  (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • NSF AI Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Fundamental Interactions (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture AI Institute for Next Generation Food Systems (University of California, Davis)
  • USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture AI Institute for Future Agricultural Resilience, Management, and Sustainability (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

“NSF's long history of investment in AI research and workforce development paved the way for many of the breakthrough commercial technologies permeating and driving society today," NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan said. "We are supporting seven NSF-led AI Institutes this year, with more to follow, creating hubs for academia, industry, and government to collaborate on profound discoveries and develop new capabilities to advance American competitiveness for decades to come." 

NSF said it anticipates making additional AI Research Institute awards in the coming years, with more than $300 million in total investment expected by next summer.

For the QIS Research Centers, the Department of Energy is awarding $625 million over five years to five of its national laboratories to focus on a range of key QIS research topics including quantum networking, sensing, computing and materials manufacturing.  This award was met with $340 million in contributions from the private sector and academia. The new research centers are:

  • Next Generation Quantum Science and Engineering (Argonne National Laboratory)
  • Co-design Center for Quantum Advantage (Brookhaven National Laboratory)
  • Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory)
  • Quantum Systems Accelerator (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
  • The Quantum Science Center (Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

"The Department of Energy is proud to be in partnership with a significant breadth of participants to support Quantum Information Science Centers around the country, and by allocating generous contributions from these participants we can continue to further scientific discovery through quantum technologies," said Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar. "Our Nation continues to lead in the development of industries of the future, and these five centers will marshal the full strength of our National Laboratories, universities, and our public and private sector partnerships.”

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