Alliance Consortia Quantum grants
Call for proposals: Supporting coordinated quantum research and innovation across Canada
University researchers collaborating with organizations from the private, public or not-for-profit sectors
$500,000 to $1 million per year
3 to 5 years
Quantum science is the study, manipulation and control of systems at the atomic and subatomic level. Quantum technologies are at the leading edge of science and innovation, both in Canada and worldwide. They will support the growth and transformation of key sectors, enable new economic opportunities and help advance a range of benefits for society. Canada is a leader in quantum research, and Canadian scientists are well positioned to capitalize on these opportunities.
In Budget 2021, Canada committed to launch a National Quantum Strategy (NQS) to amplify Canada's significant strengths in quantum research; grow its quantum-ready technologies, companies and talent; and solidify Canada's global leadership in this area. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) supports the implementation of the NQS through funding opportunities that build on NSERC's sustained investments in quantum research. The results of the consultations held by the NQS Secretariat informed these funding opportunities.
Canada's investments to date in this field have created significant strengths in quantum science across the country, particularly in a few quantum research and innovation hubs (geographic areas where key quantum ecosystem players, including universities, companies and other types of organizations, are clustered together). Alliance Consortia Quantum grants will support the development of large-scale domestic research collaborations in quantum science and technology by enhancing synergy across Canada's regional quantum research and innovation hubs, with the additional aim to connect with industrial applications and government needs. These grants will enable collaborations between university researchers and partner organizations from the private, public or not-for-profit sectors. This funding opportunity will be delivered through calls for proposals, of which Supporting coordinated quantum research and innovation across Canada is the first.
Proposals submitted in response to the present call must be for projects that require a large-scale coordinated approach, beyond any one of Canada's regional quantum hubs, to develop and apply quantum technologies that will benefit Canada. Proposals may focus on areas of sectoral growth, or they may address major national challenges. They may span theory and experiment, and foster collaborations across quantum research areas.
Your proposal may address any challenges in quantum science, but its thrust must support the development of any of the following areas of quantum technologies, or a combination thereof:
- quantum algorithms/encryption
- quantum communications
- quantum computing
- quantum materials
- quantum sensing
Proposals may also synergistically couple any of these quantum technology thrusts to other research topics in the natural sciences and engineering.
Grant support ranges from $500,000 to $1 million per year, for a duration of three to five years. NSERC will provide support for 100% of the eligible costs of research. Although partner organizations do not need to provide cash contributions to participate, they must actively play a role in the project and support it through in-kind contributions. A broad range of in-kind contributions could be made toward a project; refer to the Partner organizations web page for additional information.
Who can apply?
If you are a Canadian university researcher who is eligible to receive NSERC funds, you can apply with a team of co-applicants who are also eligible academic researchers.
Your research team must include eligible academic researchers from universities located in two or more of Canada's regional quantum research and innovation hubs. The team may also involve eligible academic researchers from universities outside these hubs.
The regional quantum research and innovation hubs are the following geographic areas:
- Greater Vancouver area, British Columbia
- Calgary-Edmonton corridor, Alberta
- Waterloo-Toronto-Ottawa corridor, Ontario
- Montreal-Sherbrooke-Quebec City corridor, Quebec
While NSERC will cover 100% of the project's eligible costs, you must have at least one partner organization (in the private, public or not-for-profit sector) whose cash contributions would be recognized for cost sharing, had there been any required (see Alliance grants: Role of partner organizations). You may include other partner organizations that play an important role in your research project, whether or not their cash contributions would be recognized for cost sharing, had there been any required. At least one partner organization must have the ability to exploit the project's research results.
National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships
In the case where your application involves one or more partner organizations from the private sector, including when they participate alongside other partner organizations from the public and/or not-for-profit sectors, you must complete the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships' risk assessment form and include it as an integral part of your application.
At all times, Canadian researchers are encouraged to exercise appropriate levels of due diligence to safeguard their research. Resources to do so are provided by the Government of Canada on the Safeguarding Your Research portal.
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October 21, 2022