Quantum Computer Science (QCS)

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) will host a Proposers' Day Conference for the Quantum Computer Science (QCS) Program on December 17, 2009 in anticipation of the release of a new solicitation in support of the program. The Conference will be held from 10:00am to 5:00pm in the Washington DC metropolitan area. The purpose of the conference will be to provide information on the QCS Program, to address questions from potential proposers and to provide a forum for potential proposers to present their capabilities for teaming opportunities.

This announcement serves as a pre-solicitation notice and is issued solely for information and planning purposes. The Proposers' Day Conference does not constitute a formal solicitation for proposals or proposal abstracts. Conference attendance is voluntary and is not required to propose to future solicitations (if any) associated with this program.

Program Description and Goals

Quantum computing holds great promise for solving important classically intractable computational problems. Ongoing work in theoretical and experimental physics continues to make advances in a number of technologies that might one day underlay a quantum information processor. Relatively little investment has been made in exploring the computer science side of quantum information science (QIS) even though the challenges that quantum computing poses to the world of computer science are on a par with the challenges posed to the world of physics.

The IARPA Quantum Computer Science (QCS) Program will be centered on questions relating to the computational resources required to run quantum algorithms on realistic quantum computers. Both the complete estimation of required resources and their optimization will be the focus of this program. This program naturally breaks up into three core technical areas: quantum algorithm implementation, quantum error correction, and quantum optimal control. A quantum computing toolbox to study these problems will need to contain such things as quantum programming environments, as well as tools for generating, analyzing and optimally selecting quantum error correction and control protocols. This set of tools will serve the goal of measuring and improving the overhead of error correction and control and as a means of programming complex quantum algorithms of a realistic size.

Collaborative efforts/teaming among potential performers will be strongly encouraged. It is anticipated that teams will be multidisciplinary with expertise in such fields as compilers and high-level language development, automated design tools, error correcting codes, control theory, algorithms, computer design, quantum physics, and software development, among others. IARPA anticipates that based on the compelling strength of the self-selected teams, universities and companies from around the world will participate in advancing the state of the art in this area. Researchers will be able to publish their findings in publicly-available, peer reviewed academic journals.

For information contact:


Solicitation Status: Closed

Proposers' Day Date: December 17, 2009
BAA Release Date: April 26, 2010
Proposal Due Date: June 10, 2010

Additional Information

Proposers' Day Briefings