On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) and funded by the European Union under the Development and Resilience Plan (2022-2026; only available in German), the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) are implementing the Quantum Austria Funding Initiative from 2022-2026. To do so, they are relying on a number of their respective funding instruments for personnel and infrastructure. A portion of the funds are earmarked for research infrastructure in the highly innovative field of next generation high performance computing, quantum computing, and their intersections.
Under the initiative, a separate budget of EUR 29 million is available for basic research projects funded through the FWF.
Funding may be requested for projects that are clearly defined in terms of objectives and methods with specific limits in terms of duration and budget in accordance with the requirements of the FWF programmes Stand-Alone Projects, 1000 Ideas Programme, ESPRIT, or Erwin Schrödinger Fellowships including a return phase. More detailed information on submitting projects under FFG programmes as part of the Quantum Austria Initiative can be found here. Applications must focus thematically on the field of quantum research and quantum technology. Possible research questions may include, for instance, the following topics:
- Specific preparation and control of quantum states;
- New algorithms and mathematical theoretical concepts that make use of the superposition and entanglement of quantum states;
- Developments and applications in quantum communication; Quantum sensor technology, quantum metrology, quantum simulation, quantum computing, and quantum information;
- Development of ideas based on quantum phenomena in the neighbouring fields of physics, mathematics, chemistry, and in biological systems.
Researchers from universities, non-university research institutions, and relevant industrial research departments who are working in the field of quantum research and quantum technology.
The aim of the programme is to support excellent, transformative, and innovative basic research in the field of quantum physics, quantum computing, as well as next generation high performance computing; to ensure Austria’s continued competitiveness in the EU and globally; and to successfully use quantum technology for innovative products and services.
Requirements, length, and level
The requirements that applicants must meet correspond to those of the FWF programme Stand-Alone Projects, 1000 Ideas Programme, ESPRIT or Erwin Schrödinger Fellowships including a return phase. The FWF attaches great importance to promoting women and young researchers and therefore encourages them to submit applications under the relevant funding instruments.
Additional special features of the call
Please note that limiting the duration of the Quantum Austria Initiative to the period from 2022 to 2026 entails a number of special features which have to be considered at the time of submitting a project. The FWF recommends submitting an application as early as possible, ideally in 2022. The “Quantum Austria” projects funded through the FWF must be finished by 31 March 2026. The statement of accounts and the reports must be finished no later than one month after the end of the project.
The “Supplementary Information on Submitting Applications (pdf, 127KB)” document provides a summary of the special features of the call. In addition to the application documents required for submission under the selected programme, applicants must also upload a brief explanation (docx, 51KB) of the project’s expected contribution to the field of quantum research and quantum technology.
In the case of stand-alone projects, the maximum amount of funding that can be requested is EUR 1 million per project; in the case of applications under 1000 Ideas, ESPRIT, and Schrödinger, it depends on the amount specified in the current programme guidelines. Please note that when submitting a stand-alone project, the number of reviews required depends on the amount of funding requested.
For the approval of applications
- Up to EUR 400,000, two reviews are needed,
- Up to EUR 600,000, three reviews are needed, and
- From EUR 600,000 to EUR 1 million, four reviews are needed.
In the case of ESPRIT, additional funding for non-personnel costs of up to EUR 50,000 per year can be requested. In the case of Schrödinger projects, EUR 20,000 per year is available during the return phase.
Submitting the application
- Start of the call: 26 November 2021
- End of the call: 30 June 2024; applications may be submitted via elane until 14.00 local Vienna time/Austria.
- Applications must be submitted in accordance with the application guidelines for Stand-Alone Projects, 1000 Ideas Programme, ESPRIT or Erwin Schrödinger Fellowship including a return phase.(including an additional programme-specific annex (docx, 51KB)) exclusively via the FWF’s electronic application portal (elane).
- Funding decision by the FWF Board
- On a rolling basis from the application open date (except for the 1000 Ideas Programme)