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QNC Space

The second round begins on September 1, 2024!

Are you working on technologies or products in quantum and neuromorphic computing and would like to accelerate their development? Then QNC Space is the right choice for you.

Profitieren Sie von der innovativen mikroelektronischen Infrastruktur der Forschungsfabrik Mikroelektronik Deutschland (FMD) und der FMD-QNC-Partner. Nutzen Sie diese gebündelte Expertise, um Ihre Machbarkeitsstudie durchführen zu lassen und gleichzeitig Ihr Netzwerk zu erweitern.

Each project in the QNC Space is dedicated to a specific scientific and technical question related to quantum and neuromorphic computing, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Technological consulting and support services

In quantum and neuromorphic computing, the concepts of various systems have different technological readiness levels, partly due to the relatively young nature of these research fields. Therefore, within the QNC Space, we offer comprehensive technological consulting to potential project partners. This aims to assess the basic feasibility through our FMD-QNC consortium's technological capabilities and evaluate the scalability of their concepts.

Furthermore, you have the opportunity to utilize the machinery and equipment for individual process steps, which is particularly essential in the research and development of quantum and neuromorphic computing systems. The FMD-QNC partners provide their technological process capabilities to develop and test customized process controls according to your requirements. This way, we can also expand our service portfolio for you.

The QNC Space is aimed at:

  • Research groups from universities and other research institutions
  • Founders and start-ups
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises

Applicants must have a registered office in Germany. The exploitation of the results that will be produced in the QNC Space must take place primarily in Germany.

Key Focus Areas

The focus areas depend on our portfolio of services. To apply, you must assign yourself to one of these focus areas:

  • Neuromorphic computing
  • Superconductor-based quantum computing
  • Neutral atom-based quantum computing
  • Ion trap-based quantum computing
  • Quantum dot-based quantum computing
  • Jet sources
  • Cryogenics
  • Assembly and connection technology

Possible project content can be:

  • Testing of materials or individual technological process steps
  • Manufacturing of structures and subsystems
  • Test and characterization of self-developed structures and systems
  • Development of demonstrators or (partial) systems for them or
  • Testing and commissioning of (partial) systems

Terms of participation

If you belong to one of the above groups and wish to conduct a feasibility study with one of the mentioned focus areas in the field of quantum and neuromorphic computing, we look forward to receiving your application.

Further general conditions:

  1. Submission as an individual research group, individual start-up and SME:
    You can submit a maximum of one individual project.
  2. Submission as a team of several partners (research group, start-up, SME):
    If you would like to participate as a team, you can submit up to two projects. However, each project should take place with a different associated industry partner to ensure the broad impact of your project. These can also be large companies. However, the added value of the project must lie primarily with you as a research group, start-up and SME. If you cannot find an associated industrial partner, only one of the two submitted projects can be recommended for funding by the QNC Space.
  3. Duration of the feasibility study: no longer than six months
  4. Added value through consortia: The involvement of several associated project partners within a consortium along the value chain is very welcome. We value the broad impact, but the quality and innovative strength of your project idea is decisive for project selection.
    Large companies may participate as associated partners, but the primary added value of the feasibility study must lie with you as a research group, start-up or SME.

Next application period: September 1 to October 31, 2024.

Application process

Bewerbungsprozess: Am 31.10.2024 ist Bewerbungsschluss, Ende Januar 2025 werden Projekte offiziell ausgewählt, ab Mai 2025 startet die Projektphase

During the program period, a selection round for research groups, start-ups and SMEs will take place, during which the jury will recommend QNC Space projects to the BMBF for funding.

Join us for the second call and let's develop innovative solutions in the field of quantum and neuromorphic computing together!

The questionnaire is expected to be available on this page from July.

Phase 1: Application
To apply, please complete our questionnaire, which we will make available as a download on the application page. This will allow you to focus on the essentials, regardless of the set order of the questions: Your feasibility study, which you want to have conducted by the FMD-QNC partners.
Phase 2: Matchmaking
In the second phase, all applications received will be reviewed. We will then invite you to an initial meeting with experts within the FMD to discuss your submitted idea. After an internal feasibility check and matching with suitable institutes, you will be informed by email about your status in the application process and receive information about the matched institutes. In a joint workshop, you will then have the opportunity to further specify your idea and develop a project profile with all project partners.
Phase 3: Jury Pitch and Selection
In this phase, we complete your application process. You have the opportunity to present your QNC Space project to an external jury in Berlin. In addition to the questionnaire and the project profile, the following criteria are also taken into account when selecting the projects in a jury meeting:

  • the technological fit with FMD machines and systems
  • the research background of the working group
  • the technological readiness level of the development in relation to the anticipated project amount
  • the scalability of the targeted QC/NC technology.

The projects with the highest overall potential are selected.

FAQ

What documents are required for an application?
Initially, we only require the completed questionnaire from you, which you can download from the application website and submit to us via the web form. We will address any further details with you personally after evaluating your information.
Do the projects have to be related to "space"?
No, QNC Space projects must have a connection to quantum and neuromorphic computing in order to participate.
I am already being supported by the "Enabling Start-up – Unternehmensgründungen in den Quantentechnologien und der Photonik“ program. Can I still apply for QNC Space?
You can participate without the risk of double funding, as you will be using the FMD's equipment park in QNC Space, and such an investment is not covered by the 'Enabling Start-up' program. However, whether you have received or could receive funding will always be checked. If this is the case, an additional examination will be carried out by the jury representative of the project sponsor.
Does the start-up have to be already established at the time of application?
Yes. We do not want to take any risks in case the spin-off has not been completed by the time the cooperation agreement is concluded, and therefore the QNC Space project cannot be realized.
I am an employee / we are a working group within the FMD-QNC consortium and would like to participate in the funding program. Is this possible, and if so, how?
In principle, research groups, start-ups, and SMEs apply for participation in QNC Space. Of course, as a QNC partner, you can inform this user group about the possibility that QNC Space could fund their feasibility study in response to external inquiries. If the joint QNC Space project is selected, you will receive funding for the implementation costs in addition to your investment within the Module QNC project.
Should institutes / start-ups / SMEs form consortia, or should they submit applications individually?
Research groups, start-ups, and SMEs each apply individually with their process requirements. The formation of consortia for each QNC Space project is carried out by searching for suitable partners within the FMD-QNC consortium.
Who guarantees that my project content / development goal will be completed on time?
Your contact person at FMD will accompany you and the participating partners of the FMD-QNC consortium throughout the entire program and will monitor the jointly set deadlines.
Do the workshop and jury pitch have to be conducted in person?
The workshop can be conducted online in consultation with the participating institutes. The jury pitch takes place in person in Berlin. The exact format of the jury pitch is currently not finalized.
Do research groups, start-ups, and SMEs receive direct funding for their projects?
No, only the expenses of the participating partners of the FMD-QNC consortium are funded by the BMBF.
How is the IP arrangement handled within the funding?
The cooperation agreement to be concluded includes the standard IP arrangement for publicly funded R&D cooperation projects, considering the funding conditions and the R&D framework of the EU. We have drafted a sample contract that you will receive before the workshop.

Of course, we already handle your existing IP confidentially. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact us.

How will the collaboration be published later?
We plan on promoting the collaboration on the project website from the beginning. After the project is completed, we will report in more detail about you and your developed project content, with your approval. Before an article goes online, you will always approve it first! You are welcome to use the article for your public relations as well.
When do the calls take place?
The first of two calls was open until January 15, 2024. The second call will start on September 1, 2024.
How long does the program run, and for how long will I be supported in developing the required process, component, or system?
The duration, effort, and costs of your project are already documented in the project profile. A project duration of six months is targeted. If your project is successfully included in the program, you will receive support from our experts in quantum computing and neuromorphic computing until the testing phase.
What happens when the project is completed?
After the project is completed, we will provide more detailed reports on your progress in the field of quantum computing and neuromorphic computing on the FMD-QNC website.
What happens if the project cannot be completed?
The development of innovative technical solutions always carries development risks. Therefore, a careful examination and assessment of the technical feasibility of your proposal is very important to us to minimize this risk together with you. All the information you provide, including your perspective on possible challenges mentioned in advance in the project profile, is significant for the analysis. That's why our questionnaire is quite comprehensive. A failed participation in the project has no further consequences for you.
Any more questions?
Feel free to send us an email at: space[at]mikroelektronik.fraunhofer.de

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