Logo QNC Space auf gelb-orangenem Hintergrund

»QNC Space«

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.

Benefit from the innovative infrastructure of Research Fab Microelectronics Germany (FMD) and the FMD QNC partners. Take advantage of this bundled expertise to have your feasibility study carried out, and expand your network at the same time.

Each project in the QNC Space is dedicated to a specific scientific and technical question related to quantum and neuromorphic computing, typically lasting around six months and 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. FMD-QNC partners make their technological process capabilities available to develop and test customized process flows that meet 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 companies based in Germany

Key Focus Areas

Within the field of quantum and neuromorphic computing, your QNC Space project can have the following key focus areas:

  • 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 in the next application period (expected from April 2024).

Application process

During the program duration, research groups, start-ups, and SMEs will be recommended for funding by a jury in two selection rounds and will receive funding from the BMBF.

First, a call takes place in which your feasibility study is conducted with your specific requirements using existing machinery and equipment within the FMD-QNC project consortium.

With a time gap, another call will be scheduled, focusing on the machinery and equipment newly acquired within the project modules QNC of the FMD-QNC partners.

The first application call has been closed since January 15, 2024. Be part of the next call (from April 2024) and let's develop innovative solutions in the field of quantum and neuromorphic computing together!

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 is expected to take place from April 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