Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI)


Academic institution (U.S.A.)

Deadline Details: 

09 Nov 2016: Letter of Intent

14 Jan 2017: Preliminary Proposal

08 Apr 2017: Full Proposal

This program serves a critical role in helping ENG focus on important emerging areas in a timely manner. This solicitation is a funding opportunity for interdisciplinary teams of researchers to embark on rapidlyadvancing frontiers of fundamental engineering research. For this solicitation, we will consider proposals that aim to investigate emerging frontiers in the following two research areas: 
- Advancing Communication Quantum Information Research in Engineering (ACQUIRE) 
- New Light and Acoustic Wave Propagation: Breaking Reciprocity and Time-Reversal Symmetry (NewLAW) 

This solicitation will be coordinated with the Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS) and the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), within NSF. EFRI seeks proposals with transformative ideas that represent an opportunity for a significant shift in fundamental engineering knowledge with a strong potential for long term impact on national needs or a grand challenge. 

Advancing Communication Quantum Information Research in Engineering (ACQUIRE)

Secure and efficient data communication is of utmost importance to the public welfare, societal benefit, and national security. This EFRI topic will support interdisciplinary research in quantum communication systems with a focus on fundamental engineering challenges to enable lossless, room temperature, point-to-point links combining components, repeaters, networks and architectures. Researchers should focus on scalable, chip-level functioning devices and systems capable of operating at single and entangled photon levels. Recent progress in quantum information science, resulting in communication feasibility demonstrations, and advances in optoelectronic integration at the nanoscale are translating the field of quantum information to the engineering realm. Indeed chip-level, room temperature single photon sources, entangled pairs, quantum memory and repeaters are foreseeable devices that can enable scalable quantum communication or other applications.

This topic is intended to support research by teams of engineers, physicists, and computer scientists, to address fundamental research challenges in design, fabrication, and operation of such systems. The research should include trade-offs between key relevant metrics. Of particular interest are investigations into

1) reproducible room temperature single photon sources and detectors on a chip directly coupled to waveguides,

2) low-energy quantum devices such as repeaters, single photon wavelength converters in the telecom wavelength, and integrated quantum memories,

3) generation of quantum entangled Qbits scalable to multi Qbits, and demonstration of a fiber-based quantum communication link.

The research should be highly integrated with the education and training of the next generation of engineers and scientists with a broad knowledge of quantum technology and engineering. The goal is to demonstrate a reliable quantum communication link that optimizes the different aspects of the network, with the potential to provide a transformative and highly secure future network.