The National Quantum Mission (NQM) has reached a significant milestone with the launch of the call for pre-proposals for establishing Thematic Hubs (T-Hubs). Professor Abhay Karandikar, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), officially announced the call on January 20, 2024, during the 9th edition of the India International Science Festival. This marks a substantial step forward in advancing quantum science and technology in India.
The call for pre-proposals invites academic institutions and research and development labs to submit innovative pre-proposals in consortia mode, aligned with the objectives of the National Quantum Mission. The proposed T-Hubs will focus on Quantum Computing, Quantum Communication, Quantum Sensing and Metrology, and Quantum Materials and Devices.
Professor Karandikar emphasized the significance of this launch, highlighting that “The pre-proposal is an important step in the National Quantum Mission approved by the Cabinet last year.” The mission is committed to making substantial progress in the coming months, with plans for collaboration between academia, industry, and startups to translate research into deployable technologies.
The pre-proposals are expected to demonstrate quantum technologies that advance the application of quantum science and technology. Akhilesh Gupta, Senior Adviser DST and Secretary SERB, provided insights into the call’s highlights and additional details, emphasizing the role of collaboration in achieving meaningful impacts at both national and global levels.
The National Quantum Mission, approved by the Union Cabinet with a total outlay of Rs 6003.65 crore for eight years, aims to seed, nurture, and scale up scientific and industrial research and development in Quantum Technology. The mission seeks to create a vibrant and innovative ecosystem, accelerating quantum technology-led economic growth and positioning India as a leader in the development of Quantum Technologies and Applications.
The launch of pre-proposals follows the approval at the 1st meeting of the Mission Governing Board of the National Quantum Mission. Professor Abhay Karandikar expressed optimism about the mission’s trajectory, stating that “The NQM will work in collaboration with industry and startups to translate research into deployable technologies.” He urged researchers to actively participate in the pre-proposal submission, underscoring the Department of Science and Technology’s commitment to providing necessary resources for success.
In an opinion on the topic, it is evident that the launch of pre-proposals for the National Quantum Mission is a significant step forward in advancing quantum science and technology in India. With a focus on collaboration between academia, industry, and startups, the mission holds promise for translating research into tangible technologies that can contribute to economic growth and establish India as a leader in Quantum Technologies. This initiative is a crucial investment in the future of science and technology in India and has the potential to yield substantial benefits both nationally and globally.