Prof. Dr Gerd Leuchs
The BMBF (the German research ministry) has asked the QUTEGA Committee, which is currently preparing a concept paper for the national initiative, to make a few suggestions for pilot projects that can be started in 2017 already and that would have a duration of three years. It is thus necessary to perform the selection process quite quickly. We therefore ask you to hand in proposals for pilot projects that are suitable as flagship projects for QUTEGA. The QUTEGA program itself will start around the end of 2018 and will last at least ten years.
The criteria applied for the selection of the pilot projects will also be relevant for the future calls for proposals within the framework of the regular QUTEGA program:
1. Only consortia with several partners will get funded, no individual proposals.
2. In addition to the milestones envisaged during the project, the long-term objective that is related to a QUTEGA topic must be clearly identifiable. The QUTEGA topics are, on the one hand, the application-oriented flagship topics quantum simulation, quantum computing, quantum communication and quantum sensing and, on the other hand, the crosscutting themes theory, hardware systems and key technologies.
3. The objective of the project should be relevant for applications. An involvement of partners from industry would be welcome. Consortia with no industrial participation, which concern only fundamental research, are possible, but also in these cases the long-term benefit, i.e. the long-term objective that is relevant for applications, has to be stated clearly.
Due to the desired high visibility, the pilot project proposals (duration: three years) are also selected according to the following additional criterion:
4. It should be suitable as a flagship, i.e. a showcase project for the QUTEGA program. Its usefulness should be obvious for the general public and politicians.
We would like to emphasize that this is only about the selection of about two or three pilot projects. The granting of funding for all other projects during the duration of the QUTEGA program (presumably ten years) will be carried out by means of a formal call and evaluation by the BMBF. The desired start-up point for the pilot projects, however, makes a formal call and evaluation by the BMBF impossible in this case. Please also note that rejected pilot project proposals can later be submitted as regular projects and might therefore still receive funding.
We ask you to send in your project proposals for pilot projects (3 pages, font Arial 12, margin 2 cm all around, in German) by 13 November 2016.
In addition to the above points, the pre-proposals must contain the desired financial volume and the partners involved must be named. These pre-proposals are made available to the persons entitled to vote in the selection process. These are potential applicants who are either members of the faculty of a university or heads of departments in non-university research institutions. This group of people will also be invited to take part in an online pre-vote until November 18. The result of the preliminary vote serves as a basis for the final selection of the pilot projects in the framework of a workshop on November 30.
During this workshop, it will be decided which projects shall be recommended to the BMBF.
Strategic considerations may also play a role here, such as the fact that as many different application-oriented flagship topics as possible should be represented, or that particular crosscutting themes and key technologies are of special interest in this early stage. As part of the workshop, each proposed project will be briefly presented in the style of a project preview. This format is consistent with the requirements for the pilot projects: it should be easy to explain and of an obvious relevance. The presentations will be followed by a discussion which can still modify the result of the preliminary vote. Afterwards, a vote is held on the final list. The four or five best-rated applications are recommended to the BMBF. The further procedure is determined by the BMBF.
Please send your project proposals to qutega(at)mpl.mpg.de by 13 November 2016.