Two projects have received millions in funding in the second round of IU Bloomington’s Emerging Areas of Research program. The "Sustainable Food Systems Science" and "Center for Quantum Information Science and Engineering" initiatives have been awarded $2.5 million, and $3 million, respectively.
The research program received 21 proposals this round "The Emerging Areas of Research program has been incredibly successful in supporting the collaborative spirit of our faculty, and this year’s recipients promise to continue this outstanding work," said IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel. "While the faculty teams led by professors Farmer and Ortiz represent widely different expertise in their respective fields of sustainable food systems and quantum information science, they share the common trait of harnessing existing campus strengths to explore solutions to pressing issues that affect people and communities here in Indiana and around the world. I applaud everyone involved in these projects, and I look forward to the exciting work they’ll produce in the coming years."
The "Sustainable Food Systems Science" initiative is led by IU School of Public Health faculty member James Farmer and has a goal of analyzing local and international food systems to find what it takes to make environmentally sustainable systems, from production to procurement. The quantum science initiative focuses on the power of quantum entanglement, which Einstein called "spooky action at a distance", where particles continue to interact with one another even after being separated. The goals include quantifying entanglement, using it to solve problems in physics and computation, and to develop quantum sensors to enhance measurement sensitivity.
The grants provide the cash funding, along with the ability to hire three new faculty members for each initiative. The Emerging Areas of Research program was established in 2016, with a primary award of $3 million to researchers in the IU College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, IU School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering to research toddler learning to improve machine learning and artificial intelligence.