Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

Air Force Seeking “Transformational Computing” Proposals

May 13th, 2011 / in big science, research horizons, resources / by Erwin Gianchandani

Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) has announced a new funding opportunity in “transformational computing for aerospace science and engineering” — and particularly high-risk/high-payoff multidisciplinary approaches that may transform computing in the aerospace community. Awards are expected to span up to five years, with an annual investment of $1.5 million. The deadline for receipt of proposals is June 10, 2011.

The wide-ranging and highly successful United States Air Force [AF] basic research program that exists today was borne out of the need to address a long standing shortfall in military basic research. While numerous advances have been made over the years, there are still many complex problems confronting the AF in aerospace science and engineering. These complex problems demand innovative approaches that seamlessly integrate theory, experiment, and computation. Of these three disciplines, computation has experienced the greatest growth in recent decades, and today many science and engineering disciplines enjoy breathtaking scientific insight enabled by this growth. With new insight comes renewed expectations and scientific computing has reached a point where traditional approaches for advancing computations are encountering numerous barriers.


With respect to aerospace computational science and engineering, AFOSR believes that the best way forward is not through incremental advances but by exploring and developing new paradigms that have the potential to create truly transformational approaches in scientific computing.


AFOSR seeks proposals which eschew incremental advances gained by novel assemblages of existingarchitectures and algorithms, and embraces emerging quantum architectures for transforming scientific computing in the aerospace sciences. Just as Shor’s algorithm will transform cryptography, it is anticipated that similar transformative concepts may emerge for aerospace science and engineering by exploring this emerging architecture while it is still evolving. As a result, implementation challenges and application specific requirements can be identified early in the development process and the architecture can be evolved to meet the needs of aerospace and scientific computing communities. Proposals are encouraged to describe how anticipated technology innovations in quantum computer architectures, system software, and algorithms will enable new capabilities in science and engineering simulations. Proposals must explicitly define and demonstrate a strong collaborative atmosphere between the disciplines/communities of aerospace scientific computation, mathematics and algorithm development, and emerging quantum computing architectures. A strong emphasis will be placed on the collaborative relationships/environment suggested by the proposal. It is desired that the proposal describe an exemplar of a multidisciplinary team solving real science and engineering problems using these emerging computational approaches. It is important that the proposed effort focus on emerging quantum computational architectures with a high-risk/high-payoff vision for aerospace science and engineering.


Prospective applicants are advised to review the proposal guidelines set forth in AFOSR-BAA-2011-1, which can be accessed via

For more details, contact the cognizant AFOSR program officers, Douglas Smith and David Stargel.

Update 5/24/2011: In an effort to ease the sense of urgency for building a team and responding to this new initiative, AFOSR has pushed back the proposal deadline to June 24, 2011. Also, the original RFP (above) did not include an anticipated funding strategy for this initiative; AFOSR now says that the intent is to make two awards at $750K each.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

Air Force Seeking “Transformational Computing” Proposals

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