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Color centers in diamond, and in particular the nitrogen-vacancy center (NV center), have proven promising for the emerging field of quantum technologies. In this thesis, new concepts for the manipulation of the NV center dynamics will be addressed, along with the proposal of novel fields of application. It comprises: (i) A study of the NV coupling to intrinsic acoustical phonons in nanocrystals, and concepts to exploit that mechanism for conditional quantum operations. (ii) The proposal for the bottom-up creation of NV arrangements on the nanoscale by the ordered arrangement of nanodiamonds directed by biological scaffold structures. A framework is developed for coherently addressing and manipulating NV centers in such structures along with studies of noise and imperfections. (iii) The interferometry with nanodiamonds in search of signatures of quantum gravity. (iv) The creation of an illustrative (filter-based) framework for the analysis and design of hybrid NV-nuclear spin couplings.