The global race to develop quantum computers, quantum communication and other quantum technologies is becoming intense. Expectation for these technologies continues to rise due to many challenges our society faces, including the digital transformation accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for a rapid shift to carbon neutrality. Against this backdrop, it is crucial to increase Japan’s international competitiveness in the research and development of quantum science and technology.
On April 22, 2022, the Integrated Innovation Strategy Promotion Council, formulated by the Japanese government, proposed the creation of a Quantum Technology International Collaboration Hub at OIST, as part of its “Vision for the Quantum Future Society.” The hub is now one of ten Quantum Technology Innovation Hubs that exist across Japan. In response, the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST, President and CEO Peter Gruss) has launched the OIST Center for Quantum Technologies (OQT). The center, which was created on October 31, 2022, will drive research and innovation for the Quantum Technology International Collaboration Hub.
The OQT will act as a center for international exchange, helping to facilitate global research collaborations, while attracting and developing current and future leading scientists within the quantum field. The OQT will seek to make contributions to the wide range of quantum technologies, from quantum computers to quantum security, by promoting interdisciplinary research and innovation in quantum physics, computer science, information engineering and other related research fields.
Professor Kae Nemoto, who leads the Quantum Information Science and Technology Unit at OIST, has been appointed Director of the new center.
“Considering the potential impacts of quantum technologies, the international and interdisciplinary research environment at OIST is important for the future research of quantum science and technology,” Nemoto said. She describes the Center as playing a key role in fostering international collaborative research and global collaboration between industry and academia. “By working with existing programs at OIST and collaborating with other Hubs, we will focus on maintaining our international competitiveness, establishing our strong areas in quantum technology, and developing outstanding human resources.”
OIST President and CEO, Dr. Peter Gruss added, “OIST might be a newcomer in Japan’s quantum science and technology fields, but it can help Japan reach the frontiers of quantum technology research due to our ability to attract a wide range of globally recognized researchers. This is based on our strong reputation as a world-leading interdisciplinary institution and a graduate school with excellent and internationally diverse faculty and students. I am sure we can make a tangible and robust contribution in Japanese quantum technology research.”