Japan’s national quantum electronics push

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The Quantum Strategic Industry Alliance for Revolution (Q-STAR) brings together the major companies in Japan to commercialise a wide range of quantum electronics.

“The quantum age is now approaching and expectations are growing worldwide for the realization of safe, secure lifestyles and a better society. Japan aims to position itself as a quantum technology innovation-oriented nation, and to create new industries through services that leverage its strengths in materials, devices, measuring technologies, computers and communications, simulations and other technologies,” said the group.

The group is chaired by the CEO of Toshiba, which already ha a quantum encryption business based in Cambridge, UK, and also includes senior management from NEC, Toyota, NTT, Hitachi, Fujitsu and Mitsubishi.

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Q-star also aims to establish a globally recognized platform that will promote collaboration with other organizations around the world working in quantum electronics without defining particular technology approaches.

This differs from the European approach which has seen separate projects for a quantum communications network and quantum computing applications.

Other companies in Q-star include Canon, Dai Nippon Printing, Toppan and several finance subsidiaries of the larger Japanese companies which will be key to driving investment in new business areas.

Next: Q-star areas of focus

The Q-Star activities will cover information and communication technology such as quantum computing and quantum cryptography and basic technologies as well as applications in materials, biology and medicine, sensors and AI.

A Subcommittee on Quantum Wave and Quantum Probability Theory Applications will look at the creation of new industries using quantum amplitude estimation and optimization. The objective is to create industries with the potential to become mainstays in various areas while also spanning multiple industries, including the financial sector, which has a close affinity with these technologies.

A Subcommittee on Quantum Superposition Applications will look at the broader view of systems, services, and businesses created by the application of quantum superposition, the most important capability of quantum computers. It will also examine changes in existing industries and industry structures that will result. Collaborating with users and vendors aims is to create new industries that will become future pillars and mainstays of industry, and that span multiple industries.

A Subcommittee on Optimization and Combinatorial Problems will use quantum-inspired computing technology to select the optimum solution from among an enormous number of combinations to solve diverse problems facing the industry in areas including real-time prediction, efficiency, and optimization.

A Subcommittee on Quantum Cryptography and Quantum Communications will look at the business use of quantum cryptography communication, a technology already available, and aim to open up a future pioneered by communications that guarantee information-theoretically security.

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