Japan’s Tohoku University and the University of Chicago are launching a collaboration to fuel quantum research and grow the international quantum workforce. The newly formed Chicago-Tohoku Quantum Alliance will focus on research in quantum sensing, quantum communication, and new materials development, and work to promote student exchange, industry partnerships and start-ups.
The agreement is the most recent signal of the strengthening relationship between Japan and Chicago in the field of quantum science. Last month, at the 2023 G7 Summit in Japan, UChicago, Tokyo University, IBM and Google announced partnerships to advance workforce development and quantum computing. While those announcements involved two American companies, IBM and Google, the Chicago-Tohoku Quantum Alliance will help build bridges with Japanese companies, including Toshiba, and establish stronger industry ties with academia and government.
The universities bring complementary strengths, making the partnership one of global importance. UChicago faculty are among the world’s leaders in fundamental quantum science research. The university runs one of the largest quantum communications networks in the U.S., a 124-mile network that uses technology provided by Toshiba. It leads one of the nation’s ten national quantum research centers, QuBBE; serves as a partner in two others, Q-NEXT and HQAN; and is affliated with a fourth, SQMS. It is also home to the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, which, with a core focus on quantum, continues to push the boundaries of the field.
Tohoku University faculty are leaders in materials science and microelectronics. The university serves as one of Japan’s ten quantum technology innovation hubs. It has Japan’s only complete process line for 300mm wafers, one of the nation’s largest clean rooms, and an important nanofabrication facility.