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Japan's first quantum computer hardware developed: Waseda University startup NanoQT shifts to full-scale operations


Nanofiber Quantum Technologies, Inc. (NanoQT: Shinjuku City, Tokyo; Co-founder & CEO: Masashi Hirose), a company founded in April of this year from the "Quantum computers with Cavity QED with nanofiber optic resonator" project (Research Director: Takao Aoki, Professor of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University), which was selected as part of the Waseda University PoC Fund Program, has now received its first investment of 200 million yen from the WUV1 investment business limited partnership managed by Waseda University Ventures (WUV). As a result, the company will commence full-scale business operations under a new management team.

(From left) Masashi Hirose (CEO), Takao Aoki (CSO), Akihisa Goban (CTO)
Provided by Waseda University

The Waseda PoC Fund, implemented by the Center for Entrepreneurship, Waseda University (Director: Tomoya Shibayama), is a gap fund program that has been running since 2020 to support commercialization based on research and technology seeds originating from Waseda University. The PoC Fund has been selected to be part of JST's START program, which aims to produce industries originating from universities. It has been using this program while implementing environmental improvements and management reforms related to the fund's operation.

Based on a central theme of turning university research into society-changing business ideas, 17 research projects have been selected from the results of research conducted by faculty, researchers, and graduate students. JST's program provides a variety of support, including funding research for testing business model hypotheses for commercialization and startups, along with advice from management experts. It has led to the creation of four companies, including NanoQT.

This marks the first time that an R&D-oriented venture company from Waseda University that was produced from the Waseda PoC Fund has achieved funding from venture capital. Using NanoQT as a role model, Waseda will accelerate the creation of venture companies based on the university's research results and further promote the realization of its Open Innovation Ecosystem Program for Pioneering Research.

Quantum computing is a field of R&D being actively pursued throughout the world. However, quantum bits are currently limited from a few to 100 bits. The aforementioned project, led by Professor Aoki of Waseda University, has been researching quantum computer hardware based on nanofiber cavity quantum electrodynamics (QED) systems. This proprietary technology enables a single unit to generate about 10,000 bits and even larger units to be connected and networked to achieve overwhelmingly large scales.

After preparing to commercialize the project, NanoQT was established in April of this year to engage in R&D of technologies, products, and services related to quantum science, focusing on developing the hardware for the project. NanoQT is a startup that researches, develops, designs, manufactures, and markets nanofiber-based quantum technologies (quantum computers, quantum cryptography, quantum communications, and other quantum science-related technologies), products, and services.

An article introducing NanoQT can be found at the following link (Japanese):

This article has been translated by JST with permission from The Science News Ltd.( Unauthorized reproduction of the article and photographs is prohibited.

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