Upgrade 2023: Scaling the future

March 16, 2023 // Upgrade 2023

IOWN for Sustainable Smart Worlds

Atsuko Oka, Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development Planning, NTT


NTT announced its IOWN initiative in 2019. This effort aims to achieve carbon neutrality by next-generation network and computing infrastructures with cutting edge photonic technologies. Photonic technologies enable ICT infrastructures higher performance and lower power consumption when compared to electricity-based ICT infrastructures. This presentation introduced IOWN as well as our plans and progress toward more sustainable smart worlds.


Atsuko Oka: Upon joining NTT in 1988, Atsuko Oka worked to improve software development productivity while engaging in high-speed Internet research. After transferring to international HQ and studying at MIT, she started a video distribution service at NTT Communications. She served as president & CEO of a subsidiary, chief of the IoT Promotion Office, and general manager of a subsidiary. After this, she became NTT’s first female board member in June 2019. She is now responsible for new technology development for or based on telecommunication.

Kei Karasawa

NTT Research Vice President of Strategy

Kei Karasawa has been leading research and development (R&D) at NTT for more than 20 years. He is currently the vice president of strategy at NTT Research, Inc. From 2015–2019, he worked with the R&D planning department at NTT and built cooperative relationships with NTT operating companies around the world to deploy NTT R&D technology to global markets. He led applied R&D at NTT EAST from 2011–2015 and put the technology into practice in developing network services. Prior to that, he researched network software technologies, implemented patented software, such as security and distributed systems, and developed commercial services for the Next Generation Network. In 2005, he conducted basic research on cryptography and information processing as a visiting scholar, with Prof. Dan Boneh, in the Security Laboratory at Stanford University. He holds a doctorate of engineering in data-driven parallel computer technology and has extensive knowledge and experience in information processing-related technologies, from basic technology to applications. Personal interests include sports, like tennis and golf, and travelling with his wife and kids.