Growing our Team and Expanding our Footprint

Basic research is measured in years, even decades, rather than weeks or months. All the same, we have hit a fairly fast pace here at NTT Research in our first half year, given progress in each of our three laboratories.

Here’s a quick summary. First, we struck an Industrial Partnership between our Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab and one of our San Francisco Bay neighbors, the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at UC Berkeley. Next, we set up joint research agreements between our Physics and Informatics (PHI) Lab and six universities, one US federal agency (NASA’s Ames Research Center) and one private quantum computing software company (1QBit). Finally, we reached a joint research agreement between our Medical and Health Informatics (MEI) Lab and the Technical University of Munich.

By the end of 2019, we had already hired about two dozen scientists, half of whom are university professors or senior researchers. But we have more positions to fill, especially in our MEI Lab. To date, our MEI Lab has two areas of focus. First, we are exploring three-dimensionally transformable and implantable sensors. The initial phase of our long-term project with TUM, for instance, involves screening and optimizing relevant materials to that end. Another target is “digital twinning.” In medicine, this is the idea of scanning an individual and creating a replica, which can then be used as a roadmap to actual patient care.

As we find more medical scientists, expand our overall team and address this growing pipeline of research, we are also going to need to optimize our workspace. As a result, we are relocating from Palo Alto to a research-friendly facility in Sunnyvale that offers a combination of private and collaboration space better suited to our accelerating activities.

Real milestones in basic research are rare. But as our researchers and collaborators explore bio digital twinning, implantable sensors, quantum neural-network based computing, next-generation cryptography and other areas, we intend to keep you updated on even the relatively small steps we are taking to get there.