NTT Research to Expand its Silicon Valley Footprint in 2020

NTT Research to Expand its Silicon Valley Footprint in 2020

Move to larger office and MEI Lab hires are high on agenda, after strong 2019 launch
PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AI–NTT Research, Inc., a division of NTT (TYO:9432), today announced its plan to move to a facility in Sunnyvale in mid-2020 to better accommodate a growing number of researchers, including medical scientists it expects to hire for its Medical and Health Informatics (MEI) Lab. These priorities follow six months of progress in all three labs at NTT Research since its official launch in July 2019.

To recap, NTT Research has signed an Industrial Partnership between its Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab and the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at UC Berkeley; set up joint research agreements between its Physics and Informatics (PHI) Lab and six universities (CalTech, Cornell, Michigan, MIT, Stanford and Swinburne), one US Federal Agency (NASA’s Ames Research Center) and one private quantum computing software company (1QBit); and reached another joint research agreement between the MEI Lab and the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The need for a larger facility, in part, reflects this activity.

“We are aiming for a ‘research-friendly’ space to hire more excellent scientists,” said Kei Karasawa, NTT Research’s Vice President of Strategy. “We need both private offices as well as collaboration space to accelerate research with partners, whether professors, NTT colleagues or other stakeholders in our three research domains.”

NTT Research has already hired more than 20 scientists, about half of whom are university professors and senior researchers. With the PHI and CIS Labs both on pace in terms of staffing, NTT Research plans to focus on talent acquisition for the MEI Lab in the new year. The ultimate target for the entire organization is about 50 scientists.

Based on the joint agreement between the MEI Lab and TUM, NTT Research will send two of its researchers to Munich in Q1 2020. The initial phase of that long-term research project involves screening and optimizing materials that can eventually be used for three-dimensionally transformable and implantable electrodes. The project leader in Germany is Dr. Bernhard Wolfrum, Professor of Neuroelectronics at TUM in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Munich School of BioEngineering (MSB).

The MEI Lab is directed by Hitonobu Tomoike (M.D., Ph.D), former Director of the Sakakibara Heart Institute, Director Emeritus at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Japan, and former Professor of Cardiology at Yamagata University. Dr. Tomoike is known for his work in precision medicine involving bio-sensors and analytics.

One goal of the MEI Lab is to explore the potential of “bio digital twin”. Already applicable in the field of business transformation – it is one of NTT Ltd.’s Intelligent Business: 2020 technology trends – bio digital twin in the medical domain is the idea of scanning an individual and creating a replica, which medically-guided supercomputing and artificial intelligence (AI) can then examine, diagnose and treat as a roadmap to caring for a human. “In a smart world, our digital twin will be second-nature technology,” Dr. Tomoike said.

In addition to the move to Sunnyvale and the plan to hire more scientists for the MEI Lab, NTT Research expects to announce several more joint research agreements in early 2020. Throughout the year, NTT Research scientists will continue to submit papers and attend conferences in the United States and around the world.

About NTT Research

NTT Research opened its Palo Alto offices in July 2019 as a new Silicon Valley startup to conduct basic research and advance technologies that promote positive change for humankind. Currently, three labs are housed at NTT Research: the Physics and Information Science (PHI) Lab, the Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab, and the Medical and Health Informatics (MEI) Lab. The organization aims to upgrade reality in three areas: 1) quantum information, neuro-science and photonics; 2) cryptographic and information security; and 3) medical and health informatics. NTT Research is part of NTT, a global technology and business solutions provider with an annual R&D budget of $3.6 billion.

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