Solving the COVID-19 Problem Tohoku University and private companies collaborate on quantum computing technology

Point

  1. Starting support for research activities on pursuing breakthrough to COVID-19 by utilizing quantum annealing, which is a combinatorial optimization technology.
  2. Tohoku University will cooperate with many companies from Japan in research activities.
  3. Launch of cross-disciplinary and international initiatives utilizing quantum annealing.

Summary

In response to D-Wave Systems' call to support research activities for the global onslaught of COVID-19, Tohoku University has expressed its endorsement of the research support activities.
From Japan, DENSO Corporation, KYOCERA Corporation, KYOCERA Communication Systems Corporation, NEC solution innovators, Sigma-i Co. Ltd., etc. have expressed their support for the activity.
Quantum annealing technology is attracting a lot of attention from the industry as a technique to quickly solve combinatorial optimization problems to find the best choice among a large number of candidates. D-Wave Systems will provide a quantum annealing machine as a computational resource for COVID-19, and Tohoku University and many companies and organizations will contribute their expertise and promote collaborative research and development.
The aim is to accelerate the study and evaluation of measures to respond to COVID-19 around the world in order to overcome the global crisis through such initiatives both within and outside the university and across national borders.
Tohoku University has been promoting the spread of quantum annealing technology and its application in industry. At Tohoku University, the Tohoku university Quantum Annealing Research and Development (T-QARD) led by Associate Professor Masayuki Ohzeki and Assistant Professor Masamichi J. Miyama, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Tohoku University, has been leading the research activities.
In recent years, as a result of these efforts, we have presented the search for evacuation routes during tsunami and other disasters (Tohoku University) and efficient delivery technology for AGVs in factories (DENSO).
The knowledge gained from this research will be used to support the activities of researchers and experts in the fight against this global threat.

"We excited to join this initiative. In fact, we have already gotten started by building an optimization formulation for planning which hospital to allocate critically ill patients so as to prevent medical collapse,” said Dr. Masayuki Ohzeki. “It is almost completed and its assessment is underway.”