Review of 2023: UK leading the way in Quantum and AI at CEATEC

A high point in Japan’s tech calendar, the Department for Business and Trade at the British Embassy Tokyo (DBT Japan), hosted the UK Tech Conference as part of CEATEC 2023 (October 17-20, 2023) held at Makuhari Messe. The UK event comprised of two seminars on October 19th and 20th with the themes of quantum computing and AI. The AI conference was supported by the British Market Council (BMC) with a grant from the Institute for the Promotion of Trade and Industrial Cooperation (ITIC). Both conferences were well attended with over 500 people showing interest in both seminars.

Japan-UK Collaboration: Paving the Way for Quantum Enabled Future

The UK’s quantum computing event as part of CEATEC (October 19, 2023) comprised of keynote speeches and panel discussions moderated by Cambridge Consultants. Naomi Machii, Head of Technology, DBT Japan, opened the conference by explaining the importance of quantum computing technology in the UK in areas such as drug discovery and that £2.5 billion (JPY 450 billion) would be invested over the next five years. She continued to explain that international cooperation is essential for the development of quantum technology and that Japan is an important partner.

A number of positive advances made in the field between UK and Japan:

1) Toshiba has opened a new base of operations for quantum technology in Cambridge

2) Hitachi has been conducting research and development in Cambridge for 30 years

3) Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC) and Fujitsu have formed an alliance, and OQC to install Quantum Computers in Equinix Data Center in Japan and Launch Quantum Computing as a Service (QCaaS).

4) Development of quantum algorithms with ITOCHU Techno-Solutions (CTC).

UK AI Showcase

On the topic of AI technology, DBT Japan organised a panel discussion (October 20, 2023). Euan Edwards, Head of Digital Trade Network, delivered opening remarks and talked about the “Hiroshima Accord on an enhanced UK-Japan global strategic partnership” issued by PM Sunak and PM Kishida at the G7 Hiroshima Summit in May. This includes a commitment by the UK and Japan to work toward maintaining strategic advantages, including in emerging technology fields such as AI and quantum.

The discussion was moderated by Margaret Tongue Minister-Counsellor Economic Diplomacy, British Embassy Tokyo.  Panellists included; Brian Mullins, CEO of Mind Foundry Ltd, Gavin Jackson, CEO of Oxa Autonomy Ltd, and Garry Brotman, CEO of Secondmind Ltd, Professor Stephen Roberts, Oxford University discussed the secrets of success in UK AI followed by key factors to succeed in Japan, and the future of AI. DBT will continue to support UK AI development and expansion, as it is one of the 5 critical technologies published by the UK Government.