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Quantum Computing, Telesurgery Unveil in the Philippines

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The recent 3rd Joint PREGINET and COARE Stakeholders’ Meeting not only marked a pivotal moment in the Philippines’ research and education network but also unveiled exciting prospects that could redefine the landscape of research and innovation.

Image credit: asti.dost.gov.ph

Prof Jun Murai from Keio University in Japan took centre stage, shedding light on the transformative potential of post-quantum cryptography (PQC) in the realm of quantum computing, with a target to achieve significant milestones by 2030 and necessary preparations slated for 2025.

At the heart of Prof Jun’s discourse lies the Quantum Internet, a collaborative venture aiming to revolutionise distributed computing and data sharing for quantum computing clusters. The group has embarked on creating a testbed, extending invitations to researchers for testing quantum-related studies.

This initiative, commencing in Japan, is poised to expand its reach to the vast expanse of the Asia Pacific region, heralding a new era of collaborative exploration.

A parallel trajectory in groundbreaking research is Telesurgery, an emerging field that capitalises on high-speed networks and supercomputing resources to navigate the delicate balance between data sharing and privacy in medical and health activities. Prof Jun emphasised the pivotal role of these innovations in reshaping the landscape of healthcare, transcending previous constraints imposed by data privacy concerns.

In the Philippines, supercomputing resources are already making significant strides in supporting agriculture, health, and disaster mitigation. The collaboration between Japan and the Philippines in the field of rice research and disaster activities underscores the global nature of these endeavours.

Prof Jun stressed the collaborative spirit, emphasising how these strategic alliances drive innovation and pave the way for shared progress. He added that the cornerstone of these groundbreaking advancements is the role played by research infrastructures.

He also emphasised the importance of these infrastructures as the bedrock of innovation, a sentiment echoed by ASTI Director Franz De Leon. The director articulates how the continued support and investment in science infrastructures align with the broader mission of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in advancing science and technology in the Philippines.

Director Franz candidly states that while the Philippines is currently a technology adopter, the aim is to shift towards becoming a contributor to the global scientific community. The focus is on elevating the nation’s status in the research and development domain by actively participating in value-adding activities.

This includes robust data-sharing practices, technology and application development, and the expansion of the internet landscape to foster a more interconnected global scientific community. However, the director also underscores the significance of investing in human capital.

According to Franz, the true impact of research and development lies in its translation into tangible benefits for the people of the Philippines. The vision is not merely to be at the forefront of technological innovation but to ensure that these advancements are effectively utilised, thereby fostering a tangible and positive impact on the lives of the country’s citizens.

The convergence of quantum computing and telesurgery, coupled with steadfast support for research infrastructures, depicts the Philippines on the cusp of a revolutionary era in research and innovation. This commitment to shift from a technology adopter to a global contributor signifies a future where the Philippines not only keeps pace with but actively influences the trajectory of scientific progress.

The synergy of cutting-edge technologies and strategic support frameworks positions the nation to become a formidable player on the global stage, fostering a dynamic environment where advancements in research contribute significantly to collective scientific knowledge and societal progress.

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