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Opening remarks on the IOL symposium 2017 | National Institutes for Quantum and Radiolocgical Science and Technology

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Thank you for participating in the International Open Laboratory Symposium 2017 from both Japan and abroad. I am Toshio Hirano, president of the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, QST.

 QST was established April 1st, 2016 to promote quantum science and technology in a comprehensive and integrated manner. The new organization was formed from the merger of National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS), Quantum Beam Directorate and Nuclear Fusion Directorate of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency. QST has five institutes nationwide. Our ultimate goal and strive is to build a platform for conducting of quantum science and technology research at the world-class level for the improvement of human health and the promotion of the well being of mankind through the creation of harmonious diversity.

 I consider the 21st century as that “Century of an Explosion in Diversity.” As you probably know the world is full of diversity, such as different languages, people, customs and religions. The history of society is in many ways the history of diversity; it is this diversity that fosters innovation, the foundation of a prosperous human society. Diversity, however, can also be a source of conflict, even war. During the long history of humans, globalization has been a continuous main stream; our world seems to be ultimately heading toward one that is unified, “the Nation of Earth”. On our way to achieving this ultimate goal, however, we are now facing an era of explosion in diversity because of a drastically rapid wave of globalization. In addition, our world is exponentially becoming smaller due to population growth and improved means of transportation and communication. Thus the negative aspects of diversity have become ever-more apparent. Overcoming this inherent conflict in the coming diversity explosion is essential for our survival to reach the ultimate goal, “the Nation of Earth”. I think that scholarship, science and technology serve as universal languages of humankind, like art and sports. They have the power to overcome conflict by engendering harmonious diversity. I believe that our common language of quantum science and technology is becoming a tool to overcome differences between languages, cultures, religions and political standings. I, therefore,  strongly believe that the mission of research institute in the 21st century to foster harmonious diversity through science and technology for the betterment of human society.
 In line with this idea, QST is promoting “the creation of harmonious diversity”, so as to foster intellectual creativity and understanding as well as respect for other cultures, through collaboration in quantum science and technologies with people around the world. This kind of activity will contribute to the progress of a peaceful and spiritually rich human society, I do believe.

In order to realize our principle and to ensure that research and development delivers significant academic, social and economic impacts, and to maximize the benefits from global innovation, QST is striving to establish world-leading research and development platforms, to explore new fields, such as quantum life science. It is also expected to serve as a center for quantum science and technology covering the development of nuclear fusion, quantum beam science, material science, and quantum medicine.

One of strategies to realize our idea is playing the role of an innovation hub and forming a field to trigger co-creations by promoting proactive cooperation among government, industry and academia. This could include personnel exchanges and joint research among research organizations, including universities and industry as well as administrative agencies, in order to share their achievements for the common good.

 We have recently started a new project to develop the next generation of a carbon ion beam cancer radiotherapy machine, which we call “Quantum Scalpel”. This will be done in cooperation with four companies. NIRS-QST successfully developed the world’s first carbon ion beam cancer radiotherapy in 1994; it has subsequently built a track record of treating over 10,000 people up until now. The Quantum Scalpel is an outperformed and very compact machine utilizing multiple ion beams that can be commonly used and operated at every potential medical institution not only in Japan but also all over the world. I believe that Quantum Scalpel will make a great contribution to the realization of a society with health and longevity, while enjoying no death due to cancer anymore.

Furthermore, QST is exploring the seeds of research in the field of quantum science and technology, and nurturing them into germinating research. We established the QST Future Laboratory in order to open up a new horizon for multidiscipline and cutting-edge integrated research, such as “quantum life science”, and more. We intend to take a lead in them as a pre-eminent institute, QST”.

The International Open Laboratory, IOL has played an active role in promoting research cooperation with researchers from abroad by young and middle-level researchers of NIRS, while creating seeds of research before the inauguration of QST. In every meaning, IOL is a realization of our principle, creation of harmonious diversity through the interaction among diversified people with different cultures all over the world.  This IOL becomes the third period. These activities of IOL complement the strategy of “exploring seeds of research in the field of quantum science and technology and nurturing them to germinating research.“

IOL forms an organization called the “core”, which undertake projects.The core is operated and led by a researcher of NIRS and a collaborating international researcher. Today, the activity that each core has performed will now be presented and reported.
This symposium is a rare opportunity for all four core members to come together. So, I hope that you will feel a breath of fresh air in these research seeds, and lead then to your future research activities.
I also hope that we can have very active discussion from all participants.

Then, enjoy “Creation of Harmonious Diversity”.

Thank you very much.

28, February, 2017
QST President, Toshio Hirano