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NEC C&C Foundation Awards 2023 C&C Prize

- Recognition of Outstanding Contributions to Creating Superconducting Qubits and the Development of Quantum Information Technologies, and Developing the Python Programming Language and its Use as Open-source Software -

Tokyo, October 10, 2023 - The NEC C&C Foundation today announced that the 2023 C&C Prize will be awarded to two groups for their contributions to creating a superconducting qubit first and developing quantum information technologies, and to developing the Python programming language and promoting its use as open-source software which is used in various fields, such as web applications, data science, and artificial intelligence, that support modern society. Dr. Yasunobu Nakamura and Prof. Tsai Jaw-Shen will represent Group A and Guido van Rossum will represent Group B. Each recipient will be recognized with a certificate of merit and a plaque. Each group will also receive a cash award of ten million yen.

The C&C Prize was established in 1985 and is awarded to distinguished persons in recognition of outstanding contributions to R&D activities and pioneering work related to the integration of computers and communications technologies and the social impact of developments in these fields. This year’s two recipient groups are outlined below.

The prize ceremony and acceptance speeches will be held on Wednesday, November 29 from 15:00 at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo and will be streamed live to those who apply at the Foundation’s website.

Dr. Yasunobu Nakamura
Prof. Tsai Jaw-Shen
Guido van Rossum

2023 C&C Prize Recipients

Group A

Dr. Yasunobu Nakamura
Director, Riken Center for Quantum Computing
Professor, Department of Applied Physics, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

Prof. Tsai Jaw-Shen
Professor, Tokyo University of Science
Team Leader, Riken Center for Quantum Computing

For Contributions to the Field of Quantum Information Technology, including the Development of Superconducting Qubits and Quantum Computers

Quantum information technology, which applies the principles and phenomena of quantum mechanics to information processing, is a rapidly progressing field that covers a broad range of subjects, including quantum communications, quantum computing, quantum measurement, and quantum sensing. Quantum computers, which hold promise in efficiently solving problems that are difficult for conventional supercomputers, have been attracting much attention in recent years, and competition in their development has been intense.

In 1999, Dr. Nakamura and Prof. Tsai were the first to achieve a superconducting qubit, the basic element of superconducting quantum computers. They have been leaders in research and development in the field, and the technology has come to be applied to the development of quantum computers at several companies. Additionally, in March 2023, Dr. Nakamura put Japan's first quantum computer into operation.

Dr. Nakamura and Prof. Tsai were the first to create a superconducting qubit as the basic element of superconducting quantum computers. Many research achievements through their efforts as pioneers and front-runners of quantum information technologies have contributed to the development of quantum computers that would impact society in diverse ways. In view of their many and outstanding achievements, Dr. Nakamura and Prof. Tsai are deserving recipients of the C&C Prize.

Group B

Guido van Rossum
Distinguished Engineer, Microsoft Corporation

For Major Contributions to the Development of the Python Programming Language and its Use as Open-source Software

The rapid evolution of digital technologies such as computing, 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and data science is driving a digital transformation (DX) and the ongoing creation of new services and business models, most of which are implemented by software. Softwarization makes the development of complex processes and tasks more efficient, enables developers to keep up with rapidly evolving digital technologies, shortens development times from brainstorming to implementation, and facilitates flexible system development according to needs.

Guido van Rossum, known as the father of the Python programming language, led the Python development community and was heavily involved in the design and development of the language. His vision was to make Python into a simple and easy-to-read language capable of efficient programming. Today, Python is supported by a wide range of programmers from beginners to specialists for use in a variety of applications and services.

Guido van Rossum's vision, leadership, and contributions to the Python community have had a major impact on the world of programming. Thanks to its ecosystem (peripheral environment) of abundant libraries, frameworks, and tools, Python is being used in a wide variety of software applications that are contributing greatly to the development of society. In view of the great contributions that he has made to the development of the Python programming language and its use as open-source software, Guido van Rossum is a deserving recipient of the C&C Prize.

See the attachments for profiles and detailed achievements of the recipients:

For additional information, please visit The NEC C&C Foundation website at: new window


About The NEC C&C Foundation
The NEC C&C Foundation is a non-profit organization established in March 1985 to foster further growth in the electronics industry by encouraging and supporting research and development activities and pioneering work related to the integration of computers and communications technologies, that is, C&C, and ultimately to contribute to the world economy and the enrichment of human life. The Foundation is funded by NEC Corporation.

The Foundation currently has two main activities. It presents the annual C&C Prizes to recognize outstanding contributions to R&D activities and pioneering work in the area of C&C. Candidates are recommended from all over the world. Each prize winner receives a certificate, a plaque, and a cash award (ten million yen per group). As of 2022, 122 prominent persons had received the prize.

The Foundation also gives the following two grants: (1) grant to enable researchers in Japan to attend international conferences overseas to make presentations in the field of C&C and (2) grant to researchers in a doctorial course at a graduate school in Japan.

For additional information, please visit The NEC C&C Foundation website at: new window

About NEC Corporation
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