The consortium, comprising of UNIST, DGIST, and POSTECH has been chosen for the esteemed 2023 University ICT Research Center Project (ITRC) by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT). This prestigious selection recognizes their expertise in the ‘Quantum Information and Communication Technologies‘ sector. The consortium aims to develop advanced quantum technologies while nurturing exceptional master’s and doctorate-level talents. With a total funding amounting to 8.25 billion won—7.5 billion won from government subsidies—the project spans eight years.
The kick-off meeting held at UNIST on August 4 marked the beginning of this collaborative endeavor as the consortium deliberated on specific research directions. By harnessing their collective expertise, these three world-renowned institutions will spearhead pioneering research in quantum technology-based medical applications, bio-sensing fields, as well as gas sensing domains—an area with substantial potential for early commercialization.
A team consisting of ten distinguished faculty members across various disciplines, such as spanning disciplines such as medical science, life sciences engineering, electrical engineering, robotics, and physics have assembled to drive this transformative research initiative forward. Notable participants from UNIST include Professors Daeshig Ghim (Department of Physics), Je-Hyung Kim (Department of Physics), Hyeong-Ryeol Park (Department of Physics), Seon Namgung (Department of Physics), Changhee Sohn (Department of Physics), Joon-Mo Yang (Department Biomedical Engineering), Chung Hun Park(Department Biomedical Engineering), Jongwon Lee(Department Electrical Engineering). Professor Sangyoon Han (Robotics Engineering) from DGIST and Professor Joon Ho Cho (Physics) from POSTECH will also contribute their expertise to the consortium.
As the leading institution, UNIST plans to establish the Quantum Sensing Applications Center (QSAC), dedicated to achieving the project’s objectives. The center will focus on developing △ State-of-the-art quantum sensing platforms for high-sensitivity, high-resolution medical diagnostics, △ Quantum-on-a-chip platforms for biomaterial sensing, △ Quantum optical-based gas sensors, as well as △ Quantum light source and detector devices.
Quantum sensing and imaging technology holds immense promise in revolutionizing various industries by providing unprecedented levels of accuracy and sensitivity. Under the leadership of Professor Daeshig Ghim at UNIST—the lead investigator of this groundbreaking project—the research team is pushing boundaries to unlock its full potential.
“Quantum sensing and imaging technology has emerged as a cutting-edge solution poised to overcome the limitations of existing measurement technologies,” emphasized Professor Ghim. He further highlighted its transformative capabilities in precise measurements, next-generation LiDAR development, and ultra-precision spectroscopic sensing across diverse fields.
Recognizing the critical need to cultivate talents capable of driving progress in quantum technology, UNIST takes significant strides towards training future experts. Currently training 40 master’s and doctoral-level talents annually in quantum technology-related disciplines, UNIST recently established a new undergraduate department specializing in quantum micro studies—operational since March this year—to foster long-term human resources from undergraduate levels onwards.
In line with their commitment to nurturing skilled professionals equipped with practical problem-solving skills and self-directedness, UNIST actively leverages resources such as the Quantum Pep infrastructure and IBM Quantum Computing Cloud (IBMQ) services—both under development on campus—to support comprehensive education initiatives. Additionally, through initiatives like “student-led creative autonomous tasks,” which provide funding up to 10 million KRW per project per year, UNIST aims to encourage students’ innovative thinking while fostering their talent. To further enrich students’ learning experiences within the realm of quantum technology, special lectures will be conducted by cooperative organizations including SK Energy, i3systems, Cosem, and Quantum Intelligence—as well as renowned Korean entrepreneurs.
“Cultivating high-tech human resources in the quantum field is our most urgent responsibility alongside the development of quantum technology,” said Professor Ghim. “We will do our best to produce core human resources for quantum technology in Korea.”