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GMD is the German National Research Center for Information Technology

Christfried Webers
Executive Director.GMD-JRL
Dr. Uwe Zimmer
Scientific Director.GMD-JRL

Company Outline

GMD-Japan Research Laboratory is a joint venture between GMD - German National Research Center for Information Technology and the City of Kitakyushu. In Germany around 1200 people work in 8 GMD institutes on fields like autonomous intelligent systems, parallel computing, network technology and biomolecular information processing. 70% of GMD's funding is provided by the national government while the remaining 30% are project funds from joint research with industry or projects on the national or international level.

Kyushu Story

GMD has been active in Japan for over 20 years now. End of the 90's the establishment of NEC's first European research center in GMD's Technopark and joint projects between GMD and NEC, HITACHI and FUJITSU shifted Japan more into the focus of GMD's increasing global orientation. The City of Kitakyushu, meanwhile, as part of its Kitakyushu Science and Research Park Development Project was looking to attract a research center of international standards. The common interest of both Kitakyushu City and GMD to further creative research led to the establishment of the GMD-Japan Research Laboratory (GMD-JRL) which started its activities in November 1998 in Kitakyushu.

Current research in GMD-JRL focuses on two fields: Robust autonomous systems with its special application to underwater vehicles will enable new technologies like the exploration of seabed topology, the monitoring of the environment in the sea, the search for gas and oil under water. Research results can also be applied in all industrial areas where the processing of vague and changing data in real time must be realized. The second field is telecooperation which looks into the possibilities provided by the emerging high-speed network technology and new ways for creative minds to use this technology in research and cooperation.

The challenge for GMD-JRL is to establish an open research environment with English speaking researchers and with world wide interconnections in a location in Kyushu which has been traditionally stamped by heavy industry. The location of Kitakyushu very close to China and Korea also makes it a natural connection point to the dynamically developing East Asian regions. Together with the existing technical infrastructure and the surrounding sea and mountain resort areas the region can well change into a new center in Westjapan if it successfully attracts young and internationally minded people.