NTT Research, UCLA, Georgetown Collaborating on Cryptography and Blockchain

NTT Research, Inc., a division of NTT (TYO:9432), has announced that its Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab has reached joint research agreements with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Georgetown University, the company said.

The five-year agreement with UCLA covers research on the theoretical aspects of cryptography, and the three-year agreement with Georgetown University will take advantage of a global scale testbed for research into blockchain. Both involve the use of mathematical theory to prove security levels and enable greater system reliability.

One of three divisions at NTT Research, the CIS Lab is engaged in basic research of cryptography with the potential for long-term impact. Directed by NTT Fellow Tatsuaki Okamoto, the CIS Lab is focused on foundational research problems in cryptography and blockchain. Dr. Okamoto, a renowned expert in cryptography, will supervise the research.

NTT Research Distinguished Scientist Brent Waters, who heads the CIS Lab´s cryptography research group, will be involved in the collaboration with UCLA. The principal investigator at UCLA is Dr. Amit Sahai, professor of computer science at the Samueli School of Engineering.

A recognized global blockchain expert, Dr. Shinichiro Matsuo, a research professor at Georgetown University who heads the blockchain research group at Cyber SMART at Georgetown, and heads the CIS Lab´s blockchain group at NTT Research, will be involved in the joint research on blockchain.

Cyber SMART is the new cross-discipline cyber research center at Georgetown that adheres to the standards and requirements of the National Science Foundation´s Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) Program.

The scope of work for the five-year agreement with UCLA covers advanced secure cryptosystems, secure protocols, new sources of hardness, and mathematical foundations of cryptography. In addition to his role as professor of computer science, Dr. Sahai is also director of the Center for Encrypted Functionalities at UCLA. Professor Sahai has published more than 100 original technical research papers and has contributed in the areas of obfuscation, functional encryption, zero-knowledge proofs and secure multi-party computation.

NTT Research opened its Palo Alto offices in July 2019 as a new Silicon Valley startup to conduct basic research and advance technologies that promote positive change for humankind. Currently, three labs are housed at NTT Research: the Physics and Informatics (PHI) Lab, the Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab, and the Medical and Health Informatics (MEI) Lab.