Keio University opened a research hub Thursday that can access IBM Corp.'s cutting-edge quantum computer system through the internet, with the aim of studying the possibilities of harnessing quantum computing.

"Research in software development for quantum computers has barely taken place; there was no real hardware system ... We are going to be the first to work on it and that's the purpose of this research center," said Naoki Yamamoto, an associate professor at Keio who is an expert in quantum computing.

The new IBM Q Network Hub at the university's Yagami campus in Kanagawa Prefecture is the first of its kind in Asia. It allows researchers to use the power of IBM Q — the quantum computer at the tech giant's research center in New York.