[Quantum Sky] The true faces of the challengers - Sumitomo Corporation


Nice to meet you! I'm Hosoda.


When I heard a rumor that someone who has been leading the field of social implementation of quantum computers was looking for a colleague within the company, I couldn't stay away and decided to support the QX project from April.


First, let me introduce myself and my enthusiasm...

I joined Sumitomo Corporation in 2011 and now I am currently working on this project while raising my child alone because my husband has moved to a different country. My major is economics and I am a complete beginner in quantum computing, but I am excited to be involved in this project, which has the potential to create a future that no one has ever seen before.



Now to the main topic!

My first article is from a press release dated June 2, 2012.

I interviewed the members of the Quantum Sky Project, which is the first project in the world to create a future where no one knows anything about it, by combining the science fiction story of "flying cars" with the future story of quantum computers. The first interview was with Sumitomo Corporation. We interviewed four key people about the circumstances that led to the start of this technology demonstration.



"Takeda, "The Initiator

The initiator of this first-of-its-kind initiative is this man, Kohei Takeda. He has been working day and night to make his dream come true, participating in cross-departmental projects, supporting NPOs outside the company, and doing pro bono work. When he was transferred to a new position, he was touched by the energy of the Air Mobility business and the people involved in it, and a feeling arose deep in his heart.

He said, "I want to realize a world where people can enjoy air mobility with them."



Sumitomo Corporation's Air Mobility Business


Here, I would like to introduce a little about Sumitomo Corporation's air mobility business.


Sumitomo Corporation is always taking on various challenges to develop new markets and create new industries, and one of them is in the field of air mobility, where the company is pushing ahead with a project to launch an air mobility operation business in 202X.


In February 2020, Sumitomo Corporation concluded a business alliance with JAL and Bell Textron of the U.S. for the purpose of creating new businesses in the air mobility field and developing next-generation infrastructure businesses. Furthermore, in April 2020, Sumitomo Corporation invested in One Sky, a developer of the world's most advanced unmanned aircraft control system.


Japan Airlines and Sumitomo Corporation Sign Agreement to Develop the Air Mobility Industry with Bell | Sumitomo Corporation


Stake Acquired in Unmanned Air System Traffic Management System Developer OneSky Systems, Inc. | Sumitomo Corporation


Air mobility meets Quantum.

Takeda was scrambling to reach his goal of starting a service using air mobility by 202X. This is not a long time, considering the number of challenges. If you look at the world, there are many news about air mobility, especially in the United States and China. The world is definitely moving toward the social implementation of air mobility.

 

Then one day, Takeda was asked to speak at a seminar. It was a seminar for young people to talk about their dreams. There were passionate presentations by speakers who were active in their respective fields. It all started at that venue.

When Takeda heard Masayoshi Terabe, one of the speakers, talk about his vision of the future created by quantum computers, the scales fell from his eyes. Just as Takeda was thinking, "I want to talk with this person more," Terabe made a suggestion. "Since your talk was so interesting, why don't we have another meeting on another day?




How to Create a Future, How to Move Society


As promised, Terabe contacted Takeda right away and had a meeting. In the open space of the company, he talked about his dreams, hopes, the meaning of joining this company, and even something like his original experience as a boy.

Terabe's talk was very stimulating. Even in today's well-informed and convenient society, there are still inefficiencies everywhere due to the lack of computer performance. As a result, the world is becoming more and more individually optimized, and various distortions are occurring due to the lack of overall optimization. And the society of Mirai, where air mobility has become so widespread, is no exception.

Terabe said as he looked out the window from the 24th floor of the headquarters building. That's the kind of future "there are hundreds of thousands air mobilities are flying in the sky" you want to create, isn't it, Mr. Takeda? He continued, "That future may be impossible because the computing power of today's digital computers is too low. What do you think, why don't we create that future together using a quantum computer? Takeda couldn't stop his excitement.



After that, the two of them sat across the whiteboard and talked for hours. Ideas came and went, and then bubbled up again. Then they came up with the idea that would become the seed of this project.



Quantum Sky Team formation

Takeda discussed the concept of the project and his own thoughts with his seniors, Genichiro Ebe and Ryosuke Ueda, who have pioneered the air mobility business. Ebe has been obsessed with space since he read the magazine Newton as a child, and now that he is over 30 years old, he continues to have ambitions to become an astronaut. Ueda is an athletic salesman from the baseball team who is highly respected for his ability to hit back any pitch he is hit with.


They, who had been responsible for the forementioned investment in One Sky, responded immediately without hesitation.


"Sounds good. Why not?


From that point on, Ebe and Ueda were quick. They ran towards their dream.

After internal checks and adjustments, cross-border meetings with One Sky, and meetings with Professor Ozeki and his students at Tohoku University, with whom Terabe was conducting joint research, they were able to finalize an agreement for joint demonstration in just four months.


Currently, the Quantum Sky Team has been formed with OneSky and Tohoku University, and they are having heated discussions

We are still at the stage where we have just released the announcement that we are about to start. Everything is still to come. They say. Their eyes were shining as they prepared the field for this demonstration experiment, lined up the actors, and coordinated the cross-border industry-university collaboration.



Finally.

I am convinced that this experiment will be a success. Because they will never stop until they succeed. Failure does not exist for those who keep trying.

And then I saw it. Beyond the windows of the building, I could see the smiles of the people who are riding the flying cars.


The next article will be an interview with Tohoku University, who is in charge of verifying the technology for this demonstration experiment.

Please look forward to it!

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