Mar. 02, 2021
Inaugurating QX Project for Social Change with Quantum TechnologySumitomo Corporation Invests in Israeli Quantum Computing Software Start-up Classiq
Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer: Masayuki Hyodo) has inaugurated the QX Project (Quantum Transformation Project) to sophisticate our existing business and create new business using quantum technology. As part of the effort, Sumitomo Corporation has invested in Classiq Ltd., which develops products that improve efficiency in the programming software that is indispensable to the use of quantum computing, via an Israel-based corporate venture capital (CVC), IN Venture.
Quantum computers perform computations based on a totally new method using the principles of quantum physics, and are expected to outstrip current supercomputers in the speed. There are two types of quantum computers: annealing models that can be used for limited purposes, and gate models that can be used more generally. Quantum annealing computers solve combinatorial optimization problems (selecting the best combination from a wide variety of combinations). As they can solve problems far faster than conventional computers, initiatives for demonstration are increasing in business in recent years.
In anticipation of the maturation of quantum technology, Sumitomo Corporation has promoted various initiatives. In June 2020, Sumitomo Corporation conducted a demonstration of staffing optimization using quantum computing at Belle Maison Logisco Co., Ltd., its group company that engages in mail order distribution. The results suggested an about 30% improvement in efficiency (reduction in total working hours), which prompted discussion for business implementation. In addition to employing professionals in social implementation of quantum technology, Sumitomo Corporation has, as part of the QX Project, signed a joint research agreement with Tohoku University’s Graduate School of Information Sciences and an application partner agreement with Keio Leading-edge Laboratory of Science and Technology. Sumitomo Corporation will put AI, traffic control and other technologies using quantum computing into practical use.
Classiq is an Israel-based start-up which provides technologies that streamline the development of software for gate model quantum computers. Software development requires not only programming skills but also quantum mechanics knowledge, and it is a cumbersome, complicated work that takes substantial amount of time. Use of Classiq’s products can greatly reduce the complexity of software development and contribute to the spread of quantum computing. Sumitomo Corporation will evangelize Classiq solution in the Japanese market and contribute in building out quantum computing ecosystem, with the aim of using quantum technology in various business fields in the future.
Through the QX Project, Sumitomo Corporation as an integrated trading company aims to be a leader in achieving social change with quantum technology. Leveraging its global CVC network and acting together with industry-academia-government partners in Japan and elsewhere, Sumitomo Corporation will also find excellent technologies that may help with the social implementation and industrial use of quantum technology to drive the growth and developing use of quantum computing.
■Demonstration of staffing optimizing using quantum computing at Belle Maison Logisco Co., Ltd.
The demonstration was conducted with Fixstars Corporation and others at the Mobile Computing Promotion Consortium (MCPC), an organization established by members including telecommunication carriers, computer manufacturers, and system integrators. Discussion with Fixstars and others is ongoing for business implementation using a program under the Strategic Innovation Promotion Program of the Cabinet Office, “Photonics and Quantum Technology for Society 5.0.”
■QX Project website
■Profile of Classiq
|Tel Aviv, Israel
■Profile of IN Venture
|Tel Aviv, Israel
|Eitan Naor, Eyal Rosner
Sumitomo Corporation’s Material Issues
Sumitomo Corporation Group positions “Six Material Issues to Achieve Sustainable Growth with Society” as an important factor in developing business strategies and in the decision-making process for individual businesses. Going forward, we will pursue sustainable growth by resolving these issues through our business activities. This project especially contributes to the following material Issues.