Jun. 11, 2021

Our Initiatives to Leverage Quantum Computers - Japan-Canada Quantum Technology Innovation Pitch -

Masayoshi Terabe, the representative, and Toshiaki Hasumura, of the Quantum Transformation (QX) project(aiming to revolutionize society utilizing quantum technology) in Sumitomo Corporation, took the stage on "Japan-Canada Quantum Technology Innovation Pitch" hosted by the Embassy of Canada to Japan on June 1st.

In the seminar, the representatives from six companies that are making advanced initiatives in the field of quantum technology application -Denso, Kyocera, KDDI Research, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, JSR, and Mitsubishi Chemical- talked about their case studies. In addition, nine Canadian quantum technology start-up companies (*1), including D-Wave Systems, which launched the world's first commercial quantum computer, took part. We expect that the collaboration between the Embassy of Canada and our company will lead to the formation of a QX-oriented global ecosystem.

*1 Adaptive Finance Technologies/Anyon Systems/Cogniframe/D-Wave Systems/NetraMark/Solid State AI/Xanadu/Zapata computing/1Qbit

What is a quantum computer?

Conventional computers make calculations with "bits" each of which is in the state of either 0 or 1, while quantum computers make calculations with "quantum bits (qubits)", each of which can be in the state of 0 and 1 simultaneously. In physics, a quantum is the minimum amount of a physical entity (physical property) involved in an interaction. With quantum-based qubits, it is expected that optimum solutions can be found at ultra-high speed from a myriad of combinations, which the processing power of conventional computers is not capable of. Quantum technology has the potential to help solve many social issues, and research is being conducted around the world on its application. Please watch the animated briefing on quantum computers for further information.

What is Quantum Computer?
Use case of quantum computing

QX Project by Sumitomo Corporation

Sumitomo Corporation set up an in-house quantum technology research team and the team has been considering various initiatives since 2018. In 2019, aiming to optimize staffing in warehouses, we conducted a pilot program using a quantum computer in a warehouse of Belle Maison Logisco, a Sumitomo Corporation Group company. In 2020, Terabe, who is leading the social application of quantum computing, joined our company, and in March 2021, he proposed the concept of “QX,” which is an approach aiming to revolutionize thesociety through quantum computing. He has launched the QX project then and has been working with various partners to further promote our QX project.

Terabe has been the leading role in Quantum Transformation, leading pilot programs for quantum computing in the fields of mobility and manufacturing. At CES, one of the world's largest technology trade fairs, and at several international conferences, he propounded the concept that "Quantum computers willenable ultra-high-speed optimization, factories, mobility, and will lead to signficant social changes." The concept was well received, and encouraged many collaborators in and outside of Japanto start co-creation projects.

Terabe (left) and Hasumura promoting the QX project

Sumitomo Corporation creating an ecosystem to drive social change with quantum technology

After launching the QX project, Sumitomo Corporation invested in Classiq, a company based in Israel, which develops essential software for quantum computing. Sumitomo Corporation is now conducting pilot programs for course routing with OneSky Systems, which develops advanced aircraft control systems for drones and other types of air mobility, and Tohoku University, using a quantum computer.

Sumitomo Corporation has also invested in Arqit, a company based in the United Kingdom, which handles quantum encryption (*2), in order to respond to the rising vulnerabilities in cyber security due to the spread of quantum computers, aiming to make quantum encryption widespread in Japan.

Through the QX project, Sumitomo Corporation is making efforts to lead towards a new future with quantum technology, together with various partners around the world. We always welcome with new partners for the QX project.

*2 Quantum encryption: Encryption based on the theory of quantum mechanics