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Innovation Salon | Japan-U.S. Business Innovation: Japan Infrastructure Giants Harness U.S. Drone Technology

January 20, 2021 @ 4:00 pm

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** English Program

From trains to bridges to communication towers, Japan dazzles visitors with its infrastructure. Developing infrastructure at these standards requires vigilance and maintenance – which is where Japan excels. However, the country faces systemic labor shortages that make manual maintenance of key infrastructure more challenging. One solution? Drones. Please join us at this cutting-edge program where experts will discuss:


– The state of the drone market in Japan;
– How infrastructure specialist JIW is utilizing drones for infrastructure maintenance; and
– Why enterprise drone provider Skydio has prioritized Japan in its international strategy.

シリコンバレーの大手ドローンメーカーであるSkydio(スカイディオ)の技術は、NTT DOCOMO やNTT西日本グループのジャパン・インフラ・ウェイマーク (JIW) のインフラ整備維持や検査に使用されています。急激な労働力人口減少の最中にある日本で、ドローン技術は救世主となるか? 日本のインフラの将来を支えるキーとなるかもしれないドローンの技術、そして、シリコンバレースタートアップと日本の大企業がどのようなコラボレーションを実施しているか、現場で実務をガチでこなしているお二人が語ります。(英語プログラム:無料)

Date and Time:

January 20, 2021 @ 4 p.m. | Pacific Time

January 21, 2021 @ 9 a.m. | Japan

Price: Free

Venue: Zoom

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4:00-4:05 p.m. – Jon Metzler, Member of the Board, Japan Society of Northern California + Lecturer, UC-Berkeley // Opening Remarks
4:05-4:10 p.m. – Fred Borda, COO, Aerial Innovation // Setting the scene
4:10-4:20 p.m. – Takumi Shibata, CEO of Japan Infra Waymark, a spin-out subsidiary of NTT West
4:20-4:30 p.m. – Tom Moss, CEO Skydio GK
4:30-4:45 p.m. – Panel discussion
4:45-5:00 p.m. – Q&A

Our Amazing Speakers:



Takumi ShibataTakumi Shibata, CEO | Japan Infra Waymark, a spin-out subsidiary of NTT West Moderator

Born in 1981. After graduating from Keio University, he joined NTT West. Registered as a Professional Engineer (Information Technology) in 2013. He specializes in bridging the gap between the field and IT technology, and has been involved in many DX projects. He is currently developing an infrastructure inspection business using drones with the aim of reforming the way people work in the civil engineering field in K.K. JIW. He is also active in planning correspondence courses and serving as a member of the Kansai Branch of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers(JSCE)and Drone Architecture Study Group of Information-technology Promotion Agency(IPA).



Tom MossTom Moss, CEO | Skydio GK

Tom is a seasoned entrepreneur and executive with deep experience across both software and hardware. Prior to joining Skydio full time in 2018, Tom was SVP and GM of Mobile for gaming hardware giant Razer Inc., CEO and founder of mobile phone startup Nextbit Inc. (acquired by Razer), CEO and founder of MDM start-up 3LM Inc. (acquired by Motorola), an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Accel, and from 2007 to 2010 was an executive on the Android team at Google, leading global business development and global go-to-market, and also serving as the GM for the Asia-Pacific region. Tom earned a Juris Doctorate from UCLA and a BA from the University of Oregon.





Fred BordaFred Borda, COO | Aerial Innovation

Fred has been working with Japan’s technology sector for over 20 years, advising large telecommunications and IT organizations on technology and strategy. As a principal at Aerial Innovation he is actively helping large enterprises, government institutions, and stakeholders in Japan and around the world to plan and build infrastructure, businesses and policies that will drive the growth of the commercial drone and new air mobility ecosystem. He participates in a variety of industry bodies to drive technical standards and consensus for deployment of these technologies. Fred began his career at a leading Japanese marketing and strategy consulting firm and has lived in Japan and the U.S. He holds a B.A. from the University of California Santa Cruz.



This event was made possible thanks to our 2020 Japan-US Innovation Awards Symposium sponsors

IA Sponsor Group


January 20, 2021
4:00 pm
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