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Hybrid cloud and quantum computing to shape IT: IBM chief – Nikkei Asian Review

Posted: November 16, 2020 at 7:53 pm

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TOKYO -- Artificial intelligence and hybrid cloud technology, as well as quantum computing, will be forces that shape the near future of the IT industry, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna told the Nikkei Global Management Forum in Tokyo on Wednesday.

While pointing out that some analysts estimate AI could add up to $16 trillion to global productivity over the next decade or so, Krishna said: "We are only 4% of the journey there," adding, "Our assertion is that every company will become anAI company."

The annual forum brings together influential corporate leaders from around the world to share their views on the role of business in society. This year's theme centers on responding to an unprecedented time of change brought on by the COVID-19pandemic.

Read about Day 1 of the forum here.

Krishna, who took the helm at IBM in April, stressed the importance of the hybrid cloud, saying that"the hybrid approach has a lot more value for our clients," and noting that the technology will "unlock two and a half times more value than a singular public cloud."

Hybrid cloud technology enables data to be shared between two or more clouds, giving businesses access to public and private clouds at the same time and allowing more flexibility.

Krishna also stressed the importance of quantum computing, which he said "can unlock many benefits for both industry and society that are beyond the reach of today's computers."

"We believe within three to five yearsyou can begin to tackle problems that are beyond the reach of normal computers," he said, citing potential applications. "You can solve problems around molecules like lithium hydride, which is an element in many electric batteries."

However, Krishnaalso pointed out that it is necessary to improve accuracy in quantum computing in order to tap its full potential, saying, "Today, these computers have a lot of errors. ... It is an issue that has to be solved."

Rakuten CEO takes on Japan's entrenched telecom incumbents

Online retailer Rakuten's membership base and credit card business model provided the impetus for launching the company's new wireless service, Rakuten Mobile, chairman and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani told the forum.

"Creating an entry point for inviting customers was the initial concern," Mikitani said of Rakuten's ambitious new telecoms carrier, Japan's fourth. Since September, Rakuten Mobile has generated headlines with a subscription rate of 2,980 yen ($28) a month, about half the fee charged by competitors NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank Mobile.

"We already had a track record in acquiring customers, and we have a membership of 100 million," Mikitani said of the e-commerce business. "In credit cards, we have Rakuten Card and now it is the No. 1 card in Japan. What I wanted to do was eliminate all the paperwork and reduce the cost," he said, a model he has applied to the telecoms business.

Rakuten's sales point for mobile subscribers is its integration with the company's e-commerce ecosystem. The 2,980 yen monthly service fee translates to points that can be redeemed for purchases on Rakuten's marketplace. "So basically your phone will be free of charge," Mikitani suggested.

The young telecom carrier was also helped by fortunate timing, as its launch coincided with the election of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. A former telecommunications minister, Suga has long been a critic of the high rates charged by Japan's three incumbent wireless carriers. "Prime Minister Suga will herald a new change," Mikitani said.

"Current cellphone businesses have about 600 interconnected mainframe machines, but I brought in a breakthrough so that everything is on the cloud, even the base stations," Mikitani said. "Our operating costs are lower because the core technology is 100% virtualized."

The 55-year-old executive, who appeared youthful on stage in a black T-shirt and sport coat, still considers himself an entrepreneur despite Rakuten's strong growth over the past quarter century.

"My friends, including the president of a large cellphone company in the U.S., said, 'Miki, good luck,'" he recalled. "They didn't think that I would be successful. As an entrepreneur, when I'm challenged by such people, I get even more motivated to make [my business] successful," Mikitani said.

SCB Abacus uses AI to serve underbanked customers amid pandemic

SCB Abacus, the fintech arm of Thailand's Siam Commercial Bank, is finding new customers despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are faced with challenges from weak demand and deteriorating financial health. Most incumbent players are focusing on less risky customers," said CEO Sutapa Amornvivat.

"We feel that small businesses' key problem is access to cash, and a lot of this can be solved by using alternative data that traditional banks don't look at to underwrite and help them through this crisis," Sutapa said.

Using artificial intelligence created by Amazon Web Services, Abacus launched three years ago as Thailand's first digital lending platform.

"The fundamentals of lending are still the same, but we provide a customer experience that fits their backgrounds," Sutapa said. Most of the underbanked are sole proprietors who operate with cash and work beyond regular banking hours. Digital banking is convenient for such customers, especially as COVID restricts public transportation and mobility.

'Working with SCB has a synergy because Abacus has innovation and SCB has distribution," she said.

Aside from commercial banking, Abacus is exploring credit rating and fraud detection services not only for the financial sector but also for equipment rental and leasing companies.

While AI has helped Abacus serve the unbanked in Thailand, Sutapa acknowledged the potential inequality it can create. "Mobile penetration does not translate into digital literacy," she said, adding that investing in digital literacy is key. "I strongly believe that's a public good, and that's where the government comes in."

The three-year-old company is taking a step-by-step approach to expansion, first in Thailand, then in Asia, before moving on to the rest of the world. "We are looking for strategic investors with networks and technology to help us expand into the region," Sutapa said.

"Data and technology we can purchase, but trust needs time to build. It needs to be earned, not just with customers but also with regulators," she said. CEO sees pent-up demand for Japan tourism's vast network of contacts helped it set up programs to help its clients weather the travel industry slowdown caused by COVID-19, particularly the small clients that make up the bulk of its business, said CEO Jane Jie Sun.

The Shanghai-based company's coronavirus strategy included a 2 billion yuan ($303 million) disaster relief fund to help clients worldwide and small loans to help smaller players stay afloat. It was also able to buy perishable inventory held by certain clients and find buyers at a discount. For example, rooms at Hyatt hotels normally cost $300 to $400 per night, but was able to offer them to customers for future stays at $100 per night.

"Customers were able to get a good deal," Sun said. "In return, they have to prepay for that service, so our partners can get cash flow."

Domestic travel in China has recovered to 80% of its pre-COVID level, Sun said. As international travel remains difficult, has shifted its focus to promoting domestic travel in the countries where it operates.

Livestream promotions for domestic travel in July, for example, reaped $3.9 million in gross merchandise volume in Japan, with 23,000 hotel room nights booked.

"There's a lot of pent-up demand for tourism in Japan," said Sun. "Japan is very favored by Chinese tourists because of the hospitality of Japanese people, and there's a lot of variety -- mountains, ski resorts, warm springs. Thirdly, it's very close by," Sun said.

"Some of our high-end customers visit Japan up to 12 times a year," she said.

Japan's tourism industry is heavily dependent on Chinese visitors, welcoming 6.9 million arrivals last year. Sun said she travels to Japan every year and hopes to ski in Niseko this year and attend the Tokyo Olympics next summer.

Sun credited's young workforce for the company's growth. The average age of's 41,000 employees is 26. A program called Baby Tiger encourages employee innovation and promotes engineers to top business positions.

Additionally, Sun has made the advancement of female employees a priority. Sun is one of the few women CEOs among China's major tech companies.

Although pays a small bonus of 800 yuan ($120) to new mothers, an additional 3,000 yuan is paid when the child begins school. Taxi rides are also subsidized for pregnant employees, and the company financially supports women employees who have their eggs frozen to encourage them to pursue advanced degrees, Sun said.

AI has role in future of public health: Microsoft President Smith

As the novel coronavirus continues to disrupt lives around the world, the future of public health is "really about using AI," said Brad Smith President of Microsoft, speaking to the forum earlier.

"We cannot leave COVID-19 behind," Smith said, adding, "We could face another pandemic in our future," in remarks delivered via video link to the Nikkei Global Management Forum. Smith said that AI can help with "managing hospital resources, to understand where resources are, where there are shortages, where things can be moved."

As concern grows over how technology companies use people's personal data, Smith said Microsoft is committed to transparency and works to ensure that its rules safeguard data to build consumers' trust in the tech company.

Sustainability is another hot topic for Microsoft. Smith vowed to "create digital technology services to empower the world and to better measure, monitor and ultimately reduce the carbon emissions."

He acknowledged that his company "consume[s] energy to power the world's computers," and said, "we need to do our part to become more efficient, and use renewable energy and remove carbon from the environment."

Nitori CEO says furniture retailer speeding up overseas expansion

In an effort to accelerate its global expansion, Akio Nitori, chairman and CEO of Japanese furniture retailer Nitori Holdings, told the forum that "from next year, [we] want to open 10 to 20 [new stores] every year" overseas.

The company currently has stores in Taiwan, the U.S. and China. Nitori said he has high hopes for the Chinese market, particularly, where incomes are still rising, adding that "winning in the Chinese market means successes in the world."

In Japan, despite Nitori stores in shopping malls having to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company has seen sales jump as many people turn their homes into offices and classrooms.

He said that COVID-19 has "changed consumers' shopping behavior," and that many of them are spending less time in physical stores. But at the same time, the number of app users is increasing, he said.

Nitori said he "sees that the prospect of reaching [sales of] 100 billion yen ($951 million)" soon comes from app users. At present, those customers account for around 70 billion yen of sales, adding that app users spend more than twice as much as other customers.

The coronavirus outbreak has led to lockdowns in many countries, causing logistics disruptions worldwide. Nitori said his company had difficulty obtaining materials from China to make sofas due to the disruption. He said his company is now "rebuilding the supply chain" and pledged "not to rely on one country."

Central Retail CEO optimistic about recovery of Thai economy

Yol Phokasub presented not only a positive outlook for Central Retail's business, but also made a pitch for global companies to relocate to Thailand.

"Look at the country of Thailand. People know it as a place for tourism. At the moment, it is one of the few countries in the world that is safe to live and work [in]," said the CEO of Central Group's retail arm. "I would invite CEOs to come and work from Thailand, so you have better peace of mind."

Yol said that the news of a vaccine created by Pfizer that has shown 90% efficacy in preventing the coronavirus was welcome, but that he was not pegging Central Retail's fortunes on the development.

"I don't think we can rely on whatever the outcome is," Yol said. "It doesn't mean that everything will reset and go back to normal. We have to adapt to a new life."

Central Retail recorded a loss of 2.6 billion baht ($86 million) in the second quarter ended in June, with fashion and food sales suffering the biggest hit.

Asked whether customer behavior has changed during the pandemic, Yol, a computer scientist by training, had a different take. "Before the pandemic, we talked about technological disruption. When you look into the details, it's not a technology disruption, it's a customer disruption. Customers changed, and technology helped them assert the change."

Yol foresees an uneven post-pandemic recovery for businesses and industries. Central Group was in a fortuitous position as Thailand went into lockdown in April. Two months earlier, it had the biggest initial public offering in Thai history, worth $2.5 billion.

Yol said the capital from the IPO would be used for expansion and partnerships in the three countries where Central Retail operates: Thailand, Vietnam and Italy.

Philip Morris Japan President Goh: inclusive corporate culture drives transformation

Diversity and inclusion are helping Philip Morris to transform itself from a traditional tobacco company into one focused on smoke-free alternatives, said Shea Lih Goh, president of its Japanese affiliate.

The company announced its commitment in 2016 to gradually withdraw from the business of making and selling cigarettes, Goh told forum attendees.

"It's a major transformation requiring changes across the whole company," Goh said, "having a very diverse workforce and creating an inclusive workplace for everyone, so that we can all get different ideas, a lot of perspectives and have the innovation and drive to reach our ambitious goal."

Goh said one of the focuses at Philip Morris Japan is to close the gender salary gap, which is a foundational step in creating a gender-balanced organization.

In 2016, the company was awarded the Equal-Salary Certification as the first company outside Switzerland to be recognized by the Swiss nonprofit organization Foundation Equal-Salary. It has achieved certification annually for the past four years.

"We proudly closed the salary gap to only 0.4% in 2018. And that's remarkable ... if you compare [that] to the average in Japan, which is around 24%," Goh said.

She borrowed the words of U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris saying, "I'm the first female president of Philip Morris Japan and I certainly know and hope I won't be the last."

Financial services need to accelerate investment in digital: FactSet CEO

Despite the pandemic hitting the bottom lines of businesses around the world, more companies are increasing their investment in digital technology, Philip Snow, CEO of financial information provider FactSet, told the forum.

Snow stressed that the coronavirus pandemic "is causing a lot of companies to invest more quickly" in cutting-edge technologies.

He noted that the financial industry has lagged behind when it comes to applying cutting-edge technology to their business, saying, "There's a lot of pressure within financial services on the cost side." But the industry "need[s] to invest in digital transformation themselves to be more efficient, whether it's [in] Japan or in any other country."

Regarding FactSet's strategy for growth in Asia, Snow said what he is "excited about is the wealth markets" in the region, adding, "There's a huge amount of wealth that's been built in Asia."

With regard to nurturing talent and creating a better working culture, Snow said, "Creating that culture of innovation is creating an environment where people feel comfortable submitting their ideas."

To foster those new ideas, FactSet holds hackathons in conjunction with clients, in which software developers compete to develop new products and services.

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Hybrid cloud and quantum computing to shape IT: IBM chief - Nikkei Asian Review

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November 16th, 2020 at 7:53 pm

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NTTs Kazuhiro Gomi says Bio Digital Twin, quantum computing the next-gen tech – Backend News

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At the recently concluded Philippine Digital Convention (PH Digicon 2020) by PLDT Enterprise, Kazuhiro Gomi, president and CEO, NTT Research, shared the fundamental research milestones coming out of its three labs: the Physics and Informatics (PHI) Lab, the Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab, and the Medical and Health Informatics (MEI) Lab, that are hoped to lead to monumental tech innovations.

The three-day virtual convention drew in more than 3,000 views during the live stream broadcast of the plenary sessions and breakout sessions covering various topics.

Gomi headlined the second day with his topic Upgrading Reality, a glimpse into breakthrough research that NTT Research is currently working on that could hasten digital transformations.

PLDT sets up Data Privacy and Information Security Committee

PLDT Home broadband service expands 46% nationwide

In a discussion with Cathy Yap-Yang, FVP and head Corporate Communications, PLDT, Gomi elaborated on next-generation technologies, particularly the Bio Digital Twin project, that could potentially be game-changing in the medical field, quantum computing, and advanced cryptography.

Bido Digital Twin

The Bio Digital Twin is an initiative where a digital replica of a patients internal system functions first as a model for possible testing of procedures and chemical reactions and seeing possible results before actual application to the person.

We are trying to create an electronic replica of the human body. If we are able to create something like that, the future of clinical and medical activities will be very different, Gomi said. If we have a precise replica of your human body, you can predict what type of disease or what type of problem you might have maybe three years down the road. Or, if your doctor needs to test a new drug for you, he can do so onto the digital twin.

NTT Research is a fundamental research organization in Silicon Valley that carries out advanced research for some of the worlds most important and impactful technologies, including quantum computing, cryptography, information security, and medical and health informatics.

Computing power

However, to get there and make the Bio Digital Twin possible, there are hurdles from various disciplines, including the component of computing power.

Gomi explained that people believed that todays computers can do everything, but in reality, it might actually take years to solve complex problems, whereas a quantum computer could solve these problems in seconds.

There are different kinds of quantum computers, but all are based upon quantum physics. At NTT Research, Gomi revealed that their group is working on a quantum computer called a coherent Ising machine which could solve combinatorial optimization problems.

We may be able to bring those superfast machines to market, to reality, much quicker. That is what we are aiming for, he said.

Basically, the machine, using many parameters and complex optimization, finds the best solution in a matter of seconds which may take months or years using conventional computers.

Some examples where quantum computing may be applied include lead optimization problems such as effects on small molecule drugs, peptide drugs, and Biocatalyst, or resource optimization challenges such as logistics, traffic control, or using wireless networks. Gomi also expounded on compressed sensing cases, including use in astronomical telescopes, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography.

Quantum computing

Apart from quantum computing, Gomi reiterated the issues of cybersecurity and privacy. Today, encryption is able to address those challenges but it would soon require a more advanced and sophisticated type of technology if we are to upgrade reality.

From the connected world, obviously we want to exchange more data among each other, but we have to make sure that security and privacy are maintained. We have to have those things together to get the best out of a connected world, he said.

Among next-generation advanced encryptions, Gomi highlighted Attribute-Based Encryption where various decryption keys define access control of the encrypted data. For example, depending on the user (or the type of key he/she has) what they are allowed to view is different or controlled by the key issuers.

He noted that in the next couple of years, we should be able to commercialize this type of technology. We can maintain privacy while encouraging the sharing of data with this mechanism.

Gomi reiterated that we are at the stage of all kinds of digital transformations.

Digital transformation

Those digital transformations are making our lives so much richer and business so much more interesting and efficient. I would imagine those digital transformations will continue to advance even more, he said.

However, there are limiting factors that could impede or slow down those digital transformations such as energy consumption, Moores law of limitation as we cannot expect too much of the capacities of the electronic chips from current computers, and the issues on privacy and security. Hence, we need to address those factors.

PH Digicon 2020 is the annual convention organized by PLDT Enterprise which gathered global industry leaders to speak on the latest advancements in the digital landscape. This years roster of speakers included tech experts and heads from Cisco, Nokia, Salesforce, NTT Research, and goop CEO and multi-awarded Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow who headlined the first virtual run.

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NTTs Kazuhiro Gomi says Bio Digital Twin, quantum computing the next-gen tech - Backend News

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November 16th, 2020 at 7:53 pm

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A Scoville Heat Scale For Measuring The Progress Of Emerging Technologies In 2021 – Forbes

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A Scoville Heat Scale For Emerging Technologies in 2021

A couple of years back I wrote an article in FORBES called a A Scoville Heat Scale For Measuring Cybersecurity. The Scoville Scale is a measurement chart used to rate the heat of peppers or other spicy food. For that article, I devised my own Scoville Scale-like heat characterizations of the cyber threats and rated the heat on the corresponding cyber security impact.

As we enter a new decade of transformation, I am applying that same Scoville scale to the topic of emerging technologies. It could be surmised that all these emerging technologies are already hot on a heat scale as they are already facilitating exponential changes in our society. True but some areas of emerging tech are further along than others in how it will be impacting our lives in the coming year.

Health Technologies:

Medicine doctor and robotics research and analysis, Scientist diagnose checking coronavirus or ... [+] covid-19 testing result with modern virtual screen in laboratory, Medical technology and inhibition of disease outbreaks.

I will start my measurement activities at the hottest emerging tech measured on Scoville heat scale. Health and medical technologies are really a diverse area of tech that has been impacted by Covid19, especially in research, development and prototyping. Healthcare technologies include everything from biotechnology, nano deliveries of therapeutics, drug discovery, telemedicine (Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality), genomics, cybernetics, bionics, wearables, robotics, and the internet of medical things. All of these component technologies are now being fused with new capabilities in machine learning/artificial intelligence algorithms for better diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Heat Scale Rating: Trinidad Scorpion Pepper. Covid19 has pushed us to explore and bring to market new heath related technologies. We are on the way to smarter health and medical care and this technology area is both multidimensional and very promising.

Artificial Intelligence & Machine learning (AI/ML):

Conceptual background of Artificial intelligence , humans and cyber-business on programming ... [+] technology element ,3d illustration

The cognitive technologies AI & ML also have quite a hot measurement on the Scoville pepper scale. AI & ML are not necessarily new innovations, but they are ones that still have yet to reach full potential. In 2020, both AI & ML started to flourish and it will continue to do so throughout 2021. At its core, AI & ML are really about data integration, quality (image definition) and collection and processing of that data that allows for meaningful analytics. Applications for AI are increasing in variety and capability (especially automation)and are now being applied to almost every industry vertical, including finance, healthcare, energy, transportation, and cybersecurity. Most intriguing, but only in the earliest stages is AL/ML neural human augmentation. Neuromorphic technologies, and human/computer interface will extend our human brain capacities, memories and capabilities. Please see my recent FORBES article for a more in-depth analysis on the merging of human and machine:

Heat Scale Rating: Chocolate Haberno. AI & ML are certainly making significant impact to anything and everything tech related. Its very hot but will get hotter as we continue to aim higher for sentient capabilities in our machines. Of course that capability may turn into a double edged sword and we may end up having regrets in the not so distant future.

The Internet of Things (IoT):

Smart city and communication network concept. 5G. LPWA (Low Power Wide Area). Wireless ... [+] communication.

IoT refers to the general idea of things that are readable, recognizable, locatable, addressable, and/or controllable via the Internet. Essentially this connotes physical objects communicating with each other via sensors. The IoT networks include everything from edge computing devices, to home appliances, from wearable technology, to cars. In essence, IoT represents the melding of the physical world and the digital world. According to Gartner, there are nearly 26 billion networked devices currently on the Internet of Things in 2020, That actually may be a conservative estimate as more and more people are getting connected to the internet in a remote work oriented world. IoT is being boosted by edge computing combined with next gen microchips, and lower costs of manufacturing sensors.

Heat Scale Rating: Scotch Bonnet. IoT is still a work in progress, it is growing rapidly in size, and faces a myriad of regulatory and cybersecurity challenges. Eventually it will be the backbone of smart cities. The connectivity and operational expansion of IoT infrastructures and devices will be integral to the conduct of many business and personal activities in the near future.In 2021 the IoT roll out will continue.


5G (5th generation) communication technology concept. Smart city. Telecommunication.

In 2020 advanced 5G and wireless networks have started to bring benefits, including faster speeds, higher traffic capacities, lower latency, and increased reliability to consumers and businesses. As it grows, 5G will impact commercial verticals such as retail, health, and financial by enabling processing, communications, and analytics in real time. Compared to the last generation of 4G networks, 5G is estimated to have the capability to run 100 times faster, up to 10 gigabits per second making quick downloads of information and streaming of large bandwidth content a breeze. Although 5G is in the initial stages of deployment, connectivity is already exponentially expanding. The industry trade group 5G Americas cited an Omdia report that counted more than 17.7 million 5G connections at the end of last year, including a 329 percent surge during the final three months of 2019. Omdia is also predicting 91 million 5G connections by the end of 2020. In 20121, the 5G roll out will continue on a larger scale.

Heat Scale Rating: Tabasco Pepper. 5G is evolving but still only has limited deployments. Many compliance and security issues are still being worked out. No doubt that in the next few years as 5G is implemented and upgraded, the Scoville pepper rating will become much hotter.


Abstract science, hands holding atomic particle, nuclear energy imagery and network connection on ... [+] dark background.

Quantum Computing like AI & ML, has already arrived. IBM, Google, Intel, Honeywell, D-Wave, and several others are all in various stages of developing quantum computers. It is also a U.S. government priority. Recently, the Department of Energy announced the investment of over $1 billion for five quantum information science centers. Quantum computing works by harnessing the special properties of atoms and subatomic particles. Physicists are designing quantum computers that can calculate at amazing speeds and that would enable a whole new type of cryptography. It is predicted that quantum computers will be capable of solving certain types of problems up to 100 million times faster than conventional systems. As we get closer to a fully operational quantum computer, a new world of smart computing beckons.

Heat Scale Rating: Serrano Pepper. Quantum science is a new frontier and the physics can be complicated. Good progress is being made, especially on quantum encryption, but a fully operational quantum computer is still a few years away from fruition.

Big Data: Real-time Analytics and Predictive Analytics:

young asian woman uses digital tablet on virtual visual screen at night

Big Data: Real-time Analytics and Predictive Analytics flourishes in the world of software algorithms combined with evolving computing firmware and hardware. Data is the new gold but much more plentiful. According to Eric Schmidt , former CEO of Google, we now produce more data every other day than we did from the inception of early civilization until the year 2003 combined. It is estimated that the amount of data stored in the world's computer systems is doubling every two years, Therefore, the challenges of organizing, processing, managing, and analyzing data have become more important than ever. Emerging big data analytics tools are helping collapse information gaps and giving businesses and governments the tools they need to uncover trends, demographics, and preferences, and solutions to a wide variety of problem sets in many industries.

Heat Scale Rating: Thai Pepper. Solid heat but much room for more. Big data analytics ultimately will rely on the fusion of other technologies such as AL/MI and 5G. Fusion of emerging tech will be a growing factor in most future development and use cases. For a deeper dive, please see my FORBES article: The New Techno-Fusion: The Merging Of Technologies Impacting Our Future

Other Tech Trends:

Abstract pixelated digital world map silhouette in cold blue colors, with infographic icons, line ... [+] graph and year labels. Horizontal focused on the year 2021.

There are really too many emerging technologies to match with the heat peppers on the Scoville Heat Scale. I have only touched upon a few of them. Others include materials science (including self-assembling materials), enabling nanotechnologies, 3D Printing (photovoltaics and printed electronics), wearables (flexible electronics). The world of augmented and virtual reality is also exciting and paradigm changing. And, like 5G cloud computing is a vital network backbone for increased productivity and security moving and storing data and applications over the internet from remote servers. I would be remiss if I did not add cybersecurity as the all encompassing blanket for emerging technologies. Cybersecurity is a critical component for most tech, whether it be Health Technologies, IoT, 5G, AL/ML, Quantum, and Big Data that will allow for information assurance, privacy, and resilience. No matter how you view it 2021 will be a hot year for emerging tech and hopefully a safer, happier and more prosperous one for all.

A great idea changes the idea - today and tomorrow - with chalk on blackboard

About the author:

Chuck Brooks, President of Brooks Consulting International, is a globally recognized thought leader and evangelist for Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies. LinkedIn named Chuck as one of The Top 5 Tech Experts to Follow on LinkedIn. Chuck was named as a 2020 top leader and influencer in Whos Who in Cybersecurity by Onalytica. He was named by Thompson Reuters as a Top 50 Global Influencer in Risk, Compliance, and by IFSEC as the #2 Global Cybersecurity Influencer. He was named by The Potomac Officers Club and Executive Mosaic and GovCon as at One of The Top Five Executives to Watch in GovCon Cybersecurity. Chuck is a two-time Presidential appointee who was an original member of the Department of Homeland Security. Chuck has been a featured speaker at numerous conferences and events including presenting before the G20 country meeting on energy cybersecurity.

Chuck is on the Faculty of Georgetown University where he teaches in the Graduate Applied Intelligence and Cybersecurity Programs. He is a contributor to FORBES, a Cybersecurity Expert for The Network at the Washington Post, Visiting Editor at Homeland Security Today, He has also been featured speaker, author on technology and cybersecurity topics by IBM, AT&T, Microsoft, General Dynamics, Xerox, Checkpoint, Cylance, and many others.

Chuck Brooks LinkedIn Profile:

Chuck Brooks on Twitter: @ChuckDBrooks

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A Scoville Heat Scale For Measuring The Progress Of Emerging Technologies In 2021 - Forbes

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November 16th, 2020 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Quantum Computing

How quantum computing could drive the future auto industry – TechHQ

Posted: September 17, 2020 at 12:59 am

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Quantum Computing (QC) has been gaining huge momentum in the last few years. Recent breakthroughs in affordable technology have seen conversations shift from the theoretical to practical use cases.

As early as 2018, IBM drew attention across the tech world with the creation of its Q System One quantum computer, while D-Wave Technologies went on to announce a QC chip with 5,000 qubits, more than doubling its own previous 2,000-qubit record.

While quantum-computing applications may still be five to ten years down the road, a recent report by McKinsey shows that the automotive and transportation sectors have been quick to capitalize on QCs potential, and have successfully showcased how effective the technology can be with several pilots.

Several OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and tier-one suppliers are actively discovering how the technology can benefit the industry by resolving existing issues related to route optimization, fuel-cell optimization, and material durability.

Just last year, Volkswagen partnered with D-Wave to demonstrate an efficient traffic-management system that optimized the travel routes of nine public-transit buses during the 2019 Web Summit in Lisbon.

Elsewhere, significant investments have already been made, with German supplier Bosch acquiring a stake in Massachusetts-based quantum start-up Zapata Computing, contributing to a US$21 million Series A investment.

BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen have announced that they are actively pursuing QC research, including quantum simulation for material sciences, aiming to improve the efficiency, safety, and durability of batteries and fuel cells.

Quantum Computing is being embraced by the automotive sector. Source: Pixabay

The potential for QC in the automotive sector could translate into billions of dollars in value as OEMs and automotive stakeholders hone in on the markets niche and develop a clear QC strategy.

As things stand, automotive will be one of the primary value pools for QC and is expected to have an impact on the automotive industry of up to US$3 billion by 2030, thanks to its potential in solving complex optimization problems that include processing vast amounts of data to accelerate learning in autonomous-vehicle-navigation algorithms.

QC will later have a positive effect on vehicle routing and route optimization, material and process research, as well as help improve the security of connected driving, and help accelerate research into electric vehicles (EV).

Supply routes involving several modes of transport could be optimized using algorithms developed through QC, while other applications will improve energy storage and generative design. QC could also help suppliers improve or refine kinetic properties of materials for lightweight structures and adhesives, as well as develop efficient cooling systems.

QC will be utilized by automakers during vehicle design to produce improvements relating to minimizing drag and improving fuel efficiency. Whats more, QC has the ability to perform advanced simulations in areas such as vehicle crash behavior and cabin soundproofing, as well as to train algorithms used in the development of autonomous-driving software. QCs potential to reduce computing times from several weeks to a few seconds means that OEMs could ensure car-to-car communications in real-time, every time.


Shared mobility players such as Lyft and Uber also have the potential to use QC to optimize vehicle routing, while improving fleet efficiency and availability. Alternatively, QC can help service providers simulate complex economic scenarios to predict how demand varies by geography.

Within the next five years, the automotive industry will continue to focus on product development and R&D.

QC isnt likely to replace existing high-performance computing (HPC), but will instead rely heavily on hybrid schemes where a conventional HPC can help refine problem-solving more efficiently. A computational problem, for example, to find the most efficient option among billions of possible combinations will initially be iterated with a quantum computer to get an approximate answer before the remainder is handled by an HPC to round off assessments in the subset of solution space.

The pathway for QC is still uncertain despite its potential. Investing in QC is a heavy commitment but will almost certainly put companies ahead of competitors further down the line once it has become more mainstream in use.

Automotive players will need to determine exactly where they fit in the value chain, while building solid partnerships and valuable intellectual property.

The next five to ten years will see players prioritizing application development and building focused capabilities, while making first pilots and prototypes operational. Ten years and beyond will see businesses take full advantage of their technological edge through QC and expand their core capabilities.

As QC continues to make breakthroughs, the automotive sector is set to drive the technology to the next level.

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How quantum computing could drive the future auto industry - TechHQ

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Spin-Based Quantum Computing Breakthrough: Physicists Achieve Tunable Spin Wave Excitation – SciTechDaily

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Magnon excitation. Credit: Daria Sokol/MIPT Press Office

Physicists from MIPT and the Russian Quantum Center, joined by colleagues from Saratov State University and Michigan Technological University, have demonstrated new methods forcontrolling spin waves in nanostructured bismuth iron garnet films via short laser pulses. Presented inNano Letters, the solution has potential for applications in energy-efficient information transfer and spin-based quantum computing.

Aparticles spin is its intrinsic angular momentum, which always has a direction. Inmagnetized materials, the spins all point in one direction. A local disruption of this magnetic order is accompanied by the propagation of spin waves, whose quanta are known as magnons.

Unlike the electrical current, spin wave propagation does not involve a transfer of matter. Asaresult, using magnons rather than electrons to transmit information leads to much smaller thermal losses. Data can be encoded in the phase or amplitude of a spin wave and processed via wave interference or nonlinear effects.

Simple logical components based on magnons are already available as sample devices. However, one of the challenges of implementing this new technology is the need to control certain spin wave parameters. Inmany regards, exciting magnons optically is more convenient than by other means, with one of the advantages presented in the recent paper in Nano Letters.

The researchers excited spin waves in a nanostructured bismuth iron garnet. Even without nanopatterning, that material has unique optomagnetic properties. It is characterized by low magnetic attenuation, allowing magnons topropagate over large distances even at room temperature. It is also highly optically transparent in the near infrared range and has a high Verdet constant.

The film used in the study had an elaborate structure: a smooth lower layer with a one-dimensional grating formed on top, with a 450-nanometer period (fig.1). This geometry enables the excitation ofmagnons with a very specific spin distribution, which is not possible for an unmodified film.

To excite magnetization precession, the team used linearly polarized pump laser pulses, whose characteristics affected spin dynamics and the type of spin waves generated. Importantly, wave excitation resulted from optomagnetic rather than thermal effects.

Schematic representation of spin wave excitation by optical pulses. The laser pump pulse generates magnons by locally disrupting the ordering of spins shown as violet arrows in bismuth iron garnet (BiIG). A probe pulse is then used to recover information about the excited magnons. GGG denotes gadolinium gallium garnet, which serves as the substrate. Credit: Alexander Chernov et al./Nano Letters

The researchers relied on 250-femtosecond probe pulses to track the state of the sample and extract spin wave characteristics. Aprobe pulse can be directed to any point on the sample with adesired delay relative to the pump pulse. This yields information about the magnetization dynamics in a given point, which can be processed to determine the spin waves spectral frequency, type, and other parameters.

Unlike the previously available methods, the new approach enables controlling the generated wave by varying several parameters of the laser pulse that excites it. In addition to that, thegeometry of the nanostructured film allows the excitation center to be localized inaspot about 10 nanometers in size. The nanopattern also makes it possible to generate multiple distinct types of spin waves. The angle of incidence, the wavelength and polarization of the laser pulses enable the resonant excitation of the waveguide modes of the sample, which are determined by the nanostructure characteristics, so the type of spin waves excited can be controlled. It is possible for each of the characteristics associated with optical excitation to be varied independently to produce the desired effect.

Nanophotonics opens up new possibilities in the area of ultrafast magnetism, said the studys co-author, Alexander Chernov, who heads the Magnetic Heterostructures and Spintronics Lab at MIPT. The creation of practical applications will depend on being able to go beyond the submicrometer scale, increasing operation speed and the capacity for multitasking. We have shown a way to overcome these limitations by nanostructuring a magnetic material. We have successfully localized light in a spot few tens of nanometers across and effectively excited standing spin waves of various orders. This type of spin waves enables the devices operating at high frequencies, up to the terahertz range.

The paper experimentally demonstrates an improved launch efficiency and ability to control spin dynamics under optical excitation by short laser pulses in a specially designed nanopatterned film of bismuth iron garnet. It opens up new prospects for magnetic data processing and quantum computing based on coherent spin oscillations.

Reference: All-Dielectric Nanophotonics Enables Tunable Excitation of the Exchange Spin Waves by Alexander I. Chernov*, Mikhail A. Kozhaev, Daria O. Ignatyeva, Evgeniy N. Beginin, Alexandr V. Sadovnikov, Andrey A. Voronov, Dolendra Karki, Miguel Levy and Vladimir I. Belotelov, 9 June 2020, Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.0c01528

The study was supported by the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

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2025 will be the year of Quantum on the desktop – Fudzilla

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IonQ CEO's bold claim

We could see a quantum PC on the desktop by 2025 according to IonQ CEO Peter Chapman.

Talking to the assembled throngs at TechCrunch Disrupt 2020, Chapman said that in the next five years you will see desktop quantum machines, athough the goal is to get to a rack-mounted quantum computer.

You know, you cant rely on a system which is sitting in a cloud. So it needs to be on the plane itself. If youre going to apply quantum to military applications, then youre going to need edge-deployed quantum computers, he said.

IonQ relies on technology pioneered in atomic clocks for its form of quantum computing. Quantum Machines doesnt build quantum processors. Instead, it builds the hardware and software layer to control these machines, which are reaching a point where that cant be done with classical computers anymore.

Chapman predicted that we could have edge quantum machines in situations such as a military plane, that cannot access the cloud efficiently.

Alan Baratz, CEO at D-Wave Systems thought that was pushing things a bit. He thought it all hinges on the super-conducting technology that his company is building, it requires a special kind of rather large quantum refrigeration unit called a dilution fridge, and that unit would make a five year goal of having a desktop quantum PC highly unlikely.

Itamar Sivan, CEO at Quantum Machines, too, believes we have a lot of steps to go before we see that kind of technology, and a lot of hurdles to overcome to make that happen.

This challenge is not within a specific, singular problem about finding the right material or solving some very specific equation, or anything. Its really a challenge, which is multidisciplinary to be solved here, Sivan said.

D-Wave, on the other hand, uses a concept called quantum annealing, which allows it to create thousands of qubits, but at the cost of higher error rates.

As the technology develops further in the coming decades, these companies believe they are offering value by giving customers a starting point into this powerful form of computing, which when harnessed will change the way we think of computing in a classical sense. But Sivan says there are many steps to get there.

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2025 will be the year of Quantum on the desktop - Fudzilla

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Putting the Quantum in Security – Optics & Photonics News

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Grgoire Ribordy [Image: Courtesy of ID Quantique]

In the second day of OSAs Quantum 2.0 conference, the focus shifted from quantum computing to other aspects of quantum technologyparticularly quantum communications and quantum sensing. On that note, Grgoire Ribordy, the founder of the Switzerland-based quantum crypto firm ID Quantique, looked at how quantum technologies are being employed for the long-term challenges in data security posed by quantum computing itself.

ID Quantique has a long pedigree in quantum technology; the company has been in business since 2001. In retrospect, Ribordy said, we were really crazy to start a company in quantum technology in 2001 It was way too early. But the firm forged ahead and has now developed a suite of applications in the data-security space.

Ribordy stressed thatespecially over the past few monthsits become increasingly clear that digital security, and protecting digital information against hacking, is extremely important. Classical cryptography assembles a set of techniques for hiding information from unauthorized users, which Ribordy compared to building a castle around the data.

The problem, however, is that after quantum computers become reality, one application for them will be to crack the cryptography systems that are currently in use. When that happens, said Ribordy, the walls we have today wont be able to protect the data anymore. The best cryptography techniques for avoiding that baleful outcome, he suggested, are those that themselves rely on quantum technologyand that can provide robust protection, while still allowing the convenience of the prevailing classical private-key encryption systems.

[Image: Grgoire Ribordy/OSA Quantum 2.0 Conference]

Just how much one should worry about all ofthis nowwhen quantum computers powerful enough to do this sort of cracking still lie years in the futuredepends, according toRibordy, on three factors. One, which he labeled factor x, is how long you need current data to be encryptedperhaps only a short time for some kinds of records, decades for other kinds. The second, y, is the time that it will take to retool the current infrastructure to be transformed into somethingquantum-safe. And the third, z, is how long it will actually take for large-scale, encryption-breaking quantum computers to be built.

If x and/or y are longer than z, he suggested, we have a problemand theres a lot of debate today surrounding just what the values of these variables are. One of ID Quantiques services is to take clients through a quantum risk assessment that attempts to suss out how long they need to protect their data, and what the implications are for their cryptography approach.

Ribordy cited three key components to effective long-term quantum encryption. One, and perhaps the oldest, is quantum random number generation (QRNG) to build security keys, whether classical or quantum. A second is something that Ribordy called crypto-agility. (You dont hard-code cryptography, he explained. Instead, you want to upgrade it whenever a new advance comes.) And the third component is quantum key distribution (QKD), which is a technique still under active development, but which is already being deployed in some cases.

On the first component, Ribordy noted that ID Quantique has been active in QRNG since 2014, when the idea arose of using mobile-phone camera sensors as a source for QRNs. These arrays of pixels, he said, can provide both large rates of raw entropy (an obvious necessity for true randomness), and an industry-compatible interface. He walked the audience through the companys efforts to create a low-cost (CMOS-based), low-power, security-compliant chip for QRNGbeginning with early experiments using a Nokia phone and moving through the required efforts at miniaturization, engineering for stability and consistency, and avoiding such pitfalls as correlations between the different camera pixels, which would degrade the randomness of the output.

The result, Ribordy said, is a QRNG chip that has recently been added to a new Samsung mobile phoneappropriately named the Galaxy A71 Quantumthat is now available in the Republic of Korea. And the chip is not just window dressinga Korean software company partnered with Samsung to create apps for pay services, cryptocurrency services and other features that rely on random numbers, and that use the ID Quantique chip to get high-quality instances of them.

Grgoire Ribordy, at the OSA Quantum 2.0 conference.

We think this is very important, said Ribordy, because it shows that quantum technologies can be industrialized and integrated into applications.

In terms of such industrialization, another security application, quantum key distribution (QKD) is not as advanced as QRNG, according to Ribordybut he argued that the experience of QRNG bodes well for QKDs commercialization path. One issue for QKD is the short distance that such secure links can exist in fiber before quantum bit error rates become too high, though Ribordy pointed to recent paper in Nature Photonics in which practical QKD was demonstrated across a fiber link of 307 km.

Ribordy noted a number of areas of particular activity in the QKD sphere. One active area of interest, for example, is developing network topologies that play especially well with QKD. ID Quantique is also working with SK Telecom in the Republic of Korea on how QKD can be integrated into the optical networks underlying next-generation, 5G wireless. In these circumstances, the proverbial last mile, operating at radio frequencies, can only be secured with traditional cryptography, but using QKD on the optical part of the communication change will make the network as a whole more secure.

A number of other projects are in the works as well, Ribordy said, including a European project, Open QKD, the goal of which is to prepare the next generation of QKD deployment in Europe. And large-scale deployment projects are afoot in China as well.

The presence of these diverging global efforts prompted a question in the Q&A session that followed Ribordys talkjust how open are these QKD markets? Ribordy noted that, in the near term they are closing down Since quantum is a new industry, every country or region would like to be a player. The Chinese QKD ecosystem, he suggested, is completely cut offthere is kind of a Galapagos effect, and Europe also is starting to become a more closed ecosystem in the QKD arena. Ribordy views this as a sign of market immaturity, however, and believes things will become more open again in the future with efforts toward certification and standardization.

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NTT Research and University of Notre Dame Collaborate to Explore Continuous-Time Analog Computing – Quantaneo, the Quantum Computing Source

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NTT Research, Inc., a division of NTT (TYO:9432), today announced that it has reached an agreement with the University of Notre Dame to conduct joint research between its Physics and Informatics (PHI) Lab and the Universitys Department of Physics. The five-year agreement covers research to be undertaken by Dr. Zoltn Toroczkai, a professor of theoretical physics, on the limits of continuous-time analog computing. Because the Coherent Ising Machine (CIM), an optical device that is key to the PHI Labs research agenda, exhibits characteristics related to those of analog computers, one purpose of this project is to explore avenues for improving CIM performance.

The three primary fields of the PHI Lab include quantum-to-classical crossover physics, neural networks and optical parametric oscillators. The work with Dr. Toroczkai addresses an opportunity for tradeoffs in the classical domain between analog computing performance and controllable variables with arbitrarily high precision. Interest in analog computing has rebounded in recent years thanks to modern manufacturing techniques and the technologys efficient use of energy, which leads to improved computational performance. Implemented with the Ising model, analog computing schemes now figure within some emerging quantum information systems. Special-purpose, continuous time analog devices have been able to outperform state-of-the-art digital algorithms, but they also fail on some classes of problems. Dr. Toroczkais research will explore the theoretical limits of analog computing and focus on two approaches to achieving improved performance using less precise variables, or (in the context of the CIM) a less identical pulse amplitude landscape.

Were very excited to have the University of Notre Dame and Professor Toroczkai, a specialist in analog computing, join our growing consortium of researchers engaged in rethinking the limits and possibilities of computing, said NTT Research PHI Lab Director Yoshihisa Yamamoto. We see his work at the intersection of hard, optimization problems and analog computing systems that can efficiently solve them as very promising.

The agreement identifies research subjects and project milestones between 2020 and 2024. It anticipates Dr. Toroczkai and a graduate student conducting research at Notre Dame, adjacent to South Bend, Indiana, while collaborating with scientists at the PHI Lab in California. Recent work by Dr. Toroczkai related to this topic includes publications in Computer Physics Communications and Nature Communications. Like the PHI Lab itself, he brings to his research both domain expertise and a broad vision.

I work in the general area of complex systems research, bringing and developing tools from mathematics, equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical physics, nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory to bear on problems in a range of disciplines, including the foundations of computing, said Dr. Toroczkai, who is also a concurrent professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and co-director of the Center for Network and Data Science. This project with NTT Research is an exciting opportunity to engage in basic research that will bear upon the future of computing.

The NTT Research PHI Lab has now reached nine joint research projects as part of its long-range goal to radically redesign artificial neural networks, both classical and quantum. To advance that goal, the PHI Lab has established joint research agreements with six other universities, one government agency and one quantum computing software company. Those universities are California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, Swinburne University of Technology and the University of Michigan. The government entity is NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, and the private company is 1Qbit in Canada. In addition to its PHI Lab, NTT Research has two other research labs: its Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab and Medical and Health Informatics (MEI) Lab.

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Assistant Professor in Computer Science job with Indiana University | 286449 – The Chronicle of Higher Education

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The Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University (IU) Bloomington invites applications for a tenure track assistant professor position in Computer Science to begin in Fall 2021. We are particularly interested in candidates with research interests in formal models of computation, algorithms, information theory, and machine learning with connection to quantum computation, quantum simulation, or quantum information science. The successful candidate will also be a Quantum Computing and Information Science Faculty Fellow supported in part for the first three years by an NSF-funded program that aims to grow academic research capacity in the computing and information science fields to support advances in quantum computing and/or communication over the long term. For additional information about the NSF award please visit: The position allows the faculty member to collaborate actively with colleagues from a variety of outside disciplines including the departments of physics, chemistry, mathematics and intelligent systems engineering, under the umbrella of the Indiana University funded "quantum science and engineering center" (IU-QSEc). We seek candidates prepared to contribute to our commitment to diversity and inclusion in higher education, especially those with experience in teaching or working with diverse student populations. Duties will include research, teaching multi-level courses both online and in person, participating in course design and assessment, and service to the School. Applicants should have a demonstrable potential for excellence in research and teaching and a PhD in Computer Science or a related field expected before August 2021. Candidates should review application requirements, learn more about the Luddy School and apply online at: For full consideration submit online application by December 1, 2020. Applications will be considered until the positions are filled. Questions may be sent to Indiana University is an equal employment and affirmative action employer and a provider of ADA services. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ethnicity, color, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, disability status or protected veteran status.

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EU leaders to ask European Commission to name areas of strategic weakness – Reuters

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gives her first State of the Union speech during a plenary session of European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium September 16, 2020. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders will ask the EU executive next week to name strategic areas where the bloc relies too much on countries such as China and the United States, and to propose ways to make it more independent, according to a document seen by Reuters.

In draft conclusions for a summit on Sept. 24-25, the member states leaders say they want European industry to be more competitive globally and to increase its autonomy and resilience.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the EUs dependence on Chinese components in the production of drugs, and concern is mounting that it is lagging the United States in the design and manufacture of batteries and in digital cloud storage.

The 27-nation bloc has set digital and green technologies as priorities, goals that were underlined in a state of the union speech on Wednesday by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, the EU executive.

The bloc wants to finance the transformation to such technologies by using much of its 750-billion-euro ($890-dollar) fund for kick-starting the economy after the pandemic.

The draft conclusions - which could still be subject to change before the Brussels summit - show leaders would name the European Battery Alliance, the Internet of Things and Clean Hydrogen Alliance as projects for the EU to focus on.

They will also call for the development of new industrial alliances, including on raw materials, micro-processors, telecommunication networks, low-carbon industries, and Industrial Clouds and Platforms.

The leaders will also declare they want a significant part of the 1.8 trillion euros that will be available to EU countries under the blocs budget and recovery package over the next seven years to be invested in supercomputers and quantum computing, blockchain, human-centred Artificial Intelligence, microprocessors, 5G mobile networks or protection against cyber threats and secure communications.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski and Gabriela Baczynska, Editing by John Chalmers and Timothy Heritage

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