Expectations that local companies can take part [in the ILC] – Sendai Symposium

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo. Read the original here.

Challenges associated with systems for distributing parts

At the ILC Symposium held in Sendai City on May 12th, there was a panel discussion with Tohoku University researchers and Director Yukie Chida of Chida Precision Products (Oshu City, Maesawa district). The participants expressed their expectations of the region developing through industry growth and internationalization, but also brought up challenges like developing a cooperative structure so that small-to-medium-sized businesses can take part in the ILC.

The ILC is scheduled to begin operations in 2030, and Tohoku University’s campus designer Ms. Tokiko Onuki is considering what Tohoku should become for the ILC. “My idea is of a research environment set in abundant nature, utilizing the culture, atmosphere, and environment of Tohoku. I want this area to try things that can’t be done in large cities, such as using locally-produced wood and sharing information abroad about our primary industries.”

Director Chida shared her hopes for the project. “If Tohoku companies can get involved with the construction and maintenance of the ILC, we can show the world our advanced level of technology. We need to keep our eyes open so that we can get involved.”

On the other hand, there will be challenges if the ILC will indeed be built here. Associate Professor Tomoyuki Sanuki (Department of Physics, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University) is involved with the design of the accelerator, and had this to say: “This will be a very large scale experimental facility. The local area alone can’t fulfill production for its parts – we need methods for transporting parts from other areas of Japan and the world, and a hub for inspecting [those parts].”

Mr. Makoto Okumura, Deputy Director of the International Research Institute for Disaster Science (Tohoku University) specializes in traffic engineering. He pointed out that, “At the very least, roads, ports, and other transportation routes must be made to a high standard with an awareness of how you will maintain and use them in the future.”

Prof. Seiichi Otaki of the Graduate School of Economics and Management (Tohoku University) suggested, “In order for companies to utilize this chance with the ILC, they need to consider how they will position the project within their growth strategy. I would like Tokeiren to support businesses and play a role in getting the ILC to the area.”