VISUALIZING WIND CONDITIONS FOR SAFETY IN THE SKY
Metro Weather, a Kyoto-based startup company, is taking a vital role in the development of the last mile “infrastructure of the skies” for an emerging “Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)/ Urban Air Mobility (UAM) society” where drones are expected to play active roles. We help achieving the development of infrastructures necessary for the safety of air mobilities including drones by not only observing and visualizing urban wind conditions (i.e., an infrastructure for air mobilities) in real time but also forecasting them with our compact Doppler lidar “Wind Guardian” and our wind forecast system called “Wind Foresight”. Furthermore, as our product and technology are also available for forecasting torrential rains and gusts that has caused ever-greater damages in recent years, Metro Weather is expected to contribute to the area of disaster prevention as well.
Towards limitless possibilities
With their compact size, Metro Weather’s Doppler lidars are highly portable and installable, allowing easy installation in locations such as drone ports and communication towers. What is more, Metro Weather’s Doppler lidars are able to deliver highly detailed meteorological information on the skies for the immediate future, based not only on wind condition data measured in real time but also on simulation technology that can forecast weather at a high degree of accuracy using a grid point mesh that is 100 times more detailed than the regular weather forecasting systems that we see in our everyday lives. The wind condition observations and high-resolution weather forecasting simulations derived from Metro Weather’s Doppler lidars can be used in a wide range of business domains, and usage is now growing rapidly. In particular, as the “drone-based society” comes ever closer to reality in recent times, we are seeing rapid growth in the needs for Metro Weather solutions that are able to deliver high-accuracy wind condition information about flight routes in real time, this being essential information for safe and reliable operation of drones.
Company NameMetro Weather Co., Ltd.
Head Office AddressTaniyama Okubo Bld. 1F, 18-1 Chayaura Hironocho, Uji City, Kyoto
PresidentCEO Jun-ichi Furumoto
EstablishedMay 13, 2015
Capital¥100,000,000 (excluding capital reserve)
ExecutivesCEO: Jun-ichi Furumoto
Co-founder/Director: Kuniaki Higashi
Director: Hisao Nishimura
Outside director: Soki Ohmae
Outside director: Taro Kinoshita
Nature of BusinessDevelopment, manufacture and sale of atmospheric observation devices using remote sensing technology
Marketing and the provision of solutions combining meteorological information and IoT
Provision of meteorological observation and prediction data, and information supporting disaster-prevention operations
2016 Jan.Selected for NEDO’s Startup Support Program for research and development venture businesses
2016 Jan.Undertook capital fundraising through third-party share allocation underwritten by Draper Nexus
2016 Sep.Selected for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program operated by the United States
Department of Defense (over three years)
2017 Jan.Selected for NEDO’s Startups in Corporate Alliance Support Program
2017 Nov.Awarded the Regional Encouragement Prize in the Senshu Ikeda Bank New Business Grant Contest
2018 Oct.Undertook capital fundraising through third-party share allocation underwritten by two companies
2018 Aug.Selected for NEDO’s New Energy Venture Business Technology Innovation Program
2018 Sep.Undertook capital fundraising through third-party share allocation with Real Tech Fund, Drone Fund and private investor Yasumasa Manabe
2019 Apr.Selected for NTT Communications Open Innovation Program
2019 Apr.Won the highest award in the Advanced Robotics Technology category of the 6th session of the Rise Up Festa MUFJ Business Support Program
2019 Dec.Started business collaboration with NTT Communications for “Generating a new smart data platform (SDPF) business on real-time wind conditions using combination of towers/wireless relay stations and Doppler lidars”
2020 Jul.Selected for Amazon Activate, Amazon.com’s startup support program
2021 Feb.Selected for Microsoft for Startups, a global program run by Microsoft
2021 Mar.Selected for NASA SBIR Program Phase I (weather-sensing infrastructure for cities)
2021 Nov.Selected for J-Startup (nationwide version) and J-Startup Kansai
Won the Start Up Grand Award in the JR East Start Up Program
CEO Jun-ichi Furumoto
Jun-ichi Furumoto established Metro Weather Co., Ltd. in 2015, while continuing to carry out research and teaching activities as an assistant professor at the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere of Kyoto University until 2019. In addition to using his knowledge of measurement, control and communications, etc. to develop new radar observation technology, Jun-ichi Furumoto has also been involved in research directly connected to solving social issues, and has developed a high-performance coherent Doppler lidar which fully exploits recent developments in state-of-the-art measurements technologies and devices. He is also involved in many initiatives which aim to bring about social application of the results of research in order to contribute to society. He is a doctor (informatics) and engineer at Kyoto University.
Co-founder/Director Kuniaki Higashi
After being appointed postdoctoral researcher at Kyoto University in 2009, Kuniaki Higashi was involved in the development of air turbulence detection and prediction technology using atmospheric radars, and the development of high-resolution weather forecasting simulations. He gained experience in environmental assessment work over two years working at a private-sector weather forecasting company. Having retired from his position as a postdoctoral researcher in 2014, he established Metro Weather Co., Ltd. as a startup company launched by Kyoto University in 2015 together with Jun-ichi Furumoto after one year of preparations for starting up the new business. He is now a director at Metro Weather.
Doctor of Kobe University (science) and certified meteorologist.
Director Hisao Nishimura
After graduating from the Faculty of Economics, Doshisha University in 1974, Hisao Nishimura joined the Bank of Kyoto. After serving as the assistant manager of the New York office and the vice-director of the Investigation Department in the Head Office, he gained experience as the president of semiconductor manufacturing unit manufacturer TOWA, a company listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. He has many years of experience of work in the financial industry and as an administrator at a company listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. He was appointed director of Metro Weather Co., Ltd. in 2017.
Outside director Soki Ohmae
He established Creative Hope Co., Ltd. in 2002, and expanded into web consulting with a focus on creative aspects. Having started up a one-stop service which aims to provide everything from web strategy creation/branding to scientifically-grounded site analysis based on access analysis and website design/construction/administration, as a website consultant he has personally provided successful guidance for the large-scale websites of numerous national brands and international companies/organizations. In May 2017, he became involved in the Drone Fund Advisory Board. He has served as joint representative partner of the Drone Fund since September 2018. He is a professor at Business Breakthrough University and Graduate School (specialism: Digital Marketing).
Outside director Taro Kinoshita
After completing a master’s degree (Applied Chemistry) at the Graduate School of Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Taro Kinoshita joined Sumitomo Chemicals. While working there, he was in charge of R&D into polymer materials for food packaging and electronic substrates. In 2013, as a specially-appointed officer in charge of planning new businesses, he planned a business creating new materials for use in medical applications, promoting the business in partnership with bases in the EU and Southeast Asia. Following this, he gained experience in a wide range of domains such as food products, healthcare and energy, including collaboration with a business connected with materials used in lithium ion batteries.
He became involved in Real Tech Holdings in 2017. At Real Tech Holdings, as growth manager he was in charge of across-the-board fund operation, as well as providing support for management and the creation of new businesses, the major domains under his charge being chemicals, new materials and medical devices. As targets for investment and cultivation, Taro Kinoshita is in charge of ANSeeN which develops next-generation X-ray sensors, and Light Touch Technology which develops non-invasive blood sugar sensors.