Message from President
Muneharu Kitade is the Founder and President of AWL, which he started by meeting co-founder Professor Hidenori Kawamura, Hokkaido University.
Muneharu, a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience, most recently was the Board of Directors of GMO Marketing Inc. Prior to GMO Marketing, he served as General Manager of Media Division at livedoor Co.,Ltd. Before livedoor, he joined Gaba Corporation and led the company to go public on 2006, by digital learning and marketing strategies.
Muneharu has multiple experiences leading successful tech start-ups, since he was a university student. After receiving his B.A., he started his career as a Business Consultant in Washington DC, and Market Researcher at a record label in NYC.
Director and CTO
Yasuhiro Tsuchida is the Director and CTO of AWL, oversees the company’s global Research and Development on Artificial Intelligence Technology and is responsible for developing the analytical frameworks that shape the company’s business. Sensed the advent of new AI era, Yasuhiro joined AWL to open up the global market from his hometown Hokkaido on the frontline of AI business as an industry leader. Before joining AWL, Yasuhiro served in senior leadership roles at Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. now Panasonic Corporation. Most recently, he served 5 years as Director of New Business Development in Panasonic Silicon Valley LAB to accelerate mobile O2O Commerce. Prior to Silicon Valley LAB, Yasuhiro led multiple core new business development projects in Corporate R&D Division.
Yasuhiro began his engineering career at Mobile Communications Company where he developed middleware platform for NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s largest carrier. He received his master’s degree in Computer Science from Hokkaido University Graduate School.
Hiroki Tomiyama is the Director and CMO of AWL, and the President and CEO of SATUDORA HOLDINGS CO., LTD., which he started in 2016 and also the President and Representative Director of SAPPORO DRUG STORE CO.,LTD. since October, 2015. Hiroki is devoting every effort to create the New Business Models.
His innovative ideas in Retail Marketing and Chain-store operation has successfully accelerated the growth SATUDORA group. Renaming the brand to “SATUDORA” to maximize inbound marketing from the spring of 2016. Based on the concept to “Bring Communities Together, Bring Japan to the Future” and with the vision to “Make a Shift from Drugstore Business to Community-connected Business”, Hiroki is challenging to establish next-generation eco system “EZOCA”, a major Local Loyalty Program based in Hokkaido. Hiroki joined SAPPORO DRUG STORE CO., LTD. from October 2007, working in various marketing and strategy positions.
Hiroki began his career at a daily goods wholesale trading company and worked in Fukushima and Tokyo after receiving his B.A. from a university in Sapporo. Born and grown up also in Sapporo, he is the Local Business Hero of Hokkaido.
Senior Technical Advisor
Hidenori Kawamura Ph.D (Engineering)
Professor (Engineering) at Hokkaido University, Senior Technical Advisor (Founder)
Hidenori Kawamura is the Founder and Senior Technical Advisor of AWL. He is also the leader of “SAPPORO AI LAB” committee, to transform Hokkaido into a global leader in AI research, training, and industry. Hidenori was promoted to Professor, Laboratory of Harmonious Systems Engineering, Division of Computer Science and Information Technology, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Hokkaido University from 2016. Prior to this role, Hidenori has been Associate professor of Laboratory of Harmonious Systems Engineering since 2016. During 2007 to 2008 he served as the Overseas Research Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and was the Visiting Scholar of University of Michigan. He was awarded as the Research Fellowship for Young Scientist from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in 1999. Hidenori received his Ph.D. degree in Systems and Information Engineering, from Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Hokkaido University. Born and grown up in Hokkaido, he is one of the most impressive professors in Hokkaido.
Biplab Banerjee Ph.D (Engineering)
Biplab Banerjee is working as an Assistant Professor (from June, 2018 onward) of Machine Learning and Visual Computing at the Centre of Studies in Resources Engineering (CSRE), and the Center of Machine Intelligence & Data Science (MInDS) at IIT Bombay, India. He is closely associated with the Vision & Image Processing group at the Dept. of EE, IIT Bombay. Besides, he works as an Engineering Advisor of AI for AWL Inc. Japan (press release). Previously, he served as an Assistant Professor at the Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering, IIT Roorkee, India (October, 2016 to May, 2018). He holds visiting professor tenures at TU Munich Germany, Ghent University Belgium, Kyungpook National University South Korea, to name a few. He served two post-doctoral assignments at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia Genova, Italy and the Normandy University, France, respectively. He obtained his Ph.D in the area of Machine Learning from IIT Bombay in 2015 for which he was awarded the “Excellence in Thesis”. Previously, he obtained his B-Tech and M-Engg degrees, both in Computer Science & Engineering, from West Bengal University of Technology(2008) and Jadavpur University(2010), respectively. At IIT Bombay, he leads the Deep Learning in Remote Sensing & Computer Vision research group, which currently consists of around 8 PhD students, 10 Masters' students, and around 10 under-graduate students. Broadly, the lab is interested in different aspects of deep learning techniques in image and video analysis. Some of the recent research topics include zero-shot learning, meta learning, multi-task learning, domain adaptation and transfer learning, multi-modal analysis of remote sensing data, deep reinforcement learning etc. .