It's not another lecture…It's an invitation to join the conversation. The program provides you with access to the experts at the heart of the technology revolution. In carefully curated sessions, you’ll gain unique insights into the next wave of innovation that is connecting our world in surprising and inspiring new ways.







Opening Remarks

Jason Pontin, Editor in Chief and Publisher, MIT Technology Review

Welcome Address

The Honourable John Tsang, GBM, JP, Financial Secretary, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Host Partner Address

Wong Ming Yam, BBS, JP, Chairman, Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI)

Future Cities: Rethinking Urban Environments

Enabling a Smarter World

The advancement in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has fundamentally changed the way we live. The competitiveness of a city will depend on how fast it can capitalize on new technologies and insights to transform and enhance its systems. The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) is the designated ICT research center in Hong Kong. This talk will present ASTRI’s research on Next Generation Network, Security, Intelligence manufacturing, and Machine Learning -- enabling a smarter world.

Meikei Ieong, Chief Technology Officer, Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI)


Resilient Cities: Design for Growth

Accelerating urban expansion demands resilient urban design; cities must be simultaneously livable and adaptable. Networks of compact integrated neighborhoods connected by mobility-on-demand pathways offer a vision for cities where residences, offices, shops, and parks are always within a 20-minute walk; where affordable, convenient, shared-use light electric vehicles replace private cars; where congestion and local sources of air pollution are essentially eliminated; and where powerful new applications improve life for each resident, all while allowing for continued development and growth.

Kent Larson, Director, MIT City Science Initiative and Director, Changing Places, MIT Media Lab


Towards the Autonomous (Self-Driving) City

The maximum benefits of self-driving technology for cities are achieved when shared-electric vehicle fleets operate with fully autonomous (level 4) capability. Only then will radical improvements in safety, energy efficiency, productivity, access will be activated. Additionally, level 4 self-driving vehicles is the key enabling technology for the shared economy, which provide congestion relief and enable effective land-use. This talk will focus on two bookend scenarios described by Robin Chase as autonomous "Heaven or Hell" and power of this disruptive innovation to affect meaningful change in cites.

Ryan Chin, CEO, Optimus Ride

Networking Coffee Break

Rise of the Internet of Things

Internet of Life

The internet is moving into everyday objects and is no longer the next big thing - it’s here and exploding. By 2020 the number of connected devices will exceed 50 billion. The potential impact on physical objects is astounding when it comes to exponential connections between people, revenue opportunities, app embedded systems and the value that can be extracted from data generated by these connected devices. This talk with Brinc CEO and Founder Manav Gupta will help attendees envision the new possibilities that this new world of connected devices and data will offer and the top emerging trends that are currently bridging the gap between software, hardware and services that will have the greatest impact on consumers everywhere.

Manav Gupta, Founder and CEO, Brinc


How to Successfully Bridge International Innovation to China

The Internet-of-Things (IOT), Industry 4.0, semiconductor, and robotics/automation industries are all coming of age with advances in mobile, sensor, and low-power IC technologies reaching maturity and critical mass. The unique characteristic of this emerging innovation revolution in hardware is the fact that these technologies need to be physically manufactured, so the world’s electronic and product manufacturing ecosystem in Shenzhen/Pearl River Delta has become the epicenter for both driving the development/manufacturing as well as the market adoption of these products. Connecting to China has thus become an essential imperative for international companies and startups around the world, but there are major issues in IP protection, business culture norms, and the lack of transparency on how to effectively access the resources and opportunities in China. In this talk, I would like to outline the strategies to develop a new class of hybrid companies that combine the best features from the west and east: bleeding-edge innovation from abroad coupled with the ability to truly operate locally that can navigate and access the supply chain/governmental resources/huge market potential of China. I will also be discussing new IP and tech transfer policies that we are advising the HK/Shenzhen governments on to create favourable environments for international innovation to successfully connect to China.

Michael Sung, Managing Director, CarbonBlue Innovations & Adjunct Associate Professor, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


10 Breakthrough Technologies: Power from the Air - Internet Connectivity for the Next Billion Devices

There is increasing interest in the Internet-of-Things where small computing devices are embedded in everyday objects and environments. A key issue is how to power these devices as they become smaller and numerous; batteries add bulk, cost, and require recharging that is difficult at large scale. This talk presents technologies that enable battery-free devices to connect to the Internet using Wi-Fi networks around us. Specifically, Shyam will first present a novel technology called passive Wi-Fi that enables Wi-Fi transmissions at 10000x lower power than existing solutions. He will then present the first power over Wi-Fi system that enables battery-free sensors such as cameras and temperature sensors to be powered using Wi-Fi routers.

Shyam Gollakota, Co-Founder, Jeeva Wireless & Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington

HealthTech: Technologies to Assist an Aging Population

Instrumenting the Human Body to Transform Health Diagnostics

With state-of-the-art microelectronic sensor technology and sophisticated signal processing, the measurement of physiologically relevant real-time data with wearable/portable devices is achievable. The next step of using data analytics to provide actionable information for the care provider requires the knowledge of what physiological parameters to measure and metrics to determine the quality of the data. The MIT Medical Electronic Device Realization Center promotes close interaction between clinicians, technologists and industry to define projects to carefully measure clinically useful physiological parameters. Specific projects that are showing the promise to transform diagnostics will be highlighted.

Charles G. Sodini, Clarence J. LeBel Professor of Electrical Engineering, MIT


Accessible Bionics for Better Quality of Life

The quest to develop accessible bionics suggests less hardware and more emphasis on the ingenuity and creativity in the control algorithm. This talk will describe two accessible exoskeletons recently developed in Berkeley and globally commercialized by SuitX. Phoenix is a modular exoskeleton for personal and at-home use for those seeking medical rehabilitation to allow mobility. MAX (Modular Agile eXoskeleton) is an industrial wearable robotic system that minimizes workers’ spinal forces, knee joint forces and shoulder joint forces during repetitive maneuvers on the job. These devices will be used in factories, manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, warehouses, and for delivery services. They intend to decrease the severity of work-related injuries, while enhancing worker safety and productivity. suitX is a VC, industry, and government funded company in Berkeley, California that provides accessible and affordable exoskeletons for the industrial and medical markets. suitX has a manufacturing facility located in Ningbo, China.

Homayoon Kazerooni, Founder and CEO, suitX & Professor, University of California at Berkeley

Networking Lunch Break

How Smartphones will Completely Change the Way We Age

Today’s technological advances offer an enormous amount of possibilities in relation to health care, and could significantly change the lives we lead when we grow older. As it is, however, this potential is far from being fully realised: while more than half of all Americans now own a Smartphone, the adoption level for seniors sits at just 18%. Nonetheless, Smartphones will become much more important for the older generation. In order to make it possible for everyone – including those who have little affinity with technology – to enjoy today’s technological advances in an easy, enjoyable way, we have developed the GoLivePhone software: accessible user-friendly software that makes using a Smartphone a piece of cake!

Frank Verbeek, CEO, Gociety


10 Breakthrough Technologies: Liquid Biopsies from Prenatal Diagnosis to Cancer Testing

There is a relatively recent acceptance in the mainstream scientific community that cells throughout our bodies shed DNA into our bloodstream. Such DNA has been referred to as ‘circulating DNA’. One example is the release of DNA from an unborn fetus into the plasma of its mother, a phenomenon that is the basis for noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) which has transformed prenatal medicine globally. The next frontier is to use circulating DNA released by tumor cells for novel cancer diagnostics. Such developments would be expected to save lives from this top killer through early treatment and optimal therapy selection.

Dennis Lo, Director, Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


2020 Healthcare Trends & The Rise of Precision Medicine

Technology has significantly changed our daily lives, from Uber to Spotify to Airbnb. However, when we think about technology, we don't often associate it with healthcare. This is now all about to change as we enter into a new era of healthcare with the rise of precision medicine. Learn how precision medicine has the potential to be the greatest breakthrough in healthcare in our lifetime.

Danny Yeung, CEO, Prenetics


From Innovation to Application - Applying Fish Embryos Toxicity Testing Technology to Improve Global Product Safety Standards

Eric Chen, Founder, Vitargent

Fostering a Culture of Innovation

Accelerating Innovation Ecosystems: Exploring your comparative advantage

Innovation ecosystems are today seen as critical locations attracting a critical mass of innovation and entrepreneurship oriented talent, and locations where this talent, together with capital and other resources can be rapidly combined to build innovation-driven enterprises. Although ecosystems such as Silicon Valley and Boston have taken time to develop, more recent success stories in London, Israel, and Singapore have started to emerge more rapidly. These more recent innovation ecosystems have learned the lessons of others, and focus on their strategic comparative advantages as well as on engaging all five critical stakeholders: entrepreneurs, large corporations, risk capital providers, universities and the government. Given these two important elements - strategy and stakeholders - what are the opportunities for powerful and dynamic innovation ecosystems to arise in Greater China, particularly Hong Kong? What actions would the HK community have to take individually and collectively to be successful as an innovation-driven economy?

Fiona Murray, Associate Dean of Innovation, MIT Sloan School of Management

Networking Coffee Break

Evolution of the “Stone” (Simultaneous Translation – Chinese to English)

Historically Iron and steel propelled human society beyond Stone Age. In the past 50 years, time has shifted again from Iron Age, swords and plowshares to Silicon Age, computer chips and communication switches. The modern civilization relies on semiconductor chips fabricated from the "stone", silicon, germanium, etc. Evolution of the "stone" starting from the first transistor in Bell Lab had tremendous impact on technology and society. However, Moore's law, the prophecy that has powered this evolution since the 1960s, is nearing its end. Will the evolution of the "stone" enter a period of stagnation or a new era of innovations?

Steve Chu, Vice President, Huawei and Chief Strategy Officer, HiSilicon 


Economic Growth and Innovation Imperative in China

The new normal of Chinese growth requires not just an adjustment of the growth rate but also an adjustment of growth engine. The engine of growth has to rely more on productivity rather than on factor accumulation. But there are some challenges for China to transition to this new growth mode.

Yasheng Huang, Professor of Global Economics and Management, Associate Dean for International Programs and Action Learning, MIT Sloan School of Management


At the intersection of Innovation and Creative Industry in Hong Kong

I would like to share my story from working in Africa, MIT, Silicon Valley and finally Hong Kong. I will argue that Hong Kong has the potential to become Asia leading hub for hardware innovation. Asia is the fastest growing region in the world with rapid technological and economic development and a number of pressing environmental and social issues. How can Asia transition towards sustainability, defining its new identity with innovation and the creative industry? Can we develop technologies that have a positive social and environmental impact locally and globally?

Cesar Harada, Founder & Director, MakerBay

Networking Cocktail Reception and Launch of the MIT HK Innovation Node

Launch of the MIT HK Innovation Node

Featuring remarks by:

Martin A. Schmidt, MIT Provost

Fiona Murray, Associate Dean of Innovation, MIT Sloan School of Management & Co-Director, MIT Innovation Initiative

Charles G. Sodini, Clarence J. LeBel Professor of Electrical Engineering, MIT & Faculty Director, MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node

Samuel Hwang, Chief Technology Officer, EIC Education

End of Day One







Opening Remarks

Jason Pontin, Editor in Chief and Publisher, MIT Technology Review

Fireside Chat on Innovation

Sean O’Sullivan, Managing Director, SOSV

FinTech: Blockchain, Smart Contracts and the Future of Money

Ethereum Foundation Executive Blast: Its Origin, Vision, Technology, and Community

Hear what Ethereum Foundation’s Founder has to say about Ethereum’s contribution to the development of blockchain technology, how the Foundation is supporting ongoing innovation, and why Ethereum is capturing the interest and imagination of thought leaders across industries and sectors worldwide.

Vitalik Buterin, Cofounder, Ethereum Foundation


BitMEX: Creating a mercantile exchange for cryptocurrencies

Arthur will discuss how he came into the digital currency industry and the problem BitMEX aims to solve. He will also touch on how he believes the financial services industry will evolve in light of the new digital currency and Blockchain technology.

Arthur Hayes, Co-Founder and CEO, BitMEX


R3 - What, Why and How? 

Tim Swanson, Head of Market Research, R3 CEV

Networking Coffee Break

Panel discussion on blockchain

Moderated by Duncan Wong, Director, Security and Data Sciences, ASTRI

Denis Tse, Managing Principal, Asia-IO Advisors Limited

Bénédicte N. Nolens, Senior Director, Head of Risk and Strategy, Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission

Andreas Kind,  Head of Shanghai Lab, IBM Research - China

Vitalik Buterin,  Co-Founder, Ethereum Foundation

Tim Swanson, Head of Market Research, R3 CEV

Ubiquitous Active Surfaces

Paper-thin devices can turn everyday surfaces into light emitters, solar collectors, mechanical sensors, audio and ultra-sound speakers, augmenting the utility of present environments and opening pathways for new portable and large-scale technologies. Proliferation of such active surfaces necessitates a paradigm shift in device design and an introduction of new fabrication processes. Through examples, the talk will show that with recent advancements in the use of molecular, polymeric and quantum dot thin films, both the paper-thin device technology and the scalable fabrication processes are on the horizon, ushering a new age of ubiquitous active surfaces.

Vladimir Bulović, Associate Dean for Innovation, MIT School of Engineering, MIT

Networking Lunch Break

Industry 4.0: New Frontiers for Manufacturing

Transforming into the Future Factory

Manufacturing industries worldwide are undergoing revolutionary transformations in order to embrace the vast future opportunities. Transformations are strategically prompted by grand visions, for example, “Industry 4.0” or “Manufacturing 2025”, while operationally fueled by the need to compete, by overcoming challenges from various cost and labor issues. Success depends on how fast and how well we will adopt the rapidly advancing technologies, and continue to innovate. The intelligent manufacturing in the “Future Factory” will be realized when the two disruptive technologies are integrated: automation and robotics, and industry information technologies. We will discuss our progress implementing the Future Factory, with its profound impact.

Gerald Wong, CEO, Cambridge Industries Group


Robotics in Practice: An Earthly Perspective

In the three decades following Joseph Engelberger's 1980 "Robotics in Practice - Management and Applications of Industrial Robots", we had witnessed advances in the modern-day 3C products and related manufacturing technologies. This was especially so in the age of Internet and wired/wireless communications. Recently there had been initiatives in China, U.S.A. and Europe to push more for manufacturing automation. There were new interests in everything robotic. Big data fostered big opportunities. History had taught us that progress did come from many previously challenging attempts. This presentation would take an earthly view of robotics in manufacturing practices along the path of technology innovations.

Chia-Peng Day, General Manager - Automation Technology Development Committee, Foxconn


Embrace the Age of Optical Connectivity through Photonic Integration

As Moore’s law for microelectronics starts to approach its limit in information processing capability and economics, high-speed optical connectivity becomes a key enabling technology to fuel the continuous pursuit of demand for higher information processing power across all applications. The traditional technology platform based on discrete optical components and manual assembly process will not be able to meet the requirements of future optical connectivity in terms of performance-cost ratio. Chip-level integration, widely adopted in microelectronics, have just begun to emerge as a promising enabler. In this presentation, I will review the latest development in the leading edge photonics integration and discuss its potential as well as challenges.

Weiping Huang, Chairman, Qingdao Hisense Broadband Multimedia Technologies


Why Shenzhen is the Silicon Valley of Hardware

Duncan Turner, Managing Director, HAX

Networking Coffee Break

Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and the Implications for the Enterprise

The Bespoke Robot Invasion

In this talk Dr. North gives a humorous and entertaining survey of what he's seeing as he travels the world filming for his Discovery Show, In The Making. He'll take you from the lab to the garage to see why and who are developing sophisticated to simple one-of-a-kind robots. The robot invasion has long been seen as millions of duplicates of the same robot made by some large evil corporation. But what about the maker movement fueling the development of highly bespoke robotics? Or the need for celebrity robots that may have their own action figures, but on their own are one of kind.

Mike North, Host, In The Making


Universal Robots and the Fifth Industrial Revolution

In less than 10 years, Universal Robots achieved the position as the World’s leading supplier of collaborative robots.”Cobots” enable small companies to automate their production at a low cost and giving high priority to safety, as cobots work safely along with humans. CTO Esben Oestergaard will share his experience from Universal Robots and introduce the 5th Industrial Revolution.

Esben H. Østergaard, Founder and CTO, Universal Robots


Green Robotics: Robots in Farms and Forests

Robots have made a substantial impact on the daily life, such as we have cleaning robots to do the cleaning job, security robots to safeguard the cities and industrial robots to increase manufacturing productivity. Today, robots have been deployed in remote areas from terrestrial to airborne robots to protect the natural resources and food supply in farms and forests. In this presentation, we will introduce a wildfire detection robot which provides 24/7 automated monitoring to the forest and a drone provides aerial survey for a large area of precision agriculture.

Rex Sham, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer, Insight Robotics


Everywhere - "AI Inside"

In the future, many of the consumer devices are not only connected, but more importantly, “AI inside”. The devices therefore should have a brain, being able to sense the environment, interact with people and make control decisions. We think the “brain of things” has to be deployed both locally (on the device) and in the cloud. The brain thus has two parts: the on-device part that does inference, and the cloud part that updates models based on training with big data. Specifically, the on-device part requires innovations of not only the software platform but also the silicon chips utilizing deep neural nets.

Kai Yu, Founder and Chief Executive at Horizon Robotics, Founder of Baidu’s Institute of Deep Learning (IDL)

Removing Legal Barriers to Innovation and Technology Development

Jason Hsu, Advisory Committee Member on Innovation & Education at Prime Minister’s Office, Executive Yuan, Taiwan Government

Close of Conference