The world’s most influential leaders and innovators are coming to EmTech Hong Kong. Get inspired and hear from those who are driving the next generation of technological breakthroughs and changing the world.

  • John McGeehan

    Director, Institute of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

    University of Portsmouth

    John McGeehan is a Professor of Structural Biology focused on the global challenge of plastic pollution and leads a team of scientists researching natural enzyme discovery and engineering. Published in PNAS in April 2018 as part of an international collaboration, their latest work reveals the detailed workings of an enzyme that can digest polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Found in single-use drinks bottles, packaging, clothing and carpets, PET can take centuries to decompose, and together with other plastics, is accumulating in our environment at a staggering rate. A biological catalyst that can break PET down into it’s original building blocks opens new and exciting opportunities for recycling towards a circular plastics economy.

  • Yi Wang

    CEO and Cofounder

    Liulishuo (AKA LingoChamp)

    In September 2012, Yi Wang founded Liulishuo – now the world’s leading AI-driven education technology company – with Ben Hu and Hui Lin. Before founding Liulishuo, Yi was a product manager at Google in Mountain View, California, and product director at AdChina. He received his PhD in Computer Science from Princeton University and his MSE and BSE in Electrical Engineering from Tsinghua University. Yi is a member of China’s most prestigious national talent plan – the “Thousand Talents Plan”. He is also a Fellow of the China Fellowship Program and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Steven Tucker

    Chief Medical Officer

    CXA Group

    Dr. Tucker is a health futurist and an expert in preventative oncology. He speaks globally about the convergence of digital biology and predictive analytics as drivers of innovation across healthcare. Dr. Tucker is widely recognized for applying wearable technology, genomics, and mindset change in daily clinical practice. Dr. Tucker is also Chief Medical Officer at CXA Group, a technology platform bringing personalized health strategies into the workplace to improve population health and reduce costs. He is the Strategic Director for Oncology & Genomics at MetLife Asia, Chief Medical Advisor at the Lumen Lab Innovation Center, and was the founding Global Health Advisor at Singtel.

  • Katharina Volz

    CEO and Founder


    Katharina Sophia Volz pioneered Stanford University's first PhD in Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine in 2015, earning her degree in just 2.5 years. She was listed on Forbes 30u30 (Science) and has been immersed in the field of biomedical sciences for the past 12 years, starting with her attendance at Germany's Biotechnology High school. She has been awarded multiple fellowships and awards to do research in 10 labs around the world including Harvard, UCLA, HHMI, Ohio State, TU Graz and Stanford. During her PhD, she discovered a novel stem cell in the heart that forms coronary arteries. Dr. Volz is now on a mission to find curative therapeutics for Parkinson's Disease and founded OccamzRazor, an AI-driven neuroscience company that uses deep learning to extract information from genomics datasets, biomedical publications and patents, and various other data sources to accelerate therapeutics discovery and development for complex diseases.

  • RJ Mical

    Director of Games


    Robert J. "RJ" Mical is a pioneer and an influential figure in the video game industry. He created video games at Williams Electronics, helped invent the Amiga computer, co-invented the Atari Lynx and the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer with Dave Needle. He was the central developer of Amiga's Intuition user interface and was well known at early Amiga gatherings. Mical was the Chief Architect of the Fathammer mobile game engine. From 2005 to 2011 he worked as a Senior Manager at Sony on the PlayStation product line. Since 2011 he has been working on software games and inventions with his own company, Arjinx. In 2012 he started working on game technology for Google.

  • Vivienne Ming

    Cofounder and Managing Partner


    Named one of Inc. Magazine's "Top 10 Women to Watch in Tech," Dr. Vivienne Ming is a theoretical neuroscientist, technologist, and entrepreneur whose guiding mission is to maximize human potential, from neurons to toddlers to whole economies. Vivienne has co-founded several companies. The most recent, Socos, combines machine learning and cognitive neuroscience to improve children's life outcomes. She is the Chair of StartOut and an advisor and board member of several other companies and nonprofits including Cornerstone Capital, ShiftGig, enGender, Emozia, Smart Stones, and Orzo. Previously she was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley's Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience where she pursued research in neuroprosthetics. She researches, writes, and speaks extensively on issues of AI, the future of work, diversity, health technology, innovation, and education.

  • Salah Sukkarieh

    Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems

    University of Sydney

    Professor Salah Sukkarieh is an international expert in the research, development and commercialisation of field robotic systems. He has led a number of robotics and intelligent systems R&D projects in logistics, commercial aviation, aerospace, education, environment monitoring, agriculture and mining, and has consulted to industry including Rio Tinto, BHP, Patrick Stevedores, Qantas, QLD Biosecurity, Meat and Livestock Australia, and the NSW DPI amongst others. He was awarded the NSW Science and Engineering Award for Excellence in Engineering and Information and Communications Technologies in 2014, and the 2017 CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science.


    Salah is Associate Dean (Industry and Innovation) and Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at the University of Sydney. He has supervised over 20 research fellows, and graduated over 30 PhDs, 5 Masters and 60 honours students. He has received over $60m in government and industry funding, national and international.


    Salah is a Fellow of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Field Robotics, Journal of Autonomous Robots, and Transactions of Aerospace Systems, and has over 500 academic and industry publications in robotics and intelligent systems.

  • Xuedong Huang

    Head, Speech and Language Group


    Xuedong Huang is a Microsoft Technical Fellow in AI and Research. He leads Microsoft’s Speech and Language Group. In 1993, Huang joined Microsoft to found the company’s speech technology group. As the general manager of Microsoft’s spoken language efforts, he helped to bring speech to the mass market by introducing SAPI to Windows in 1995 and Speech Server to the enterprise call center in 2004. He served as General Manager for MSR Incubation and Chief Architect for Bing and Ads. In 2015, he returned to AI and Research to lead the advanced technology group. In 2016, he led the team achieving a historical conversational speech recognition human parity milestone on the Switchboard task. He helped to advance AI across Microsoft’s whole AI Stack. He was on the faculty of School of Computer Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University before joining Microsoft. He received Alan Newell research excellence leadership medal in 1992 and IEEE Best Paper Award in 1993. He was named the Asian American Engineer of the Year (2011), and Wired Magazine’s 25 Geniuses (2016). He holds over 100 patents and published over 100 papers & 2 books. He received his PhD, MS, and BS in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh, Tsinghua University, and Hunan University respectively. He has been elected fellow of IEEE and ACM.

  • Andrew Hessel


    Humane Genomics

    Andrew Hessel is the founder of Humane Genomics Inc., a virtual biotechnology company specializing in open source designer synthetic viruses. The first application under development is a platform for rapid design, synthesis, testing, and deployment of single-patient cancer therapies for dogs. Hessel is also the co-founder of the Genome Project-write (GP-write), the international scientific effort advancing the design, construction, and testing of large genomes, including the human genome. He is based in San Francisco, California.

  • Juan L. Aparicio Ojea

    Head of Research Group - Advanced Manufacturing Automation


    Juan Aparicio is the Head of Advanced Manufacturing Automation at Siemens Corporate Technology in Berkeley, CA. Juan has extensive experience managing complex projects, involving hardware and software; and bridging the technology gap between universities and businesses. His areas of interest include Advanced Manufacturing, Advanced Robotics, Connected Cars, Industry 4.0, and Cyber-Physical Systems. He is member of the Technical Advisory Committee for the Advanced Robotics in Manufacturing (ARM) Institute in the US and the Project Manager of the Open Process Automation Forum. His work has been featured at NYTimes, MIT Tech Review and Medium.

  • Adrian David Cheok

    Director, Imagineering Institute

    Chair Professor of Pervasive Computing, City, University of London

    Adrian David Cheok (www.adriancheok.info), Director of Imagineering Institute, Iskandar, Malaysia, Professor of Pervasive Computing at City, University London.  Founder and Director of the Mixed Reality Lab. Previously Professor at Keio University, Graduate School of Media Design, Associate Professor at National University of Singapore, and Mitsubishi Electric, Japan. Research in mixed reality, human-computer interfaces, wearable computers, pervasive and ubiquitous computing. Featured in worldwide broadcasts such as CNN, BBC, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, etc. Recipient of awards and prizes: A-STAR Young Scientist of the Year, Hitachi Fellowship, SCS Young Professional of the Year, Fellow in Education, World Technology Network, Microsoft Research Award in Gaming and Graphics, C4C Children Competition Prize, Integrated Art Competition Prize, Creativity in Action Award, First prize Mindtrek Award, First prize Milan International InventiON, Gold Award Creative Showcase ACE, Keio University Japan Gijyuju-sho award, SIP Distinguished Fellow Award, Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Honorary Expert of Telefonica and El Bulli, the number one restaurant in the world. Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). NESTA Top 10 Technologies of 2015.  In 2016, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Awards by University of Adelaide, in recognition of his achievements and contribution in the field of Computing, Engineering and Multisensory communication. In 2017, he entered the elite list of The h-Index for Computer Science, a list that contains only the top 0.06% of all computer scientists in the world. Editor in Chief of the academic journals: ACM Computers in Entertainment, Transactions on Edutainment (Springer),  and Lovotics: Academic Studies of Love and Friendship with Robots. 1994, Bachelor's (First Class Hons) in Engineering, University of Adelaide; 1999, PhD in Engineering.

  • Will Knight

    Senior Editor for AI

    MIT Technology Review

    Will Knight is MIT Technology Review's Senior Editor for Artificial Intelligence. He covers the latest advances in AI and related fields, including machine learning, automated driving, and robotics.


    Mr. Knight most recent cover story, The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI, examined the opaque nature of today's most cutting machine learning algorithms. He is currently researching a story about China's recent surge of activity in artificial intelligence.


    Mr. Knight joined MIT Technology Review in 2008 from the UK science weekly New Scientist magazine. He is a frequent guest on TV and radio shows.

  • Hyunkuk Lim


    Hankook Mirae Technology

    The chief executive officer of Hankook Mirae Technology, Hyunkuk Lim, has been serving as a management specialist in multiple high-tech companies for 26 years, and his specialties are technical development, finance, and intellectual property.


    He is the CEO and also the director of Hankook Mirae Technology that was founded in 2014 to develop robots. He is taking in charge of Method project and component development for robots.


    Recently, he is planning and prosecuting a program called "Next Robot Platform (NRP)" to bring experts in diverse fields for participating in development projects.

  • Wu Ji

    Director, Tsinghua-iFlyTek Joint Lab

    Tsinghua University

    Ji Wu is an Associate Professor and deputy director of the Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University, China. He is heading the Multimedia Signal and Intelligence Information Processing Lab at Tsinghua University. Since 2006, he has been the director of Tsinghua-iFlyTek Joint Lab for Speech Technologies. He won the second prize of National Science and Technology Progress Award in 2011 and the first prize of Beijing Science and Technology Award in 2014. His research interests include speech recognition, natural language processing, pattern recognition, machine learning and data mining. He has been elected a Senior Member of IEEE in 2015.

  • Samantha Payne

    Cofounder and COO

    Open Bionics

    Samantha co-founded Open Bionics with Joel Gibbard in 2014 when she learnt about the work that he was doing on open source robotic hands. Samantha has an exceptional business acumen and brings valuable experience in project management, marketing and business development. Samantha has elevated Open Bionics to a globally recognised brand and has recently won several awards celebrating her entrepreneurship.

  • Mike North


    Discovery Channel

    Dr. Mike North, host of Discovery shows "Prototype This!," "In The Making," & "The Potentialists," and Science Show "Outrageous Acts of Science," is an undaunted, anything-but-mild engineer. Fusing science with media he opens doors to awe-inspiring experiences and radical paradigm shifts, whether teaching innovation at UC Berkeley, creating a more equitable planet as founder of ReAllocate, or making the impossible at North Design Labs.

  • Bian Zhaoxiang

    Associate Vice-President (Chinese Medicine Development)

    Hong Kong Baptist University

    Prof Bian Zhaoxiang had been educated in Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology and Guangzhou University of TCM, and was conferred the Ph.D. degree in Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine in 1994. After graduation, he engaged in clinical and basic research in digestive diseases in Guangzhou University of TCM. Under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme of HKSAR, he moved to Hong Kong Baptist University in 2001. Prof Bian's research focuses mainly on the relationship between psychological stress and digestive diseases, especially focusing on the development and recurrence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and colorectal cancer. Major research topics involve: i) Basic mechanism of visceral hyperalgesia and gastrointestinal motility disorder and its associated depression; 2) Psychological stress and colorectal cancer; 3) Clinical trial with Chinese medicine for digestive diseases, including IBS, IBD, functional constipation and colorectal cancer ; 4). New drug development based on Chinese herbal medicine and its active fraction for digestive diseases. He has been awarded second prize of National Science and Technology Award of China in 1999. Currently, Prof Bian serves as Director of Clinical Division, School of Chinese Medicine, and Associate Vice-President (Chinese Medicine Development) of HKBU.

  • K.P. Chow

    Associate Director, Centre for Information Security and Cryptography

    The University of Hong Kong

    Dr. K. P. Chow is the Associate Professor of Department of Computer Science and the Director of the Center for Information Security and Cryptography (CISC) at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). Dr. Chow’s areas of expertise are cyber security and digital forensics. He was the chief designer of the computer forensic tool Digital Evidence Search Kit (DESK). Dr. Chow has been working on the Internet piracy monitoring systems the Lineaments (Lineament I, Lineament II, Lineament 1+ and Lineament SOCNET). The Lineaments were adopted by HKSAR Customs and Excise Department. Dr. Chow has published research papers on cyber security and digital forensics in local and international conferences and journals. One of his research papers “The Rules of Time on NTFS File System” had been submitted to Courts of Hong Kong several times as a supporting document for expert reports. Starting from 2014, Dr. Chow is the Vice Chairman of the IFIP (International Federation on Information Processing) WG 11.9 on Digital Forensics, which is an international body, specialized in digital forensics research and practices. Since Jan 2016, Dr. Chow is the Chairman of the Information Security and Forensics Society (ISFS). In 2013, Dr. Chow received the Faculty of Engineering Knowledge Exchange Award of the University of Hong Kong. Since 2004, Dr. Chow has been invited to be a computer forensic expert to assist the Court and the HK law enforcement agencies, and to give advice to counsels on understanding and interpreting digital evidence for both criminal and civil proceedings in Hong Kong. In 2016, Dr. Chow together with several research students founded the technology spin-off company CISC Ltd from the research center CISC of HKU specialized in cyber intelligence and cyber security.

  • Diane Wu


    Trace Genomics

    Diane cofounded Trace Genomics with the vision of connecting great science to the hardworking taxpayers who fund it, and making genomic testing accessible. She was formerly a senior data scientist at MetaMind and a machine learning engineer at Palantir Technologies, and holds a PhD in Genetics. She finds balance through recreational boxing and running.

  • Bruce Davie

    VP and CTO, APJ


    Bruce Davie serves as chief technology officer VMware’s Asia-Pacific and Japan operation. In this role, he leads the organization’s technical community in the region, which includes system engineers, technical account managers and professional services organizations with a focus on strategy, technical innovation, and product quality.


    Davie joined the leadership team from VMware’s global headquarters where he most recently served as CTO of networking and a principal engineer in the networking and security business unit.


    He joined VMware through the company’s acquisition of Nicira in 2012 where he was a senior architect. Davie also spent more than 13 years at Cisco between 1998 and 2012.


    He has a Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh and B.E in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Melbourne.

  • Zainul Charbiwala

    Cofounder and CTO

    Tricog Health

    Zainul Charbiwala is co-founder and CTO at Tricog Health. He’s been building embedded systems and developing software for over 15 years. He is interested in the overlap of connected devices and machine intelligence to revolutionise and reinvent healthcare. He holds a Master’s degree from IIT Bombay and a PhD from University of California, Los Angeles. Before Tricog, Zainul was a Research Staff Member and Research Manager at IBM Research, India. Zainul has 7 patents and over 30 refereed publications.

  • Marius de Mos

    VP of Technical Affairs and Development

    Airborne Wireless Network

    Marius has extensive background in airborne and global rural and telecommunication system development and deployment. He is currently responsible for technical development of a new global meshed airborne high-speed data network, using commercial aircraft. He developed the first FAA and FCC approved airborne in-cabin wireless commercial telephone system (1982-1986). He was an instrumental part of the team that developed the first full-duplex cordless telephone for home and office use (1977) and the first wireless 5-line key telephone (1979). He also developed and commercialized point to point and point to multi-point rural telecommunication systems (1984-2004).

  • Siqi Zheng

    Faculty Director

    MIT China Future City Lab (MIT-CFC)

    Prof. Zheng’s field of specialization is urban and environmental economics, urban development and real estate market, with a special focus on China. She published in many peer reviewed English journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Economic Geography, European Economic Review, Journal of Urban Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Transportation Research Part A, Environment and Planning A, Ecological Economics, Journal of Regional Science, Real Estate Economics, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics. A book she has co-authored, Blue Skies over Beijing: Economic Growth and the Environment in China (Princeton University Press) was published in May 2016. She has also published more than 100 papers and two books in Chinese. She is the Associated Editor of Journal of Economic Surveys, and is on the editorial board of Journal of Housing Economics and International Real Estate Review. She is the Vice General Secretary of the Global Chinese Real Estate Congress and on the board of the Asian Real Estate Society. Dr. Zheng has completed or been undertaking research projects granted or entrusted by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, and the National Statistics Bureau of China, among others. She received her Ph.D. in urban development and real estate from Tsinghua University in 2005, and did her post-doc research at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Prior to coming to MIT, she was a professor and the director of Hang Lung Center for Real Estate at Tsinghua University, China.

  • Amir Farhand

    CEO and Founder

    Takor Group

    Amir’s fascination for geospatial technologies and applications has earned him over 15 years’ experience in the industry. During this time he has worked in various markets combining these disciplines with information technology, and has written and co-authored several technical papers in the field of satellite imaging and geospatial technology. Amir founded Takor Group in 2009, initially focusing on the application of thermal imagery in the mining and energy sectors. Combining his love of innovation and entrepreneurship, Amir has spearheaded Takor’s product suite starting with Mappt in 2012. He is incredibly passionate about the combination of technology and business in the betterment of humanity, and excited for what the future holds.

  • Michael Yu Wang

    Founding Director, Robotics Institute

    Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

    A native of China, Professor Wang obtained his undergraduate degree from Xian Jiaotong University in China, his M.S. degree from Pennsylvania State University, and his Ph.D. from the Carnegie Mellon University. Before joining HKUST in 2015, he served on the engineering faculty at University of Maryland, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and National University of Singapore. Professor Wang has held other positions worldwide, including visiting scholar at Stanford University, A*STAR OAP Fellow in Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Guest Professor in Shanghai Jiaotong University and Haerbin Institute of Technology, Chang Jiang Chair Professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Thousand Talents Professor at Xian Jiaotong University in China, Eminent Visiting Professor at Universiti Brunei Darussalam, and Distinguished Visiting Scholar of University of Technology Sydney.


    Wang’s research focuses primarily on robotics, autonomous systems, manufacturing automation, topology optimization, and additive manufacturing, with over 300 technical publications in these areas. His research projects were supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Boeing, Chrysler, ALCOA, Maryland Industrial Partnerships in USA, by RGC and ITC and local industries in Hong Kong, by NSFC and MOST in China, and by Singapore A*STAR, MOE, and Defense Ministry. He has supervised 22 PhD, 11 MS and 2 MPhil degree students.


    He received a Research Initiation Award from USA NSF (1993), a Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award from SAE in 1994 and a LaRoux K. Gillespie Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1995, and was a Boeing - A.D. Welliver Faculty Summer Fellow in 1998. He received the Kayamori Best Paper Award of 2001 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, the Best Conference Paper Award of 2007 International CAD Conference & Exhibition, the Compliant Mechanisms Award-Theory of ASME 31st Mechanisms and Robotics Conference in 2007, and the Best Paper Award in Information of IEEE International Conference on Information and Automation (2009). He was awarded the Distinguished Young Investigator Award from the Natural Science Foundation of China (2002) and the China State Natural Science Prize (Class II) from the Ministry of Science & Technology of China (2012). He was named Chang Jiang (Cheung Kong) Scholar by the Ministry of Education (China) and Li Ka Shing Foundation (Hong Kong) in 2005, and Distinguished Overseas Scholar by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2008. He received the Research Excellence Award of CUHK (2008), and ASME Design Automation Award in 2013. He was a Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (2006-2010).


    He is the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Trans. on Automation Science and Engineering and an editor for Computer-Aided Design, Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, and Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering.

  • Steve Leonard

    Founding CEO


    Mr Steve Leonard is a technology-industry leader with a wide range of experiences, having played key roles in building several global technology companies in Software, Hardware and Services. Although a US citizen by birth, Mr Leonard considers himself a member of the global community, having lived and worked outside the US for more than 25 years.


    In his current role as Founding Chief Executive of SGInnovate, a company held within the National Research Foundation of Singapore, Mr Leonard has been chartered to help translate some of the 'deep-tech' R&D, for which Singapore has gained a global reputation, into commercial success by working with local and international partners.


    Prior to his current role, Mr Leonard served as the Executive Deputy Chairman of the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), the statutory board within the Singapore Government Ministry of Communications and Information, with various responsibilities for the technology and telecommunications environment in Singapore. Mr Leonard continues to serve as the Deputy Chairman of IDA at the request of the Minister. Mr Leonard serves on the advisory boards of a range of universities and organisations in Singapore.

  • ...And many more to be announced

Key Themes

Future Cities

  • Internet of Everything
  • Additive Manufacturing: 3D Printing and Beyond
  • Sustainable Energy

Rewriting Life

  • Next-gen Brain Interfaces
  • Precision Medicine
  • Bioengineering

Fintech and Cybersecurity

  • Cashless Society
  • Digital Identity
  • Blockchain beyond Bitcoin

Intelligent Machines

  • Cloud, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence
  • Robotics and Automation: Industry 4.0
  • Quantum Computing and Security