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.


*Sessions are listed in SGT (Singapore Time) UTC/GMT+8





August 4

Welcome by the Emcee

Scott Anthony, Partner, Innosight

Opening Remarks

Gideon Lichfield, Editor in Chief, MIT Technology Review

AI and Ethics I

The deployment of AI systems across multiple industries has been further accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis. However, ethical concerns remain. What can AI scientists do to build fairer AI systems and what are the challenges? What will the future of the workforce be, and how can labour laws adapt to meet changing needs as AI matures and adoption increases?

Editorial Introduction

Karen Hao, Senior AI Reporter, MIT Technology Review


Teaching Computers to be Fair

The development of AI is creating new opportunities to improve the lives of people around the world, but it is also raising new questions about the best way to build fairness into these systems. What can AI scientists do to build fairer AI systems and what are the challenges?

Peter Norvig, Director of Research, Google Inc.


Countering the Dark Side of AI

AI has been heralded as a salve for much of the web’s ills and a revolutionary tool for humankind. Tech executives the world over point to AI as the panacea that will ferret out and stop fake news, hate speech and even terrorism, but what is really happening in the background? Is it magical, omnipresent code or are tech companies hiring armies of human labourers to step in when AI stumbles? What will the future of this workforce be, and how can labour laws adapt to meet changing needs?

Mary L. Gray, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research

Programming Break

AI and Ethics II

Examine the new ethical issues that AI brings to the table across a range of technological challenges, and how a holistic approach to designing intelligent systems should be based upon integrative learning with ethical awareness and competences.

Moderated by Karen Hao, Senior AI Reporter, MIT Technology Review


AI and Ethics: Why All the Fuss?

There’s a lot of discussion within media, governments and elsewhere about AI and ethics. We’ve seen many examples of technology companies behaving in ways that challenge us. But what is it about AI that is different than other technologies which have touched our lives in the past? What old ethical issues does AI put on steroids? And what new ethical issues does AI bring to the table for the first time? To find out, we will need to examine a range of technological challenges from autonomous cars through predictive analytics to killer robots.

Toby Walsh, Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence, Technical University Berlin and University of New South Wales


Ethics: The Soul of AI

As intelligent machines increasingly make decisions on behalf of humans, the design of intelligent systems and relevant decision-making processes need to align with accepted moral values and ethical principles. The challenge is not just to code fixed ethical values into intelligent systems but also to operationalise diverse and evolving ethical values across cultures and nations. Bottom-up approaches seek the shared ethical values of the crowd by involving many people arriving at accepted decisions about ethical dilemmas, whereas top-down approaches rely on philosophers to develop principles from humankind’s collective ethical wisdom amassed over generations and across cultures.

Roland Chin, President and Vice Chancellor, Hong Kong Baptist University

Innovation Partner
HKBU logo

Emerging Technologies and Innovations in a Time of Crisis

The unprecedented challenge that COVID-19 brought upon us, has highlighted the need for the scientific community to come together to find solutions for this common enemy. From vaccines and healthcare, new challenges have expanded to behavioural science, food security, logistics and even city planning.

Moderated by Juliana Chan, CEO, Wildtype Media


COVID-19 Research and Advances in Nanotech and Healthcare to Address the Current Crisis

 Fireside chat with Bob Langer, David H. Koch Institute Professor, MIT & Cofounder, Moderna


Medication Adherence During COVID-19

HealthBeacon has built the world's first Injection Care Management System that helps chronically ill patient's adhere to and manage medications that are administered in the home by Injection. When COVID-19 hit HealthBeacon was able to identify critical trends for at risk patient's and innovate on their service offering while adapting their Injection Management System for future COVID-19 Injections and Vaccinations.

Jim Joyce, CEO and Cofounder, Health Beacon


Beyond Vaccines: R&D Efforts to Address the New Normal

Yike Guo, Vice President (Research & Development), Hong Kong Baptist University

Programming Break

World of Immersive Media

Discover how to leverage a new intuitive visual programming platform for amateur content creators and see how AI is being leveraged in the music industry through Deep Learning and Music Information Retrieval (MIR) techniques.

Introduction by Andreas Ehn, Venture Partner, Antler


From Content Creators to Programmers

The introduction of social media and tech platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and Tiktok has made taking and sharing photos and videos easy, narrowing the difference between professionals and amateurs. The next frontier for amateur creators to break into - even children – will be to create their own games, picture books, musical instruments and more, with a new intuitive visual programming platform.

Shunsuke Nakamura, CEO, Shikumi Design


The Emerging Role of AI in the Music Industry

Online music streaming services, including karaoke tracks have millions of registered users, and User Generated Content (UGC) uploaded daily. With millions of licensed soundtracks in their libraries the big tech challenges revolve around enhancing long-tail exposure, precisely targeting different audience groups, and discovering new singers through UGC efficiently. See how AI is being leveraged to handle these challenges, through the latest Deep Learning and Music Information Retrieval (MIR) techniques.

Simon Lui, Director and Expert AI Scientist, QQ Music, Tencent Music Entertainment (TME)

Wrap-up by the Emcee

End of Day One

Innovators Under 35 Asia Pacific Class of 2020





August 5

Welcome by the Emcee

Steve Leonard, CEO, Singularity University

Opening Remarks

Howard Califano, Director, SMART Innovation Centre & EmTech Asia Steering Committee Chair

Tech for Humanity I

From space pursuits, to healthcare and computing, explore technological advancements that benefit us right here on spaceship Earth.

Moderated by Dan Hastings, Cecil and Ida Green Education Professor, MIT


The Future of Commercial Space Flight

Pamela Melroy, Director, Space Technology and Policy, Nova Systems

Former NASA Space Shuttle Commander


Enabling the Next Big Deep Tech Exit

Understand the state of Deep Tech in Singapore, what's happening in other ecosystems as well as what we need to accelerate startups' exits.

Fireside chat with Lim Jui,  CEO, SGInnovate

Deep Tech Partner

Making Silicon New Again

As the exponential rise of computation in silicon technologies wanes, a major opportunity arises that involves new methods of producing silicon integrated circuits with the ability to penetrate new markets with novel performance at an acceptable cost. Examine an integration scenario leveraging standard design tools that leverage 5G infrastructure, 5G wireless, and pixelated illumination/displays, leading to new growth in the semiconductor industry.

Eugene Fitzgerald, CEO and Director, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART)

Programming Break

Tech for Humanity II

In the face of rising threats posed by our changing climate, leading scientists and entrepreneurs are working to develop solutions to secure our energy and food supplies while preserving the only planet we have from the waste we generate.

Moderated by Cristina Ventura, Founder, VenturaXVentures


The Path to Commercial Fusion Energy

The world needs a fundamentally new source of clean energy to meet our increasing energy demands and combat climate change. Scientists around the world have been studying fusion for decades with the promise that a limitless, safe, clean, electricity source will transform the energy landscape. Now, with recent advances in material science, commercial fusion energy is within reach of the world’s first machine that will demonstrate fusion as power source. Will fusion - the first new energy source in decades – get on the grid in time to impact climate change?

Robert Mumgaard, CEO, Commonwealth Fusion Systems


The Art and Science of Transforming

The trash problem we are immersed within is an opportunity to transform the way we design, engineer, and manufacture goods. It can pave the way to develop new building blocks of society and has potential to power the circular economies of the future. The first step is to convert waste into a sustainable solution by engineering trash into beautiful and functional products that consumers can buy in the future.

Arthur Huang, Founder and CEO, Miniwiz


The Cell-Ag World

Cellular agriculture, and specifically cell-based meat (or lab-grown meat), could sustainably feed the world. Technological barriers are being rapidly overcome and soon, fresh from the lab-to-market, cell-based foie gras will be found on grocery shelves, while school kids in the Shojinmeat Project will grow meat at home. It is time to start thinking about a new future in the food industry. What are the implications of the convergence of cell-ag with DIY synthetic biology? - Will we see Pikachu meat and its DNA source code on 4chan? Will a frontrunner company emerge? Can we expect distributed meat breweries?

Yuki Hanyu, CEO, Integriculture

Programming Break

Applied AI

As AI is adopted by businesses worldwide, what is the potential for companies of the same or differing industries to share data that creates value for businesses and consumers? And how can we design AI systems to ensure transparency and correct unintended biases?

Moderated by Steve Leonard, CEO, Singularity University


AI in Space: The Revolution!

Discover how AI is being used onboard spacecraft - to detect and track science phenomena – as well as on the ground - to triage and organise vast amounts of space related science data, operate space missions, and even help scientists find related data and work. Not only that, AI is also essential to the search for life beyond Earth, holding a key role in Europa Submersible and Interstellar mission concepts to hunt for life within our solar system and beyond.

Steve Chien, Head of the Artificial Intelligence Group & Senior Research Scientist, NASA JPL


Responsible AI: Building Trust in Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is at an inflection point - where what’s slowing widespread adoption is trust. Rebuilding trust in AI requires taking a responsible approach to developing and using the technology. Machine learning systems that are designed with in-built AI governance are more transparent, explainable and fair, with the ability to detect and correct unintended biases that can creep into these systems.

Feng-Yuan Liu, Cofounder and CEO, BasisAI


The Global AI Agenda

MIT Technology Review Insights' latest research examines trends in global AI adoption, focusing on the leading use cases, challenges, and risks involved. Featuring a survey of 1,000 business leaders worldwide, "The global AI agenda” explores the potential for companies of the same or differing industries to share data in new or innovative ways that creates value for businesses and consumers. What benefits would companies hope to achieve by sharing data? What governance would new models of data-sharing require? How willing would businesses be to share hard-won customer data?

Claire Beatty, Editorial Director, MIT Technology Review Insights

Wrap-up by the Emcee

End of Day Two

SGInnovate Forum: A Journey from Scientist to Entrepreneurial Scientist*

The journey for scientists to start Deep Tech companies can be daunting and risky, but there are no rewards without risks. Discover what it takes to turn your research into a successful business at this session with Innovators Under 35 alumni, Dr Benjamin Tee, and his fellow entrepreneurial scientist, Dr Harold Soh. Engage in an informal discussion with the innovators. And hear from their perspectives on navigating the world of Deep Tech commercialisation, finding their focus amidst their wide area of interests from healthcare to robotics, the arduous journey of patenting, and finally in achieving success with their latest project in creating the sense of touch in robots.

*By invite only – email to enquire

Harold Soh, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, NUS

Benjamin Tee, President’s Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering Department, NUS

Deep Tech Partner

End of SGInnovate Forum

Innovators Under 35 Asia Pacific Class of 2020





August 6

Welcome by the Emcee

Vishal Harnal, General Partner, 500 Startups

Opening Remarks

Claire Beatty, Editorial Director, MIT Technology Review Insights

Emerging Technologies at Work

Robotics has emerged as one of the most exciting use cases for AI, with cutting-edge AI techniques being used to help the industrial robots of today enable the manufacturing of tomorrow on a global scale. Another technology, Augmented Reality (AR) is helping enterprises visualise complex systems and far away environments, even enabling NASA to send humans to the Moon again.

Moderated by Vishal Harnal, General Partner, 500 Startups


Robot Reality Check

This session looks at technology trends that may critically shape how industrial robots look and operate in the future. This includes machine learning, modular robotics, closed-loop control, new user interfaces, and advanced computer simulation. Examine the research from academia and industry that helps to unravel why and how robots in the near future will be far more adaptable, flexible, and interconnected than today.

Erin Bradner, Director, Robotics Lab, Autodesk


Virtual CSI: Real Crimes vs Virtual Investigations


Paola Magni,  Deputy Dean, Murdoch University Singapore

Programming Break

AI for Accelerated Materials and Drug Design

AI is reinventing the way we invent, and its biggest impact will probably be to help humans make discoveries we could not make on our own. New materials and drug discoveries take years to make (if not decades). What if we could accelerate that by 10x?

Moderated by Tonio Buonassisi, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


Addressing the Climate Crisis with Machine Learning and Automation

Machine learning, robotics, and computing, when combined, have led to new discoveries in sustainable technologies, faster than ever before. With a focus on innovation in the renewable energy sector, this presentation will begin with a big-picture view of carbon emissions, including the materials innovations needed to reduce global emissions. See how renewable energy production is being impacted by new R&D productivity tools and technologies, such as solar energy, which offers high performance, reliability, and local customisation. Examine strategies and educational efforts designed to get code and data sets into the hands of people anywhere on the planet, and to engage a broader talent pool in helping create solutions.

Tonio Buonassisi, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, MIT


Accelerated Design and Discovery for Energy Materials

Innovations in developing new energy materials are helping to speed time to market and are poised to impact the automobile industry. By combining machine learning, theory and experimentation to automate and streamline workflows, new scientific insights into material properties and performance are being discovered. Use modules are being designed in collaboration with a network of experts from universities and national laboratories in diverse disciplines, to gain a multiscale perspective on energy materials which are extensible, and to take advantage of increasing data volume. This collaboration platform integrates ideas and information, providing a key component to accelerating new materials development.

Linda Hung, Senior Research Scientist, Toyota Research Institute


Discovering New Materials with AI

Functional materials play a critical role in enabling sustainable energy. These are photovoltaic, thermoelectric, piezoelectric, battery and magnetic materials impacting energy harvesting, transfer and storage. Development of new functional materials is complex from the prediction and design of materials descriptors, to optimising experimental design and parameter space, to characterisation and testing. Gain insights into recent developments in generating and curating materials data and using machine learning and AI as well as high-throughput automation towards materials discovery.

Kedar Hippalgaonkar, Senior Scientist I, Electronic Materials Department, Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, A*STAR


Designing and Discovering Materials in Intelligent Flowing Factories

The use of chemistry to make new materials dates to antiquity, from the discovery of the first soaps to the magnificent stained-glass windows in medieval cathedrals. The quest for new materials has, for hundreds of years, relied on Edisonian recipe-based exploration using rudimentary tools like flasks and burners. See how a confluence of modern, automated microfluidic systems and machine learning is revolutionising the design and discovery of new materials using chemistry, such as the automated synthesis of metallic (silver) nanoparticles (the crucial ingredients that impart colour to stained glass).

Saif A. Khan, Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS)

Programming Break

Future of Healthcare

From precision medicine to healthy ageing and the human microbiome, this session will explore the future of healthcare by answering questions like: Could wearable technology reduce the risk of relapse in cancer survivors? Why are naked mole-rats the model species to guide research on the biology of healthy ageing? And why does Asia need its own microbiome research and discovery?

Moderated by Steven Tucker, Cofounder, Re:Mission Health


How Wearable Technology Empowers Cancer Prevention

With 18 million cases in 2018 and a predicted 30 million in 2040, cancer is a spiralling public health and economic crisis for everyone. It is a leading cause of death and set to become the leading barrier to improving life expectancy. Cancer is also strongly associated with the global obesity epidemic and may be disproportionately impacting younger adults. Frighteningly, no country has yet to reverse the swell of obesity growth. This talk will focus on the relationship between cancer and obesity and how wearable technology, as part of a new integrative platform, can reduce the risk of relapse in cancer survivors and their families.

Steven Tucker, Cofounder, Re:Mission Health


A New Role Model for Healthy Ageing?

For humans and other mammals, getting older often leads to deteriorating health and an exponentially increasing likelihood of death. While progress in medicine and sanitation has increased human lifespan, the rate with which mortal hazard increases has not changed, suggesting that our biological health declines just as fast. Walk-through a statistical framework that connects mortality statistics with the biology of ageing, first proposed by Benjamin Gompertz in 1825 and still holding today. That framework points to an unusual model species with potential to guide future research on the biology of healthy ageing: the naked mole-rat.

Graham Ruby, Principal Investigator, Calico


Saving Lives the Microbiome Way

Inside each of our guts live complex ecological systems made up of bacteria, fungi and viruses, collectively termed “the microbiome”. With the advent of modern genetic sequencing and computing tools, we know the microbiome is implicated in numerous disease states. How can the microbiome save lives? And why does Asia need its own research and discovery?

Jeremy Lim, CEO, Asian Microbiome Library (AMiLi)

Closing Remarks by the Emcee

End of Conference

Innovators Under 35 Asia Pacific Class of 2020