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.





VIP Welcome Event

Private welcome event for EmTech Asia Speakers, Innovators Under 35, and special guests.

Innovation Circle* registration required.
*Limited tickets available.






Registration & Welcome Coffee

Opening Remarks by the Emcee

Mike North, Host, Discovery Channel


Welcome Remarks

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau, CEO and Publisher, MIT Technology Review


Tech for Humanity: Energy, Food and Water for All - I

Moderated by Virginia Cha, Adjunct Professor, INSEAD/NUS & Professor-in-Residence, SIM Platform E


Turning the Plastic Tide: Are Enzymes a Solution to Plastic Pollution?

John McGeehan is a Professor of Structural Biology focused on the global challenge of plastic pollution and leads an international team of scientists researching natural enzyme discovery and engineering. Their latest work on an enzyme that can digest PET plastic captured a global television audience of over 200 million people (Google: plastic enzyme). 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. An enzyme that can break PET down into its original building blocks opens up exciting opportunities for recycling towards a circular plastics economy.

John McGeehan, Director, Institute of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Portsmouth


Transforming the Way the World is Energised with Fusion

Fusion power will transform the way the world is energised, providing an on-demand source of clean energy that can be safely deployed wherever it is needed. Building on 50 years of fundamental fusion science, new technologies such as machine learning and additive manufacturing are accelerating the development of the first commercial fusion power plants. General Fusion CEO Chris Mowry looks at the progress that has been made, the next steps for fusion, and the impact it will have on the world’s energy industry.

Chris Mowry, CEO, General Fusion


Infrastructure-Free Distributed Water

Water stress is a human condition. High quality drinking water is a fundamental human right, and yet in the absence of infrastructure or the ability to purchase a bottle of the stuff, it’s an incredibly scarce resource. At Zero Mass Water, Cody and his team have developed SOURCE Hydropanels that deliver optimised water almost anywhere on Earth, off-grid and infrastructure-free. Today, SOURCE is installed across five continents in 16 countries. Installations include offices, schools, homes, resorts, restaurants, fire stations, public gardens, and many others. These installations make water an unlimited resource with arrays sized to meet the consumption needs of the application. SOURCE Hydropanels do for water what solar PV does for distributed electricity and what the smart phone does for democratisation of information.

Cody Friesen, Founder and CEO, Zero Mass Water


Electricity-Generating Windows for Future Cities

The world population grows with the challenges of energy and food. Out of extra 3 billion people by 2050, most will live in urban environments surrounding the equator. As a result, we will see a tripling of energy use for air-conditioning/cooling and an over reliance on food imports. Currently the source of solution to these issues is to consume increasing amounts of non-renewable fuels. Iyris is a breakthrough technology allowing windows to become heat blocking, electricity producing, transparent solar panels. In this talk, an overview of next-generation photovoltaics will be given and the potential impact on key global challenges will be discussed.

Derya Baran, Founder, Iyris

Networking Coffee Break

Tech for Humanity: Energy, Food and Water for All - II

Moderated by Virginia Cha, Adjunct Professor, INSEAD/NUS & Professor-in-Residence, SIM Platform E


Hawaii: The Last Place to Go, the First Place to Recover

Hawaii isn’t often thought of as a technology hub, but that is quickly changing. Living on an island demands a sustainable approach, which is why Hawaii leaders have declared an ambitious goal to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2045. Hawaii already leads the way in renewable energy generation. Now, the world is watching as tech pioneers create innovative solutions for storing and delivering reliable power to island residents on a large scale. Why is a small island in the Pacific widely regarded as a “postcard from the future” and the one to watch in the rollout of clean energy initiatives? What’s next for Hawaii as the state advances toward its clean energy goal? Henk Rogers, clean energy visionary and founder of Blue Planet Foundation and Blue Planet Energy, a pioneering energy storage system, looks at why Hawaii has risen in the ranks to become a renewable energy innovator and how it will become a model for other states and countries to reach their clean energy goals.

Henk Rogers, Founder and Chairman, Blue Planet Foundation & Managing Director, The Tetris Company

Meet the Innovators Under 35 - Group I

Katharina Richter, Early Career Researcher, University of Adelaide, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Robert Bedington, Cofounder and CTO, S15 Space Systems

Nana Liu, Assistant Professor, John Hopcroft Centre for Computer Science in Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Purpose-Driven Innovation

The Promise of Tough Technologies

In 2015, the United Nations announced 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs that were built on three core elements – economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. It is a universal call by nations to create a sustainable future for generations to come. Decentralisation has set the stage for the unparalleled World Wide Web we know today. It is also a central feature of the blockchain technology, and interestingly, this technology has been used in innovative ways to seek to achieve the SDGs. Is blockchain and other emerging technologies going to be the solution to creating a better future? Steve Leonard, Founding CEO of SGInnovate will share his perspective on the many promises these technologies may bring, and also the challenges that lie ahead.

Steve Leonard, Founding CEO, SGInnovate

Presenting Partner

Networking Lunch Break

Technology and Education

Liberal Arts Education in the Age of AI

For decades and across the world, governments have been expanding STEM education, universities have been shrinking their arts and humanities programs, and students have been shunning such programs in favour of STEM subjects. A key driver of this megatrend is competitiveness – among nations, universities, and students. STEM supremacy is seen to give nations, institutions, and individual graduates alike the cutting edge to win in the fiercely competitively world. As a result, while STEM is producing life-changing and world-shattering technological advances, humankind’s advances in arts and humanities and in socio-political order across the world have not been able to catch up with challenges that the rapid STEM advances have created. Hong Kong Baptist University President Prof Roland Chin, a first generation AI scientist, argues that soulless STEM must be enriched by humanities if it is to make this world a better place for all.

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

Presenting Partner
Hong Kong Baptist University

Beyond Ageing

Rejuvenation Biotechnology: Why Age May Soon Cease to Mean Ageing

People are living longer than they used to - no longer because of reductions in child mortality, but because we are postponing the ill-health of old age. But you’ve seen nothing yet: regenerative medicine and other new biomedical technologies will eventually be so comprehensive that people will stay truly youthful however long they live - which means they may mostly live very long indeed. The social and economic consequences of this transition will pervade every aspect of our lives. Aubrey will discuss both the biology and the sociology of what will be the most momentous advance in the history of civilisation.

Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer, SENS Foundation


Identifying Interventions that Delay Ageing in Humans

We now know that ageing is the biggest risk factor for a range of late onset chronic conditions that drive morbidity and mortality. Considerable effort has been expended to identify effective therapies for these conditions, yet they have been hard to identify. A new strategy is to target the biggest risk factor – ageing itself. Slowing ageing is relatively easy in animal models and not only lifespan but healthspan is extended. The question now is how to develop interventions and test them in humans. Brian will discuss known and novel interventions and detail strategies for measuring and delaying ageing in humans. Ageing is the ultimate risk factor and treating it effectively may revolutionise medicine.

Brian Kennedy, Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Physiology, National University of Singapore

Rewriting Life

The Future of Pharma

Cancer presents clinically in myriad ways but the disease is fundamentally straightforward: the cell’s genetic software becomes corrupted, producing an infection that, left unchecked, can be life-threatening. One challenge in fighting this infection is that cancer cells are mostly normal, making them difficult to identify and target for deletion. Another is that each cancer is as unique, demanding unique therapies. Humane Genomics was founded to change the way cancer therapies are made. It is prototyping a digital platform for designing and manufacturing single-patient, single dose targeted virotherapies, starting with (but not limited to) dogs. Founded on digital biotechnologies that reduce or eliminate the need for physical facilities, and producing n-of-1 medicines that circumvent phased clinical trials, the company could be an early example of what the future of pharma looks like: digital, personalised, and dynamic.

Andrew Hessel, CEO, Humane Genomics


Storing Data in DNA

Using DNA, we could store all of the world's data in a coat closet. Until now, however, the technology has been too slow and expensive. CATALOG is developing a platform with the capacity to write a large hard drive's worth of data into DNA each day, bringing DNA-based data storage into the real world for the first time. CEO Hyunjun Park will share how this technology works and what it could mean for the long-term preservation of human knowledge.

Hyunjun Park, Cofounder and CEO, Catalog

Networking Coffee Break

Meet the Innovators Under 35 - Group II

Wenyue Zou, Postdoctoral Researcher, Ian Potter NanoBioSensing Facility, RMIT University

Cathy N.P. Lui, Cofounder and CEO, OPER Technology Limited

Thanh Duc Nguyen, Assistant Professor, Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, University of Connecticut

World of Immersive Media

AI and Human Digitisation: When Seeing is Not Believing

The age of immersive technologies has created a growing need for processing detailed representations of ourselves as virtual and augmented reality is growing into the next generation platform for online communication. A natural simulation of our presence in such virtual world is unthinkable without a believable digitisation of ourselves. In VFX and gaming, compelling CG characters can already be produced, but the creation of high-quality digital assets are still bounded by expensive and time-consuming production pipelines. We present a deep learning approach to this high-dimensional reconstruction and rendering problem by introducing new convolutional neural networks and architectures, that can process 3D data, and synthesise images from 3D input with intuitive user controls. Hao will showcase his latest research in photorealistic 3D face digitisation, expression generation, as well as hair modeling and rendering. This presentation will open up the question on whether a deep learning approach could potentially displace conventional graphics pipelines, as well as promote awareness of modern technology’s capability to manipulate videos, at a time in which social media is susceptible to the spread of doctored videos and fake news.

Hao Li, Director, Vision and Graphics Lab, University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies & Cofounder and CEO, Pinscreen


VR at Rolls Royce: A Game Changer to Visualise the Most Complex Machines

How to communicate a machine as complex as an AERO ENGINE to the industrial customer? How to visualise to the industrial designers what they have to address in a very early stage or the development? How to train the assembling team to help them understand and imagine the whole project in 3D? With showing several use cases this talk addresses those questions and dives deep into the challenges and limitations of the current usage of Virtual Reality Caves in the industrial space.

Marius Swoboda, Head of Physical, Computational and Design Sciences, Rolls Royce

Networking Cocktail Reception - Hosted by Facebook

End of Day One

VIP Investor Event*

Private Dinner Event for Investors and Special Guests

Be part of an exclusive dinner with fellow investors and emerging technology startups and researchers. At the dinner, you will be able to hear from and ask questions to MIT Professor and Billion$ startup founder, Professor Charles Cooney, as well as learning more from three deep tech startups during a panel discussion.

Dinner Program
Moderated by Annie Koh, Vice President, Business Development Singapore Management University (SMU)

Presentation: Translating Technology to Impact - A Personal Journey
Navigating through the uncertainty from curiosity to impact has been a life long journey as a teacher, founder, investor and advisor. Seeking to understand how technology enabled the European renaissance in the 15th century, drives economic growth in the 21st and is at the core of future sustainability has been the foundation of Prof Cooney’s life as a perpetual student. His goal is to translate curiosity to impact and leave our world in a better place.
Charles L. Cooney, Robert T. Haslam (1911) Professor of Chemical Engineering, Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Panel discussion with
Paul Santos, Managing Partner (SEA), Wavemaker Partners
Rohit Jha, Cofounder and CEO, Transcelestial
Jonathan Paul, Cofounder and CCO, Adatos
Dornoosh Zonoobi, Cofounder and CEO, Medo

Investor Circle* registration required.
*Reserved for investors only. Limited tickets available.






Registration & Welcome Coffee

Opening Remarks by the Emcee

Mike North, Host, Discovery Channel


Lateral Innovation

From Autism Audiology to Silk Vaccines (and Everything in Between)

We’ve pushed the frontiers of our fields but often create “more of the same". Fertile ground for crafting the novel lies between fields, technologies, nations, industries, and more. With a behind-the-scenes peek into two cross-domain technology ventures, this talk presents a new framework for radical innovation, based on the creative journeys of 30 “Fusioneers". Just as nuclear fusion produces massive energy from combining two nuclei, a Fusion in technology, business/government, and the arts can release a massive amount of value. Let‘s cross boundaries, create - and start with everything "in-between".

CJ Meadows, Director, i2i - The Innovation & Insights Center, SP Jain School of Global Management

Intelligent Robots

Moderated by Will Knight, Senior Editor, AI and Robotics, MIT Technology Review


Autonomy: Unleashing the Power of Automation

This talk will motivate the need of more flexible automation and intelligent machines, as a response to the transition from mass production to mass customisation in manufacturing. Autonomy, understood as the evolution of automation with AI and Digitalisation ingredients, is presented as a solution. The latest results in autonomous robotics and limits of pure AI solutions will be presented.

Juan L. Aparicio Ojea, Head of Research Group - Advanced Manufacturing Automation, Siemens


Intelligent Touch Perception for Autonomous Humanoid Robotics

The human sense of touch enables rapid tactile feedback and dexterity. The clear trend for humans and robot collaborations in work and living environments requires robots to have intelligent touch perception for safe, autonomous operation. Such robots can augment human abilities and assist in a myriad of applications, such as health diagnostics, surgery and prosthetics. Benjamin’s lab is developing robotic skins with embedded intelligence that scale in size and density by applying a human-inspired approach that achieves rapid tactile awareness for AI and robotic systems. He will discuss how a cross-disciplinary combination of materials science, mechanics and electronics engineering enables the creation of advanced ultra-fast and perceptive tactile skin systems. Such intelligent touch capability is critical in electronic skin applications, wearable exo-suits, and humanoid robots capable of greater dexterous manipulations in unpredictable environments.

Benjamin Tee, President’s Assistant Professor, National University of Singapore


Field Robotics in Agriculture

The estimated world population by 2050 is approximately 10 billion people. This would place excessive demands on our food production putting pressures on food quality and labour and in turn environmental sustainability. Field robotics is being seen as one of the technologies available to support high yield and high quality/nutritious food production whilst also minimising chemical, energy and water requirements. This talk will present R&D activity at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics which is looking at intelligent machines, robotics and machine learning techniques that can do various on-farm activities with the aim of achieving robust 24/7 operations.

Salah Sukkarieh, Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, University of Sydney


Networking Coffee Break

Artificial Intelligence

Moderated by Will Knight, Senior Editor, AI and Robotics, MIT Technology Review


Empathetic Technology that Sees Your Emotions

Poppy studies how we express emotions and suggests the end of the poker face is near, as new tech makes it easy to see the signals that give away how we're feeling. At EmTech Asia she will talk on how "empathetic technology" can read physical signals like body temperature and the chemical composition of our breath to inform on our emotional state.

Poppy Crum, Chief Scientist, Dolby Laboratories


NeuroMem’s Key AI Successes Since Last Year

NeuroMem Technologies offers a complete solution for AI developers from NeuroMem IP up to board design, all based on their unique architecture of Neuromorphic Memories that reacts to digital stimuli and can learn and recognise in real time. With built-in nonstop learning, their technology consumes less power and offers highly secure access. Like our neurons, NeuroMem technology is easy to use, in fact by using its ZICS architecture and nonstop learning, making a Proof Of Concept (POC) or developing real new products is simpler, cost effective and, in very short period of time, you can have a full running solution. This year Pierre will share some of their design wins and success stories as well a few interesting AI projects under development and possible wider applications and implications of their technology in the use of AI.

Pierre Brunswick, CEO, NeuroMem Technologies

Presenting Partner
NeuroMem logo

How AI is Improving Quality, Access and Cost of Health Care

Health care is becoming a data driven industry - imaging and health records are now digitised and there is an explosion of data sources coming from genomics, pathology and digital health sensors. Artificial intelligence needs data, a computing platform and domain expertise to be truly successful. By building domain specific AI tools and platforms, enabling the healthcare industry to create datasets, train algorithms and deploy highly integrated applications, accelerating the delivery AI to patient care.

Kimberly Powell, Vice President of Healthcare, NVIDIA

Networking Lunch Break

The Ethics of AI

Moderated by Will Knight, Senior Editor, AI and Robotics, MIT Technology Review


AI and Ethics: Securing the Future

A closer look at the values and ethics that underpin how AI is being developed in Asia.

Claire Beatty, Editorial Director, Asia, MIT Technology Review Insights


Looking Under the Hood: How Facebook Builds AI with Privacy and Ethics by Design

This presentation will showcase how Facebook builds AI in its products from ideation to deployment, in a privacy and ethically responsible manner. The presentation will include real and existing Facebook features, illustrating how Facebook addressed various ethical considerations during their building and review processes. Norberto will also discuss how Facebook is advancing the state of art in artificial intelligence through open research for the benefit of all, describing the groundbreaking work of the Facebook AI Research (FAIR) Lab.

Norberto Andrade, Privacy and Public Policy Manager, Facebook

Presenting Partner
Facebook logo

How Can We Build the Field of Data Science for Social Good?

There is enormous opportunity to bring the social sector to the forefront of using data science for impact. Predictive analytics can help bring electricity to the unconnected, better deploy community health workers to save lives, or diagnose and help treat diseased crops and raise productivity. But the skills, tools and data to do such things at a global scale don't yet exist. How can we increase the availability, accessibility and use these tools and data, and build an effective marketplace for data science talent, technology and domain expertise?

Tariq Khokar, Managing Director and Senior Data Scientist, The Rockefeller Foundation

Technology Spotlight: Metal 3D Printing

Redefining Manufacturing with Metal 3D Printing

Jonah Myerberg, Cofounder and CTO, Desktop Metal

Networking Coffee Break

Meet the Innovators Under 35 - Group III

Loi Luu, Cofounder and CEO, Kyber Network

Jason Gui, Cofounder, Vigo Technologies

Jonathan Hall, Cofounder and Director, Life Whisperer

Ceremony Honouring the Innovators Under 35

Blockchain Beyond Finance

Blockchain: Behind the Glory

Infinity Blockchain Labs (IBL) is the biggest blockchain R&D lab in Vietnam, developing several blockchain-based products for business and everyday life. IBL currently employs a workforce of 300+ working on products that leverage blockchain technology as a tool to enable the advancement of society towards a better world and future. Two of the products IBL is working on are Fruitchain and Infinito Services. Empowered by the Ethereum platform, Fruitchain was developed with the aim of solving the product information transparency problem in Vietnam, whilst Infinito Services is touted as the ultimate ecosystem for blockchain mass adoption, aiming to promote the development, usage, and sharing of ideas.

Cong Tran, Head of Marketing, Infinity Blockchain Labs

Presenting Partner
Infinity Blockchain Labs logo

The Potential and Perils of Using a Permissionless Platform: Radical Innovation on the Public Blockchain

Patrick Murck, Fellow at the Berkman Centre for Internet and Society, Harvard University & Cofounder, Bitcoin Foundation

The Race for Autonomous Transportation Solutions

Moderated by Will Knight, Senior Editor, AI and Robotics, MIT Technology Review


Uber ATG’s Quest Towards Self-Driving Vehicles

We are on the verge of a new era in which robotics and artificial intelligence will play an important role in our daily lives. Self-driving vehicles have the potential to redefine transportation as we understand it today. Our roads will become safer and less congested, while parking spots will be repurposed as leisure zones and parks. However, many technological challenges remain as we pursue this future. In this talk Ersin will showcase the latest advancements made by Uber Advanced Technologies Group's Research Lab in the quest towards self-driving vehicles. In addition, you'll hear his thoughts on the future of research and education in this field, where both industry and academia come together to form the next generation of students and solve the remaining research challenges.

Ersin Yumer, Staff Research Scientist, Uber Advanced Technologies Group

Close of Conference

Networking Cocktail Reception in Honour of the Innovators Under 35*

*By invitation only