emtech europe


Taking Forging a Brighter Future as its theme, EmTech Europe unites leaders in academia, business and government to share ground breaking research-to-market advances and explore the latest breakthroughs in transformative technologies. Europe’s most brilliant minds will converge to discuss cutting-edge, solutions-focused technology across three episodes — An Intelligent Future, A Healthy Future and A Sustainable Future. Major questions around ethics and equity will feature across the two days of conference.

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9am-4:15pm CEST, Thursday 1 July, 2021


Welcome to EmTech Europe
Official Opening

Michelle O’Neill, deputy First Minister, NI Executive

Welcome from MIT, Boston

Mike Reilly, Executive Editor, MIT Technology Review, USA


Our Shared Future

Speaker TBA


Conference Keynote

Dr Ugur Sahain and Dr Özlem Türeci, Founders, BioNTech, Germany


Introduction to A Sutainable Future
Meet the engineers, entrepreneurs, politicians, polemicists, funders, futurists, and founders who are leveraging emerging technologies to stave off planetary meltdown addressing solutions from renewables and green energy solutions to optimizing manufacturing processes. What is the promise and potential of these breakthrough technologies?

Dr Iain Percy OBE, CEO, Artemis Technologies, Belfast


Innovation City Belfast

Cllr Kate Nicholl, Lord Mayor of Belfast

Jayne Brady, Digital Innovation Commissioner, Belfast City Council


Reducing greenhouse gas emmissions requires the ability to create non-carbon fuel alternatives which are both clean and affordable and deliverable at scale. 30 years ago, Northern Irish entrepreneur David Surplus set up some of the first wind farms in the British Isles in order to tackle climate change. Since then, he has forged a bold path in the world of green-tech, culminating in his current company B9 Energy which is using ‘curtailed’ wind power to convert water, through electrolysis, into hyrodgen, oxygen and heat – with a valuable end use for each. B9 Energy’s first bespoke electrolysiser is now on site outside Belfast in a pilot program which could create a thousand green jobs and reduce reliance on carbon fuels. In association with Phoenix Natural Gas.

Sponsored Talk


The Green Consumer Driving Change
Europe’s Consumers are demanding that brands take real action to develop a truly authentic green approach. An overview on the companies which are ahead of the curve and winning the loyalty of the empowered customer.

Thomas Husson, VP and Principal Analyst, Forrester, France


Breaking the Mould
Mitigating the carbon impact of large-scale industrial facilities such as data centres and assessing carbon tax initiatives. Identifying the new green technologies which can succeed in business and environmental terms. Plus an expert insight into the emerging technologies being adopted by cement producers in response to changing consumer demand and governmental action to tax carbon emissions.

Moderator TBA

Rebecca Lamas, European Investment Bank Chair Team, European University Institute, Italy

Elena Walder-Schiavone, Managing Partner Übermorgen Ventures, Switzerland

Eric Trusiewicz, Entrepreneur in Residence, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Spain (Invited)




Switching from Emissions to Removals
How much CO2 do we need to remove over the next decades? How can we integrate removals into our economy and create carbon-negative products and value chains?

Petrissa Ecklenow, Executive Director of the Sustainability in Business Lab, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.


Cementing Change
Cement production worldwide releases nearly four times as much carbon dioxide into the air as global air traffic. This session introduces next-generation technology for the mineralisation of carbon dioxide, turning broken concrete into stone granulate as a replacement for sand and gravel in fresh concrete.

Valentin Gutknecht, Co f0under and CEO, Neustark, Switzerland


Removing Carbon from the Sky
A multitude of challenges face the cutting-edge companies deploying ‘miracle’ technologies to capture carbon. Vital questions abound: How effective is it to deploy these technologies at the mammoth scale our overheating planet requires? How will the carbon be stored? And how to avoid pumping even more CO2 from carbon capture machines into the atmosphere?

Nathalie Casas, Head R&D, Climeworks, Switzerland


Green Energy at Industrial Scale
Why it’s hard to abate energy-hungry industries that rely on fossil fuels today. Which alternatives have a promising outlook? Can batteries compete with hydrogen, methanol or ammonia? What opportunities exist for collaboration to speed the transition?

Carsten Reincke-Collon, Director Future Technologies, Aggreko, Germany



Negative Missions Technology: Reinventing a Process as Old as Time
Biochar is one of the most promising negative emission technologies but how a new innovation play an outsize role in removing carbon from the air, sequestering it for thousands of years and providing a source of heat and greener urban infrastructure – all at a competitive price per ton of carbon removed.

Henrietta Moon, Co-founder & CEO, Carbo Culture, Finland


Is Battery Technology the Solution to the Green Transition?
Carmakers are under pressure in Europe to sell more electric cars or face huge fines for breaching new emissions rules aimed at tackling global warming. However, significant barriers to truly widespread adoption of electric batteries in vehicles remain in relation to cost, energy storage efficiency and recharging. But are exploiting the full potential of the electric vehicle revolution to accelerate a societal green shift?

Peter Rawlinson, CEO & CTO Lucid Motors, USA in conversation with Tate Ryan-Mosley Reporter, Data and Audio, MIT Technology Review


Taking Flight
Anxiety bedevils plans for all-electric aircraft — to date the technology to enable sustained battery power over thousands of kilometres doesn’t exist. And then there are issues of weight and of cost, not to mention production at sector scale and safety. However, NASA has advanced proposals to test electric, vertical take-off and landing aircraft while Rolls Royce claims to be on the cusp of manufacturing power systems for some of the first eVTOLs. Which technologies will fuel a clean and green aviation industry?

Clay Dumas, Partner, Lowercarbon Capital Partners, USA

Anders Forslund, CEO Heart Aerospace, Sweden


Charging Forward
If sustainability is to be a pillar of the global economic recovery, then the innovation and swift rollout of new electric charging solutions will form the bedrock of tomorrow’s energy landscape. Consumers used to three-minute fuel stops are demanding batteries which can be charged in minutes, not overnight, and they want access to that solution to be ubiquitous. Who is best-placed to ensure the switch to electric cars runs smoothly?

 Enric Asunción, CEO Wallbox, Spain


Fireside Chat: Green Gamechangers
Cities with ambitious green agendas are critical if Europe is to do more than just pay lip-service to its Sustainable Development Goals.

Pekka Timonen, Mayor of Lahti, Finland, EU Green Capital 2021 in conversation with Tina McKenzie, Honorary Consul General of Finland in Belfast & CEO, Staffline Ireland


The Future is Wood
The developers and architects behind Europe’s first timber skyscraper plan nothing less than a social and ecological paradigm shift.

Thomas Bestgen, Founder and Managing Partner, UTB, Germany

Jonny Klokk, Partner, Mad Arkitekter, Norway


Small is Beautiful
One of the regions at the very cutting edge of technological change and the creation of smart cities is Andorra, a tiny country tucked between Spain and France. The 180-square-mile nation of 77,000 people has served as a ‘living lab’ for researchers for MIT Media Lab’s City Science Initiative to prototype, deploy and test urban innovation.

Moderator: Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, Host, EmTech Europe

Luis Alonso, Principal Investigator Andorra Living Lab Project, Andorra and MIT Media Lab,  USA

Vanesa Arroyo, Project Co-ordinator and International Relations Manager, Andorra Research+Innovation


New Food
Cattle are the No. 1 agricultural source of greenhouse gases worldwide. Inefficient animal agriculture practices that contribute to climate change drive the need to create safe, humane and sustainably produced animal proteins. Formo produces delicious, nutritional and sustainable dairy products using precision fermentation.

Dr Britta Winterberg, CSO and founder of Formo, Germany


Conference Close

Day two

Day 2

9:00am-5:30pm CEST, Friday 2nd July, 2021


Opening Address

Paul Frew, MLA, Minister for the Economy (Invited)


Tech Innovation as a Force for Good

Marga Hoek, Author, The Trillion Dollar Shift


Introduction to A Healthy Future Track
The Covid-19 Pandemic continues to put healthcare services under unprecedented pressure. Yet there are technological breakthroughs to navigate this crisis and usher in a healthier future across many other fields of medicine. How is the innovative use of data across Europe being used to improve health outcomes? Practitioners and thought leaders examine emerging solutions in connected health and telemedicine, and breakthroughs in the development of Messenger RNA vaccines for Covid. How can these advances be applied to tackle other healthcare delivery issues and disease states?

Brian O’Connor, Chair
European Connected Health Alliance


Telemedicine and Connected Health
Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, chatbots and personalised mobile apps are among the advances in technology being utilised to transform healthcare. Meet the experts on the frontlines of the healthcare revolution and hear about the innovative work making a real difference in the lives of patients.

Moderator: Bleddyn Rees, Chair of the Digital Health Society (DHS), Vice Chair of ECHAlliance

Rachel Dunscombe, CEO at NHS Digital Academy, UK

Tomaz Gornik, Co-Chair of the OpenEHR foundation, CEO, Better, Slovenia

Liz Ashall-Payne CEO, ORCHA, UK


Sweden as a Biotech Hotspot – the Best is Yet to Come
Sweden (population 10m) regularly ranks Number One in the European Innovation League Table and its status as a biotech hotspot – with its very own Medicon Valley — has been burnished by Swedish involvement in the development of the Moderna and AstraZeneca Covid vaccines. Does the country and its capital, Stockholm, long a magnet for Nobel Prize-winning scientists, offer a template for life sciences enterprise which can be copied by other regions? And what are the societal and governmental building blocks which underpin the city’s deserved reputation as an entrepreneurial powerhouse? We chat with acclaimed scientist and Moderna co-founder Kenneth R. Chien — who hails from the global life sciences capital of Boston but is a professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm — to get his take.

Moderator, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, Host, EmTech Europe

Kenneth R. Chien, Professor of Cardiovascular Research, Karolinska Institute, Sweden & Co-founder, Moderna


Messenger RNA Technology
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has catapulted Messenger RNA Technology into the limelight. What are the prospects for this breakthrough technology in the future and which governments, academic institutions and business leaders are best-placed to exploit mRNA to tackle other intractable medical problems?

Moderator:Angela Brand, Professor of Public Health Genomics at Maastricht University, Netherlands

Dr. Philippe Menu, Chief Medical Officer, Sophia Genetics, Switzerland

Hans Lehrach, Director at Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genomics, Germany

George Church, Winthrop Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, USA


A Red Carpet Welcome to a Belfast Transformed
Over three decades, Gareth Graham has been investing in a brighter Belfast. His most recent headline development was the 240,000 sq ft Merchant Square in Belfast which has been leased to PwC, making it the firm’s biggest office outside of London in the UK. However, Gareth, whose latest venture is Belfast Commerical Finance, believes the city’s is on the cusp of further exponential growth as international companies flock to the transformed city, attracted by its talent, quality universities, liveability and its unique status affording it unfettered trade with both Britain and the EU.


The European Health Data Space
The creation of the European Health Data Space is a priority for the EU but what are the key technologies which will ensure its success and how will it make a real difference to the health of Europe’s citizens? Who are the researchers in academia and industry who will best leverage this data pool to enable scientific breakthroughs in the treatment of illness and how will the regulatory environment hinder or help their work?

Jeroen Tas, CIO & CSO, Philips, Netherlands

Markus Kalliola, Project Director EHDS at SITRA, Finland

Loubna Bouarfa, HLEG on AI and CEO at OKRA

Louisa Stüwe, International Policy Manager, Health Data Hub, France


At the Cutting Edge
The Covid Vaccine supply chain: challenges and innovations.

Kevin Nepveux, VP, Pfizer Global Supply, USA



Tom Gray, CTO, Kainos and Conference Curator, EmTech Europe


AI Keynote
The Exponential Age

Azeem Azhar, Creator, Exponential View, UK


Regulation of AI — Obstacle or Enabler of Innovation
This session looks at both the positive incentive function of regulation alongside the negative compliance burden, and how these may play out in the context of the application and abuse of AI.

Joanna Bryson, Hertie School, Berlin, Germany


AI vs AI: Preparing for Supercharged Cyber-Attacks
We are entering a new era of sophisticated, machine-speed attacks, where algorithms are battling algorithms. Cyber-criminals are turning to AI to scale up their attacks and evade detection — and over 97% of industry professionals are concerned. Join Nicole Eagan in discussion with Máire Ó Neill, as they discuss why organizations are turning to self-learning, autonomous technologies to help organizations in the fight against modern cyber-attackers.

Moderator: Tate Ryan-Mosley Reporter, Data and Audio, MIT Technology Review

Professor Máire O’Neill, Regius Professor in Electronics and Computer Engineering, ECIT, Queen’s University, Belfast

Nicole Eagan, Chief Strategy Officer & AI Officer, Darktrace


Invisible AI
Increasingly, interacting with AI happens with no awareness., - be it Netflix tuning suggestions for binging pleasure, or urban surveillance keeping populations safe (theoretically). In addition, technology is starting to disappear - either literally as sensors shrink to microscopic size, or cognitively as devices like Alexa speakers, Nest thermostats, Hue bulbs, etc become the background of a home. This is leading to an age of Ambient Computing. In this session, we look at the drivers and impacts of Invisible AI.

Moderator:Will Heaven, Senior Editor for AI, MIT Technology Review

Barbara Fusinska, Engineer, Twitter, UK

Leslie Nooteboom, Co-founder, Humanising Autonomy, UK

Nicole Eagan, Chief Strategy Officer & AI Officer, Darktrace


Kainos: True Partners Change the World Together

Sponsored Talk


Harnessing the power of AI for good?

Nell Watson, Researcher in AI Ethics


AI NEXT: The View from the Labs
In this session, examine the cutting edge of AI Research from University and Corporate Labs across Europe and meet the researchers who are shaping the future of AI.

Opening Address: Nora Khaldi, Founder & CSO, Nuritas, Dublin

Spotlight Paul Duan, Founder Bayes Impact, France

Spotlight Andreas Cleve, CEO Corti, Denmark

Spotlight Bo Li, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne

Spotlight:Daniele Pucci, Researcher, Dynamic Interaction control, Istituto Italiano Do Tecnologia, Italy


Participatory AI: Building a Brighter Future
Public faith in democracy has been wounded in recent years. This is increasingly a factor within the ongoing political polarization across many societies, along with growing inequality. Yet, new technologies are enabling access to the domains of law, politics, nance, and decision-making in powerfully democratic and participatory ways.

Moderator: TBA

Isabella Convertini, International Markets Director, What 3 Words, UK

Louis Rosenberg, CEO, Unanimous AI, California, USA


Conference Close