press release

BioNTech founders to speak among 50 other tech leaders at EmTech Europe conference


Taking “Forging a Brighter Future” as its theme in this year, MIT Technology Review’s flagship conference ‘EmTech Europe’ will bring 50 of Europe’s brightest and best technology leaders, researchers, and innovators together to discuss how technology can create an intelligent, healthy and sustainable future at its core. 

Playing a crucial role in addressing the pandemic in the last year with their breakthrough messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, the founders of BioNTech will headline this year’s EmTech Europe virtual conference in Belfast on 1 July. 

Dr. Ugur Sahin and Dr. Özlem Türeci, the husband-and-wife team behind BioNTech, developed the mRNA-based vaccine technology that delivered the first COVID-19 vaccine with a completed phase 3 trial when the pandemic hit. 

Dr Sahin initiated and led “Project Lightspeed”, the historic development program of the first mRNA-based vaccine for COVID-19, moving from lab and clinical testing to conditional authorisations within an unprecedented 11-month period. He also leads BioNTech’s research and development of individualized cancer immunotherapies. 

Dr Türeci played a crucial role in the clinical development of “Project Lightspeed” and helped lead the development of mRNA-based vaccines and cancer antigens as well as immunotherapies which are currently in clinical development.

 The globally-renowned scientists’ opening keynote will address the conference theme ‘Forging a Brighter Future’ and spell out their motivation and vision for expanding the use of mRNA technology to address other diseases in the future. 

Drs Sahin and Türeci will address day one of the conference which takes place virtually from Belfast on 1-2 July. They join a line up of some of Europe’s most brilliant tech minds across the fields of sustainability, health and artificial intelligence.

Attendees of EmTech Europe 2021 will get to hear from 50 leading speakers who are driving the next generation of technological advances. With talks ranging from the first timber skyscraper in Europe to biomedicine and mRNA vaccines, as well as spotlights from past winners of our Innovators Under 35 competition, EmTech Europe 2021 will showcase innovative solutions addressing major global issues.

Nico Crepaldi, Head of Custom Content at MIT Technology Review

Through EmTech Europe, Belfast can showcase the progress it has made from a city associated with conflict and division to a city focused on forging a new path of peace and reconciliation underpinned by an inclusive knowledge economy.

Connla McCann, Director of EmTech Europe

We are thrilled to have the BioNTech founders join our dynamic list of speakers for EmTech Europe this July. A clear leader in individually tailored therapies, BioNTech’s addition will only serve to enhance the programme as we prepare to highlight the practitioners, and thought leaders, at the forefront of ground-breaking technological advancements.

EmTech Europe 2021 will spark new ideas and business opportunities around the innovative trends with the most power to influence the post-pandemic world. Examining the areas of health, sustainability and intelligence, the two-day programme is shaping up to be a must-attend event for technological leaders seeking to rebuild economies and societies.

Lead Curator of EmTech Europe, Tom Gray

EmTech Europe is supported by Belfast City Council and Invest NI and will take place virtually in July 2021 before returning to Belfast in 2022 and 2023.

For further information please contact:

Rosa O’Farrell
Brown O’Connor Communications
M: 07475 336 631
E: [email protected]

About MIT Technology Review

Founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1899, MIT Technology Review is a world-renowned, independent media company whose insight, analysis, reviews, interviews and live events explain the commercial, social and political impact of new technologies. MIT Technology Review derives its authority from the world’s foremost technology institution and from its editors’ deep technical knowledge, capacity to see technologies in their broadest context, and unequalled access to leading innovators and researchers. For 117 years, MIT Technology Review’s mission has been to equip readers with the intelligence to understand a world shaped by technology and the impact upon their careers and lives.

To find out more and register for the virtual two-day conference which takes place on 1 and 2 July, visit:

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