UK and Asian tech leaders share excellence at GREAT Festival of Innovation

Written by Sterling Content
February 20, 2018


Written by Sterling Content
February 20, 2018

Some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics and creatives will gather to explore topics of innovation and technological excellence at the GREAT Festival of Innovation in Hong Kong from 21 to 24 March. The Festival will showcase some of the UK’s most advanced technology, including the UK-designed and developed autonomous robot dog MiRo, which will be shown in Asia for the first time.

Organised by the UK’s Department for International Trade, the event has already attracted a host of top names at the cutting edge of their sectors. The four-day Festival will examine the future challenges and opportunities of an increasingly connected world, bringing to Hong Kong some of Asia and the UK’s lead experts in technology and innovation. The Festival aims to deliver further growth and investment through enhanced international trade for Hong Kong’s technology and business sectors

The Festival will also hear from thought leaders globally recognised as experts in their field. Joining from Singapore is Sanjay Aurora, Managing Director, APAC of Darktrace who is responsible for leading the expansion of the company and its award-winning Enterprise Immune System technology for cyber security in the Asia Pacific region. Japan-based Eiji Uda, Chairman and CEO of digital knowledge management provider Yext and Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for Tokyo 2020, will take part in an exciting panel to discuss the future of how sport will be experienced. Sharing insights into advancements in information and communications technology for smarter cities will be Shinya Kukita, Chief Engineer from Japan’s NEC Corporation who has partnered on notable flagships smart city initiatives in the UK.


Eiji Uda, the Chairman and CEO of Yext in Japan, has three decades of experience in enterprise technology. Prior to being part of Yext, he has worked at corporations such as Unified Service Corporation, Japan, Softbank Commerce Corporation, IBM, Transcosmos Inc., and Zuora.

Shinya Kukita, currently a chief engineer at NEC Japan, he has been part of the
corporation since 1987. He has also partnered on notable flagships smart city initiatives in the UK.


Speaking at the Festival will be several entrepreneurs who have been pioneers in their technology fields. These include Brent Hoberman, Co-founder of and Executive Chairman of the leading digital start-up incubator Founders Factory; Ambarish Mitra, Co-founder and CEO of the world’s first AI powered visual discovery browser Blippar; Heba Bevan, Founder and CEO of UtterBerry, smart sensing technology designed for infrastructure monitoring that is set to shape the smart cities of the future; and Alex Kong, Founder of Hong Kong currency transfer firm TNG Wallet who have recently expanded their services to the UK.

Alongside engaging sessions, panels and workshops, there will be a showcase of some of the UK’s leading technology. MiRo the robot dog is the creation of designer-in-residence to the University of Sheffield engineering faculty, Sebastian Conran CEO of London/Bristol based Consequential Robotics. A companion robot with six senses capable of emotional engagement, MiRo has been developed in conjunction with Sheffield Robotics to enhance quality of later life. Also showcasing will be McLaren Design Studio who will present their VR technology that allows customers to design their own driving experience and interiors.

Day One of the Festival will have a strong tech focus; some of the sessions announced so far include FinTech Futures, a look at technologies such as blockchain, apps and online lending that are driving start-ups in the financial sector; Disruption in Business, equipping businesses with the knowledge to master the societal and technological changes to come; and Securing the Global Network, a discussion into strategies for the increasingly important cyber-security.

Other tech sessions include Smart Cities: From Simulation to Citizens, an insight into how the evolution of connected living environments; Dawn of the AI Age, a look at how artificial intelligence and machine learning will impact businesses of today; and Ageing Well, in an era where older people will form a sizable portion of the population, what technologies will revolutionise the support we give to live a healthier life for all?

Outside of the conference programme, the Festival offers Asia’s business leaders the chance to meet handpicked counterparts from across the UK and to discuss the possibility of future trading and investment opportunities.

Several hundred invited delegates will attend the Hong Kong event, which takes place at the Asia Society Hong Kong Centre and will feature more than 60 panels and events over its four days.

For more information, please visit or follow the hashtag #GREATinnovation.

For interviews with speakers or GREAT Festival of Innovation spokespeople, please contact:
Sinclair at (852) 2915 1234
Emma Williamson | [email protected]
Nikki McLucas | [email protected]
Jessica Man| [email protected]