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The Future Starts Here: The UK-Asia Pacific Opportunity

Date: Wednesday 12 June 2019

Time: 14.00 - 19.30

Venue: Urban Innovation Centre, One Sekforde Street, London EC1R 0BE




Hosted by Natalie Black, Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, in partnership with the UK-ASEAN Business Council, techUK, Tech Nation, Tech London Advocates and the Northern Powerhouse, this conference will bring together innovators from the UK and Asia Pacific to explore opportunities for cross-border collaboration in tech and innovation.




14.00 - 14.05

Opening Remarks

Rollo Hope, Head of Exports, Technology and Smart Cities, Department for International Trade


14.05 - 14.15

Keynote Address: Why UK-Asia Pacific Partnership Matters

Natalie Black, Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific


14.15 - 15.25

Panel I: UK-Asia Pacific Partnership on Tech and Innovation

The UK and Asia Pacific share many common challenges of the future, such as the constructive use of AI and big data, managing the welfare of an ageing society, achieving cleaner growth, and improving the way we move people, goods and services. This panel will discuss how businesses from the UK and Asia Pacific can work collaboratively to address these challenges and create opportunities to boost productivity, employment, innovation and skills.



  • Steve Baxter, Founder and CEO, Transition Level Investments
  • Greg Sutch, Chief Executive Officer, Intralink
  • SzeKi Sim, Head of Brand, SG Innovate
  • Dylan Thomas, Deputy Director, Global Trade and Investment, Department for International Trade
  • Vincent Chen, AVP, Marketing Department and Smart City Office, Chunghwa Telecom


  • Tess Thomas, Director of Investment, Australia and New Zealand, Department for International Trade


15.25 - 15.40

Keynote Address: Celebrating Limitless Innovation

Femi Owolade Coombs, a.k.a. Hackerfemo

Femi Owolade-Coombs - also known as Hackerfemo and aged 13 - started coding when he was just 8 - hacking Minecraft using Python on the Raspberry Pi. He wanted to share what he'd learnt with his friends from his Tourette Syndrome support group, which led to him setting up South London Raspberry that has run inclusive coding and robot workshops both in the UK and abroad. He has won awards and praise from the Prime Minster for the work he has done for the community. Femi was named on the Independent's Happy List and was recognised as one of the London Tech Advocates' 25 Under 25s rising talents. He has his own business and website,, and has helped to develop a Young Coders Meet Up hosted at Red Hat's Open Innovation Labs in London. Presently he has partnered with Imran Hassan to develop an app to help deaf children with literacy. He also presents inspiring keynote talks on the topics of young coders, the impact of technology, cyber security and open source community.


15.40 - 16.10

Networking Break


16.10 - 17.20

Panel II: Digital Transformation, Connectivity and Smart Cities in South East Asia

If South East Asia were a single market, it would already be the sixth largest economy in the world worth US$2.6 trillion with over 640 million people, two thirds of whom are projected to become middle class by 2020. This panel will discuss the many opportunities available for UK tech and innovation in this region, as South East Asia undergoes sweeping digital transformation to maintain its rapid growth and future proof its economies against the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 



  • Sam Cheong, Managing Director of Commercial Banking, United Overseas Bank
  • Margaret Manning OBE, Partner, EY Digital Advisory ASEAN, and Acting Chair, UK-ASEAN Business Council
  • Jawad Sardar, Future Cities and Prosperity Specialist, Department for International Trade
  • Korawad Chearavanont, Chief Executive Officer, EKO App
  • Annie Vu, CEO and Co-Founder, Tubudd


  • Simon Spier, Head of International Trade, techUK


17.20 - 17.30

Closing Remarks 

Rollo Hope, Head of Exports, Technology and Smart Cities, Department for International Trade


17.30 - 19.30

Networking Reception

Hosted by Dr. Mike Short, Chief Scientific Advisor, Department for International Trade




UK Companies

Members and representatives from:


techUK, the UK's leading trade organisation in the technology sector, with more than 900 member companies that collectively employ approximately 700,000 people, about half of all tech sector jobs in the UK, the majority of which are small and medium-sized businesses.


Tech London Advocates, an unrivalled collection of tech leaders, experts and investors uniting to form the most influential group in tech. With no government backing, this is the voice of the private sector in London.


Tech Nation, a national network that empowers ambitious tech entrepreneurs to grow faster through growth programmes, digital entrepreneurship skills, a visa scheme for exceptional talent, and by championing the UK’s digital sector through data, stories and media campaigns.


The Northern Powerhouse, part of the government’s industrial strategy that builds upon the UK's strong economy and help businesses in northern England seize the opportunities presented by leaving the EU.


UK-ASEAN Business Council, the leading UK-based organisation promoting trade and investment between the UK and ASEAN’s dynamic markets.


Asia Pacific Companies

Companies and government agencies from Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia that are visiting London Tech Week. 


Register now


This event is free of charge but prior registration is essential.


To register your attendance, please contact Kevin Liu (