DUBAI: The second edition of EmTech MENA, a conference dedicated to exploring emerging and future trends in technology, has kicked off at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai.
Over 500 professionals from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are attending the tech event, organized by "MIT Technology Review Arabia" in cooperation with Dubai Future Foundation and Haykal Media.
Delivering the keynote speech on Monday, Noura bint Mohammed Al-Kaabi, the UAE’s Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, said: “Technology and art are becoming complementary. The digital world has become the new ordinary. Technology has become a new medium of artistic impression. Technology has allowed easier access to our culture (through online means)"
Earlier,in his opening statements, Abdul Aziz Al-Jazairi, Deputy CEO and Chief Operations Officer of Dubai Future Foundation, outlined the emirate’s innovation strategies while Gideon Lichfield, Editor-in-Chief of "MIT Technology Review," described Dubai as “one of the most technologically dynamic places in the world.”
The Nov.4-5 conference features a list of 31 prominent regional and international speakers including government officials, researchers and entrepreneurs.With the aim of understanding technological developments that will drive the new global economy, the event will focus on five key themes:artificial intelligence (AI) and the future of work; computer created reality; the future of digital health, future cities; and the future of energy and sustainability.
Speakers from the region include Dr. Thani AhmedAl-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment in the UAE; Abdulla BinTouq, Secretary-General of the UAE Cabinet; and Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, Founder and CEO of Alliances for Global Sustainability.
Among the other speakers are Solomon Assefa, Vice President, IBMResearch - Africa & Emerging Market Solutions; Emmanuel Fombu, Director,Digital Medicine & Innovation, Johnson & Johnson; Vishal Chatrath CEO& Co-Founder, Prowler.io; Kevin Hu, Co-Founder and CEO, Quantifai; and Ramzi Jaber, Partner, eConstruct.
The conference also features a number of speakers from MIT including David Rose, Spatial Computing Expert, MIT School of Architecture; Howard Herzog, Senior Research Engineer, MIT Energy Initiative; Carlo Ratti,Director, MIT Senseable City Lab; and Donald Sadoway, John F. Elliott, Professor of Materials Chemistry, MIT.
For its second edition of “Innovators Under 35” MENA, EmTech has selected 20 innovators from the region, who will present a three-minute elevator pitch during the conference.
The innovators – technologists and scientists – will put forward their work in a wide range of fields, notably biomedicine, computing,communications, energy, materials, software, transportation and the internet. The winners will be announced at the end of the conference.
Organized by “MIT Technology Review” since 1999, the “InnovatorsUnder 35” competition has honored such brilliant minds as Google’s Larry Pageand Sergey Brin; Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg; Tesla’s JB Straubel; Spotify’sDaniel Ek; and Broad Institute’s Feng Zhang.
The competition’s first edition in 2018 picked 10 winners fromUAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Syria.