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27 May 2021
BioNTech founders to speak among 50 other tech leaders at EmTech Europe conference
Belfast waterfront © EmTech Europe

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

Taking “Forging a Brighter Future” as its theme 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.

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 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 individualised 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 join a line 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

Featured themes and talks

  • A Healthy Future: Practitioners and thought leaders examine emerging solutions in connected health and telemedicine, and breakthroughs in the development of Messenger RNA vaccines for Covid. They will also explore how these advances can be applied to tackle other healthcare delivery issues and disease states.
  • Kenneth Chien, Co-founder of Moderna will look at how top biotech countries like Sweden are leading examples of life sciences enterprise which can be copied by other regions, and what societal and governmental structures are in place to foster and encourage the growth of health technologies.
  • A Sustainable Future: Meet the engineers, entrepreneurs, politicians, polemicists, funders, futurists, and founders who are leveraging emerging technologies to stave off planetary meltdown, from renewables to the green energy solutions optimizing manufacturing processes.
  • Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO of Lucid Motors, and formerly Chief Engineer of Tesla, will discuss the increasing demand for electric cars in Europe and how manufacturers and technologists are finding innovative solutions to accelerating this societal green shift.
  • An Intelligent Future: AI is increasingly affecting every person and every human activity. Leaders in the industry will examine how AI related technologies are being applied to society’s challenges and in what ways AI research can be directed to have an instrumental role in building a better, more sustainable and equitable future for all.
  • Nicole Eagan, Chief Strategy Officer & AI Officer at Darktrace, will discuss how we are heading towards an age of ambient computing, and the drivers and impact of Invisible AI.
  • Dr Nora Khaldi, Founder and CEO of Nuritas, will take EmTech Europe through the future of AI from inside research labs and universities, looking at what the next big steps are in the emerging technology field.
  • Author Marga Hoek will delve into the ethics of technology and invite participants to look at how their technological input could add value to the global economy and push the boundaries of what ethical tech looks like.

“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.” – Tom Gray, Lead Curator of EmTech Europe

EmTech Europe is supported by Belfast City Council and Invest NI and will take place virtually on July 1 and July 2nd 2021 before returning to Belfast in 2022 and 2023.