Event Details

Every country wants to have its own Silicon Valley, but—as has been proven on many occasions—simple replication does not work. A very complex and unique set of features and conditions are required for success.

But if anywhere can do it, Asia can. It is no coincidence that experts have been pointing to APAC as the region to watch for new hubs of technological and social innovation. A lot of Asian megacities have an inherent advantage in economies of scale when it comes to fostering innovation and driving technological development. And, if anything, the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic have only made these cities 'smarter' and more digitally advanced.

It is around these megacities that the new tech hubs will emerge, and they may even end up dwarfing the original Silicon Valley.

But what are governments doing to advance the expansion of smart cities and startup hubs in Asia? How can they help to create real innovation clusters? What needs to come first—conducive policies and incentives, technological breakthroughs, or something else? How can entrepreneurs and startups best be encouraged? And what is the role of large companies and their leaders in developing a business ecosystem that helps to scale their creations?

Join us on August 18 for an engaging discussion on innovation clusters and smart cities in Asia with the decision makers and key experts in this sphere.

This event will be broadcasted simultaneously in English and Korean languages.


  • Alfred Sit (Secretary for Innovation and Technology of Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region)

    Alfred Sit

    Secretary for Innovation and Technology of Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

    Mr Alfred Sit joined the Government as Assistant Electrical and Mechanical Engineer in 1984 and was promoted to Chief Electrical and Mechanical Engineer in 2001, to Government Electrical and Mechanical Engineer in 2007, to Deputy Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services in 2011. He was Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services and Electrical and Mechanical Services Trading Fund General Manager since October 2017. On 22 April 2020, Mr Sit was appointed Secretary for Innovation and Technology.

    Mr Sit is an electrical engineer by profession and has over 30 years’ experience in public administration. He is a fellow member of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers. He was the President of the Hong Kong Institution of Facility Management and Chairman of the Biomedical Division of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers.

    Mr Sit holds the Associateship in Electrical Engineering from the Hong Kong Polytechnic and a master degree in Business Administration from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has also attended the Harvard Business School.

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  • Inhyok Cha (Chief Digital Officer of CJ Group & CEO of CJ Olivenetworks)

    Inhyok Cha

    Chief Digital Officer of CJ Group & CEO of CJ Olivenetworks

    Dr. Inhyok Cha is currently Group Chief Digital Transformation Officer (CDO) at Seoul, Korea based CJ Corporation, a US $40B diversified conglomerate with broad business areas covering food, food bio, logistics, media contents production and distribution, retail & commerce, and others In this role Dr. Cha leads CJ group's strategies and executions of various digital transformation initiatives for improvements of existing businesses as well as creation of new businesses. Dr. Cha joined the CJ group in September 2019. Since Jan 2020, Dr. Cha is also CEO of Olive Networks, the IT and SW company of the CJ Groupwith 2019 revenues of apprx. $400M USD.

    Prior in 2019. Dr. Cha was a senior executive advisor at SK Telecom (SKT), Seoul, Korea, advising CEOs and other leaders of SK Telecom and other SK Group companies on matters of global technology and business issues and opportunities. Formerly still at SKT, Dr. Cha led strategic efforts to discover companies world-wide for future growth of SK Telecom, and led strategic investing and partnering efforts with global thought leaders in the areas of AI, Blockchain and Smart City. Prior still, Dr. Cha was in charge of the IoT Business Divisions with annual P/L responsibilities exceeding $700M USD, Digital Transformation Center, and Platform R&D Center, since he joined SK Telecom in Jan 2016.

    Outside of SK Telecom, Dr. Cha has been serving since 2017 as the Chair of External Partnerships Workgroup in the National Smart City Special Committee under the 4th Industrial Revolution Commission formed directly by Korean Presidential Office, and he is also currently serving as the Principal Assistant Planner of Busan National Pilot Smart City project, focusing on realizing strategic global partnerships to build and sustain innovative new smart city together. Dr. Cha received minister's recognition from the Korean Government’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport for his contributions in master-planning and leading development of global partnerships for the Korean National Pilot Smart City project. Dr. Cha is a frequently invited speaker and recognized thought leader in smart cities globally.

    Previously yet, Dr. Cha headed various departments with missions to develop and launch new businesses leveraging innovative technologies related to AI, Big Data, Analytics, In1dustrial IoT and advanced cryptography at Samsung SDS in Korea between 2011 and 2015. He also led various technology and standardization organizations in mobile communication technology and systems at his prior employers including Lucent Technologies Bell Labs and InterDigital, Inc .in the the U.S.

    Dr. Cha is an internationally cited inventor with more than 100 US published and applied patents in areas including wireless communication, IoT, analytics and trusted computing. Dr. Cha holds a B.S.(1988) and a M.S. (1990) in Electronic Engineering from Seoul National University in Korea, and Ph.D in Electrical Engineering (1995), with focus on neural networks and machine learning for communication systems, from University of Pennsylvania in the U.S.

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  • Sujae Lee (CDO and Director for the Big Data Division of Seoul Metropolitan Government)

    Sujae Lee

    CDO and Director for the Big Data Division of Seoul Metropolitan Government

    Mr. Sujae LEE is Chief Data Officer and Director of the Big Data Division, the Seoul Metropolitan Government. He oversees the collection and utilization of big data, establishment of big data governance and Big Data Lake, data based service development utilizing AI and the development of public-private bigdata platform.

    He is currently focusing on building the systematic data collection and utilization system to support evidence-based policy making and administration.

    Prior to taking his current role, Mr. Lee served as a Senior Researcher of the Big Data Division at Neighbor System Inc. from 2017 to 2020, Assistant Director of the O2O platform division at Hanmi Hanmi Global Co., Ltd. and CEO at Bricolage Inc. from 2013~2016.

    He’s also been teaching as a professor for the Department of Computer Software at Sejong Cyber University since 2020.

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  • Alfredo Montufar-Helu (Beijing Director of The Economist Corporate Network)

    Alfredo Montufar-Helu

    Beijing Director of The Economist Corporate Network

    Alfredo is responsible for overseeing The Economist Corporate Network in Beijing. Based in China since 2013, he has focused on analysing the business implications of policy, economic and political developments for companies investing and operating in China, and in the broader Asian region. This with the aim of distilling complex issues and conveying clear takeaways on how to capture business opportunities and respond to emerging challenges.

    Before joining The Economist Corporate Network, Alfredo was Associate Director for KPMG's Global China Practice, where he led and contributed to numerous thought leadership projects, including flagship reports, customised business briefings, and policy proposals for Chinese authorities. He also played a large role in events programming and outreach, including leading the design and coordination of high-profile events aimed at senior executives. Prior to that, Alfredo worked for J Capital Research, Eurasia Group and the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Alfredo has a Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) from Georgetown University, and a BA in Political Science and International Relations from Mexico's Center of Research and Teaching in Economics (aka. CIDE).

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