Global tech leaders to descend upon Belfast
Some of the world’s most influential technology leaders will arrive in Belfast for Northern Ireland’s biggest digital and tech event next month.
With an anticipated 3,000 people in attendance, Digital DNA – once again powered by headline sponsor PwC – will feature speakers from the some of the largest and most recognisable companies from across the globe, including Google, Facebook, Twitter and fintech firm Revolut. Alongside some of Northern Ireland’s own indigenous tech companies, such as medical tech firm axial3D and smart cycle light company See.Sense, they will deliver keynotes speeches as well as take part in panel discussions and fireside chats to an audience that encapsulates the technology sector and beyond.
With established offices in Belfast, the respective heads of foreign direct investors Unosquare and Signifyd – Giancarlo di Vece and Raj Ramanand – will feature at the two-day event at St. George’s Market. Earlier this year, Signifyd co-founder Ramanand announced plans to create 150 jobs in the city, whilst Unosquare’s chief executive di Vece aims to double his current Belfast workforce from 50 to 100 people by the end of 2019.
Medtech firm axial3D will deliver their much-lauded session from this year’s SXSW conference in Austin, Texas on Tumours, Transplants and Technology: AI for Life. In it, they will explain how Belfast City Hospital’s Dr Tim Brown and the axial3D team undertook a world-first life-saving operation made possible through technology. They will also outline how they use machine learning to complete complicated and laborious tasks to create 3D models from 2D scans, which in turn removes costly human intervention.
Other speakers at Digital DNA will include Elaine Whyte, PwC’s UK Drones lead, Melanie Dawson, Director of Digital Construction at construction firm GRAHAM and Matt Armstrong-Barnes, Chief Technologist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Seamus Cushley, Director of Ventures and Blockchain at PwC, said:
“There’s such passion and pride in Northern Ireland’s technology sector and I’m delighted that once again PwC is sponsoring this event which brings global attention to Belfast and our incredible home-grown innovators.”
“The key for us is inspiring the next generation who will become the future leaders in this industry and critical to Northern Ireland’s future economic success. Having a tech conference with the variety and high-energy of Digital DNA on our doorstep is an important way to celebrate what is being achieved here now and what more will be done in the next few years.” he said.
New York’s Counter Extremism Project is once again supporting the initiative. David Ibsen, executive director at the international organisation, explains why:
“Digital Futures is a great opportunity to develop some of the brightest talent Northern Ireland has to offer. The Counter Extremism Project is delighted to be able to help provide a platform for the next generation of programmers, designers and coders to improve the online world that connects us all. Now more than ever before, the encouragement of best online practises has become crucial in helping young people to enjoy the benefits of the online sphere, and proactively remove any threats of discrimination and non-inclusion. Through support and direction, these upcoming specialists can help us ensure safety throughout the digital sphere worldwide.”
Joan Burney Keatings MBE, Chief Executive of Cinemagic, said: “Cinemagic is extremely excited to be part of the Digital Futures programme to help motivate, educate and inspire young people, to help them reach their full potential. With support from all the partners, we are proud to give this unique creative opportunity to develop personal and employability skills, and to work with world-class influential leaders which will undoubtedly have a huge positive impact.”
Carol Fitzsimons MBE, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise NI, said: “Young Enterprise believes strongly in the potential of young people and making sure they are given every opportunity to develop skills for success in life. We look forward to partnering on Digital Futures to provide opportunities for the young people involved to be part of this potentially life changing experience.”