Michael Sung

Dr. Michael Sung is a high-tech innovator and entrepreneur, and has started a number of successful ventures in the advanced materials and semiconductor industries. He is the Chairman of CarbonBlue Innovations, a tech transfer platform and investment fund that is focused on connect internationally-sourced innovation to China, particularly in the areas of blockchain, artificial intelligence, electric/autonomous vehicles, Industry 4.0, and semiconductor technologies. Dr. Sung is an active investor as a partner/advisor in a number of venture capital and accelerator funds, through which he is an advisor to numerous startups. He has various partnerships with China ecosystem leaders such as Beijing Zhongguancun and Tsinghua/TUS, where he serves as a technology advisor for their investment committees. Dr. Sung currently has a strong focus investing in and partnering with leading international blockchain companies to connect to China's One Belt One Road and Greater Bay Area initiatives.

Dr. Sung has a strong expertise in intellectual property strategy, technology transfer, and high-tech commercialization. He is faculty at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, where he teaches and drives various initiatives related to high-tech entrepreneurship and innovation. He served as the former Director for the Center for Industry Engagement and Associate Director of the Entrepreneurship Center at HKUST, and now leads the entrepreneurship initiatives for the MBA program as well as acts as an academic director and instructor for the Executive Education/EMBA programs for the School of Business and Management.

Dr. Sung serves in various advisory roles for the HK, Taiwan, and Shenzhen governments on international tech transfer policy and building innovation ecosystems. He is a founder of the One World Blockchain Alliance, an industry consortia connecting the world's leading blockchain companies to China's Belt and Road initiatives. He is also founding board member for the Technology Innovation Council of Asia, a think tank focused on providing enlightened policy recommendations for regulating disruptive technologies to Asian governments including autonomous vehicle, data privacy, ethical AI, and cryptocurrency/ICO legislation. Dr. Sung is also currently the chair of the steering committee for MIT Tech Review’s Emtech HK Conference.

While in graduate school, Dr. Sung was the principal investigator for the influential Wearable Computing Group at the MIT Media Lab, where his colleagues have gone on to spearhead projects such as Google Glass, Samsung Gear, and Apple Watch. Dr. Sung is a pioneer in integrating the fields of AI and IOT as an early innovator of wearable continuous physiologic sensing and health monitoring technologies. Dr. Sung was one of the first to anticipate the quantified-self movement by using big data machine learning techniques to develop predictive human behavior models from long-term multi-modal context and physiologic data. He pioneered the use of non-invasive sensing technologies to develop predictive systems for applications ranging from triaging army rangers for hypothermia (with the U.S. Army Research Institute for Environment Medicine) to developing the world’s first objective quantitative measure and predictive model for patients with depression (partnering with Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard).

A regular invited speaker at various innovation conferences and technology forums, Dr. Sung is the author of over 10 patents & 80 conference/journal papers. He has received various awards for technology entrepreneurship including Jiangsu Province’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Talent People Program and MIT Enterprise Forum’s Most Visionary Technology Award. One of his projects on large-scale graphene manufacturing was recently selected for Google’s Solve for X Prize, the first project ever selected from China/HK. Prof. Sung received his Ph.D. in EECS while working at the MIT Media Lab/Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and also has a graduate financial engineering degree from MIT Sloan Business School.

One Belt, One Road, One World: Connecting International Innovation to the Developing World

At the 19th National Congress last October, 2017, China's President Xi Jinping’s visionary “One Belt One Road” Policy was unexpectedly included in the Communist Party’s constitution, reflecting Xi’s ambitious desire to cement his legacy in leading China to take a global leadership role in the world as the world pivots from West to East.

The Belt and Road Initiative is intended to drive trade and capital flows between the east and the west by improving the infrastructure of ancient overland and maritime routes, connecting more than 65 countries across Europe, Asia and Africa. These routes represent the highest growth developing nations over the next few decades, covering two-thirds of the world’s population and constituting a third of global GDP. It is anticipated this initiative will consume most of China’s outbound investment in the decades to come, costing over US$1.7 trillion a year through 2030. Based on this infrastructure investment, the annual trade volume between China and countries along the Belt and Road routes is expected to exceed US$2.5 trillion in the next ten years.

The whole intent of the Belt and Road Initiative is to free the flow of trade and capital for the benefit of all the constituent nations. This ethos is no better encapsulated and enabled than by blockchain technology. Blockchain technology is in the process of disrupting every imaginable industry by disintermediating the traditional central authorities which control information flow, allowing third parties to conduct trade and services in a trusted but completely decentralized way. In addition, blockchain technologies naturally complement the natural development of the Belt and Road, as most of the early effort is focused on infrastructure projects such as railways, roads, ports, power plants, and IT networks.

As such, there is a unique opportunity for the best-in-class international blockchain companies to strategically collaborate together to provide the communications and operational backbone that can directly overlay on top of the infrastructure build-out. By collaborating, there is an opportunity to create unifying platforms to allow the interoperability of all the critical software services for the Belt and Road such as logistics, back office, reservation, payment transfer, trade finance, etc. These services should interoperate with AI, Industry 4.0, autonomous vehicles, big data, and IOT solutions to truly enable smart cities to flourish.

To be able to credibly connect to China and the Belt and Road Initiative, our partners have cultivated strong relationships with the central government, notably the top leadership in the National Development and Reform Commision and important organisations controlled directly by the Communist Party that coordinate with the ministries and governments around the world. As such, our alliance gets privileged access to the priorities, roadmaps, and importantly invited access to strategic development projects inside China and around the Belt and Road. By working directly with the central government at the strategic planning level, we are innovating on joint venture models that serve the interests of both the international companies as well as the mandates of China.

Even though the Belt and Road may be a Chinese initiative, it takes a global effort involving international organizations, technology companies, finance industry, professional services, local government/firms, and the participating cities along the new Silk Road.

The mission of the One World Blockchain Alliance is to connect the most innovative blockchain companies in the developed world to the vast opportunities of the developing world for the benefit of all. One Belt, One Road, One World, connected by The Blockchain.