Some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics and creatives will gather to celebrate UK technological excellence at the GREAT Festival of Innovation in Hong Kong this spring.

Taking place March 21-24, 2018, the event has already attracted a host of top names to take part in a packed conference programme, with thought-provoking sessions touching everything from the future of free trade to the threats and opportunities posed by the development of artificial intelligence.

Organised by the UK’s Department for International Trade, a number of the Festival’s key speakers are amongst the leaders of globally recognised technology businesses. Names confirmed include former GCHQ boss Robert Hannigan; Tea Uglow from Google’s Creative labs; Sanjay Aurora, from cyber-security experts Darktrace; Alex Kong of currency transfer firm TNG Wallet; and entrepreneur and co-founder Brent Hoberman.

The four-day Festival will examine the future challenges and opportunities of our increasingly connected world, and showcase the UK as one of the world’s best places to visit, study, invest in and do business. There are over 58,000 technology firms based in the UK, and the Festival aims to deliver further growth and investment through enhanced international trade.

Day One has a tech focus and some of the sessions announced so far include Fintech Futures, a look at technologies such as blockchain, apps and online lending that are driving start-ups in the financial sector; Disruption in Business, examining the societal and technological changes that businesses should protect themselves from; and Securing the Global Network, a debate into the importance of cyber-security.

Other tech sessions include Powering Tomorrow’s Ideas, an examination of how governments and the private sector can develop low-carbon cities; Dawn of the AI Age, a look at the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning; and Workplaces of the Future, with some of the world’s top architects and business leaders examining the changing role of workspaces to keep employees healthy and happy.

Outside of the conference programme, the Festival will offer specially-invited UK business leaders the chance to meet counterparts from across Asia to discuss possible future trading and investment opportunities.

The Great Festival of Innovation Hong Kong will be the third of its kind, following successful events in Istanbul (2014) and Shanghai (2015). Its vision is to create long-term partnerships that drive the future of free trade and prosperity between the UK and Asia.

The GREAT Britain campaign is currently active in 144 countries and has already delivered £2.7 billion in economic benefits for the UK.

Several hundred invited delegates will attend the Hong Kong event, which takes place at the Asia Society Hong Kong Centre and will feature more than 60 panels and events over its four days.