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Tony Prescott
Director, Sheffield Robotics

Tony Prescott MA (Edinburgh) MSc (Aberdeen) PhD (Sheffield)
Director of Sheffield Robotics
Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Sheffield

Tony Prescott develops biomimetic robots that resemble animals, including humans. His goal is both to advance the understanding of biological life, and to create useful new technologies such as assistive, educational and entertainment robots. 
Tony is the co-founder and current Director of Sheffield Robotics a cross-institutional robotics research institute with over one hundred active researchers. With his collaborators he has developed the whiskered robots Scratchbot and Shrewbot and the companion robot pet MiRo. He is currently working to develop brain-like control systems for the iCub humanoid robot that will provide the robot with a “sense of self”. 

As the co-founder of the British start-up company Consequential Robotics he is also engaged in commercial projects to develop assistive robots that will enhance the experience of life as we age. 

As a founding member of the EPSRC Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network, he is involved in developing strategies for knowledge transfer, internationalisation, and outreach for UK activities in robotics. His research has been covered by the major news and scientific media including the BBC, CNN, Discovery Channel, Science Magazine and New Scientist.

Matthew Astill
CEO, Cavendish Group International

Matthew Astill is a media entrepreneur. After being hired as a strategy management consultant for Accenture, Matthew set up his first publishing business, Media Fit Ltd, in 1997. In December 1998, he co-founded Simply Internet Ltd. In July 2002, he bought Cavendish Group Ltd and has transformed it into the foremost business to business technology publisher for the BRIC countries. He launched bric.com in 2007 to enable western suppliers to do business with BRIC buyers. In 2008, he launched the International Capital Conference.

Matthew Astill was presented with the Great Wall Friendship award by Beijing’s Deputy Mayor Ji Lin in February 2009 in recognition of his role in bringing foreign technology content to China and, specifically, creating an Olympic infrastructure partnership. Cavendish Group owns a stable of world leading business to business media brands for Cities, Cross border investing and Energy. These include the ICC, Host City, RAID (Robotics AI, IOT, Data) and FOG (future oil and gas)

Wei Qi
CEO, CAS Quantum Network Co., Ltd

Dr. Wei Qi is the CEO of CAS Quantum Network Co., Ltd, and the Chairman of CCSA Special Task Force (ST7) on Quantum Communication and Information Technology. Before joining the company, he worked as the director of office of development and planning at University of Science and Technology of China, and Deputy Secretary-General of municipal government at Hefei, Anhui. He has received several awards such as the first prize in the defense science-technology industrial enterprise management innovation achievements, the second prize in the 13th national enterprise management innovation achievements etc. Now, Dr. Qi is working on the industrialization of quantum communication technology, and has successively promoted the establishment of the China Quantum Communications Industry Alliance and Quantum Information Association of China (QIAC).

Jean Pierre Raffarin
Former Prime Minister, Honorary Member of the Parliament, Chairman of the Foundation Prospective and Innovation

Born in 1948 in Poitiers, Mr. Jean-Pierre Raffarin is graduated from l’École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP). He was senior lecturer at the Institut d’Études politiques of Paris and he occupies this position at ESCP Europe since 2007.

Political career at the national level

From 1988 to 2002, he was President of the Regional Council of Poitou-Charentes and presided over the Association of French Regions. Meanwhile, he was also a member and questor of the European Parliament.

From 1995 to 1997, he was appointed Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Commerce and Craft. Appointed by Jacques Chirac, he was the French Prime Minister from May 2002 to May 2005.

Elected Senator of Vienne from 1995 to 2017, he also occupied the position of Vice-President of the Senate from March 2011 to September 2014. Moreover, from October 2014 to July 2017, he was President of the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces Committee of the Senate.
Since the beginning of his political involvement, he is a member of governing bodies of Center-Right political family.

International activities

- Advisor to BOAO Forum (Asia);
- Chairman of the Foundation Prospective and Innovation;
- Chairman of France—China Committee Annual Forum;
- Chairman of the Foundation Leaders for Peace
- Board member of the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai;
- Board member of the “Praemium Imperial” – Tokyo;
- President of the French Republic’s personal representative for Francophony from 2009 to 2012;
- Several presidential missions, including the one related to economic relations with Algeria.
- French Special Representative for China (since January 2018).

Latest publications

- Ce que la Chine nous a appris, book in chinese written with Anne-Marie Raffarin, 2010
- Je marcherai toujours à l’affectif, Flammarion 2012
- Chine, le grand paradoxe : pour le réveil de l’Europe, Michel Lafon, 2019


Serge Lasvignes
President, Centre Pompidou

Serge Lasvignes was born in 1954. He holds an agrégation in literature and is a former student of the Ecole nationale d’administration (class of 1989). Beginning his career at the Conseil d’état he went on to become Director of general and international affairs and cooperation at the French Ministry of Education, Higher Education, Research and Professional Integration from 1995 to 1996, before becoming that same ministry’s Director of Legal affairs from 1996 to 1997.

He was subsequently made Director at the General Secretariat of the Government (1997-2006) before becoming General-Secretary of the Government from 2006 to 2015.

Serge Lasvignes has been the President of the Centre national d’art et de culture Georges Pompidou, and President of the Supervisory Boards of the Bibliothèque publique d’information (Bpi), the Institut de recherche acoustique/musique (Ircam) as well as that of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, since April 2015.

Hanno Schoklitsch
Head of Kaiserwetter Energy Asset Management

Hanno Schoklitsch is a civil engineer and also earned a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Graz/Austria and Universidad de Cantabria/Spain. He has more than 15 years of experience working in various positions restructuring bank-related real estate companies, particularly in the areas of asset management, investment management and funds management in Germany, Austria and Spain.

Before founding Kaiserwetter in 2012, he was responsible for the asset management of a real estate portfolio of some €1.6 billion in CEE, SEE and EE in his capacity as Managing Director and COO of Europolis Real Estate Asset Management GmbH/Vienna. Under his direction between 2005 and 2007, the performance of the second-largest German open-ended real estate fund (Deka Immobilien Europa/Frankfurt), with a volume of some €8.0 billion, was invigorated with lasting effect.

From 2002-2005 he was involved in various capacities in the restructuring of the real estate subsidiary of Bankgesellschaft Berlin. At the beginning of 2000, he was employed by the Westdeutsche Immobilienbank in Düsseldorf. Prior to this, he worked in structural engineering for various construction companies (including STRABAG and Wayss&Freytag), gaining experience in the organization and management of large-scale construction projects, such as for pumped-storage hydroelectric plants and hydropower plants.

Kulveer Ranger
Vice-President, Strategy & Communications, Atos UK & I

Kulveer Ranger is Vice-President, Strategy and Communications, Atos UK and Ireland. He is a Digital Leader and developed the Atos UK public sector strategy to support the digital transformation of citizen services. His previous positions included leading the Mayor of London’s Transport, Environment, and Digital Strategy Policy divisions between 2008-12. He was also a member of the London 2012 Olympic Transport Board, the C40 International Steering Committee and the Bristol 2015 Green Capital Board. He is currently Chair of the Digital City Exchange Advisory Board at Imperial College Business School. He has extensive knowledge of developing and delivering major infrastructure and technology programmes. Kulveer is an international public speaker and is also a regular broadcaster for TV and radio.

Jean Charles Simon
Managing Director, Simon Associes

Jean-Charles SIMON, Lawyer and Managing Partner of SIMON Associés, has been developing legal and litigation expertise for 30 years. His expertise is well recognized in M&A, litigation, and especially in the accompaniment or acquisition of ailing companies.

For several years, Jean-Charles SIMON has been working with the international department of the firm to assist French and international companies in their development and relations abroad. The firm relies on leading local firms in the 31 countries (www.simoninternational.org).


In China, Jean-Charles SIMON has developed his know-how with a dedicated team of several associates all with multilingual and multicultural competences. He often travels between the two countries. The firm developed the YINGKE SIMON Chinese Center in Paris and Beijing and has an office at YINGKE LAWYERS Building in Beijing. Jean-Charles SIMON advises French companies as well as Chinese companies focused on Europe, France, Africa or other regions of the world where the firm has networks.

Jean-Charles SIMON organizes or participates in numerous professional events and is the author of many articles and interviews.

He is a member of various professional associations or in connection with their international activities.

Jean Hervé Lorenzi
Chairman, Le Cercle des Économistes

Jean-Hervé Lorenzi, Major at the Agrégation des facultés de droit et sciences economies (Faculties of Law and Economics) in 1975, is Chairman of the Cercle des économistes (the famous circle of French economists), holder of the Chair “Demographic Transition, Economic Transition within the Fondation du Risque (Foundation of the Risk) and Chairman of the Pôle de Compétitivité (Pole of Competitiveness) “Finance Innovation”.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Edmond de Rothschild France Group, of the supervisory board of Euler Hermes and the Boards of directors (board meetings) of the Médéric Alzheimer Foundation, the IDATE and the BNP Paribas Cardif. He was Professor at the university Paris-Dauphine and the member of council of economic analysis.

He has notably published: Un monde de violences. L'économie mondiale 2015-2030, Paris, Eyrolles, 2014 ; Rajeunissement et vieillissement de la France (with J. Pelletan and A. Villemeur), Paris, Descartes & Cie, 2012 ; Droite contre gauche, (with O. Pastré), Paris, Fayard, 2012 ; Le fabuleux destin d'une puissance intermédiaire, Paris, Grasset, 2011 ; Le choc des populations : guerre ou paix, (in collaboration with P. Dockès), Paris, Fayard, 2010.

Prof. Dr. Paul Verschure
Director, Synthetic Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems (SPECS) Laboratory, Pompeu Fabra University

Paul Verschure is Catalan Institute of Advanced Studies (ICREA) Research Professor, Director of the neuro-engineering program at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalunya and the Barcelona Institute of Science and technology where he runs the Synthetic Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems (SPECS) Laboratory (specs.upf.edu). He is founder/CEO of Eodyne Systems S.L. (Eodyne.com), which is commercializing a novel science grounded neurorehabilitation and cultural heritage technologies. Paul is founder/Chairman of the Future Memory Foundation (futurememoryfoundation.org) which aims at supporting the development of new tools and paradigms for the conservation, presentation, and education of the history of the Holocaust and Nazi crimes.

He received his MA and Ph.D. in Psychology, and Paul's scientific aim is to find a unified theory of mind and brain using synthetic methods and to apply it to the quality of life enhancing technologies. His theory of mind and brain, Distributed Adaptive Control, has shed light on the function of a number of brain structures, used to control advanced mobile and humanoid robotic systems and has laid the foundation for a novel neurorehabilitation approach called the Rehabilitation Gaming System (http://specs.upf.edu/research_in_neurorehabilitation). Paul explores new methods for the simulation, visualization, and exploration of complex data to support his DAC theory and advance clinical diagnostics and intervention in neuropathologies such as stroke and epilepsy (brainx3.com). Complementary to his science, Paul has developed and deployed over 25 art installations (http://specs.upf.edu/installations). These include the biomimetic mixed reality space Ada experienced by over half a million visitors (2002) and more recently three virtual/augmented reality educational installations and applications for the Memorial Site Bergen-Belsen (2012 - ) which is now generalized to other sites across Europe.

Paul manages a multidisciplinary team of 30 researchers (specs.upf.edu) with whom he has published over 300 articles in leading journals and conferences in a range of disciplines. Paul collaborates with a wide network of international researchers. He has represented Switzerland at the Global Science Forum of the OECD, is chair of the annual Barcelona Cognition, Brain, and Technology summer school and co-chair of the annual Convergent Science Network’s conference Living Machines. Paul also hosts a podcast (csnetwork.eu/talks/podcast). He is the founder and academic director of the Interdisciplinary Master programme Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media at University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.



RAID Conference and Exhibition addresses new innovations and disruptive technologies in areas of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Internet-of-Things and Data


  • Cavendish Group
    2nd Floor Front, 116-118 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PP, United Kingdom
    Tel: +44 (0)203 675 9530
    Email: raid@cavendishgroup.co.uk