Asia Berlin Forum e.V.



Dr. Feiyu Xu
Senior Vice President, Global Head of Artificial Intelligence, SAP
Dr. Feiyu Xu is Senior Vice President, Global Head of Artificial Intelligence, at SAP. Dr. Xu is leading the AI strategy of SAP and its holistic implementation. Since Feb 2022, Dr. Xu is member of supervisory board of German Research Center of Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). From March 2017 to March 2020, Dr. Xu was Vice President of Lenovo Group, Head of the AI Lab, Lenovo Research. Dr. Xu has broad and in-depth experience of the total cycle of innovation in her expert areas, namely, from basic research, to application and development and finally to products and their commercialization. Prior to joining Lenovo, she was Principal Researcher of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), leading the research group of text analytics in the Language Technology Lab. In addition, she was co-founder and general manager of Yocoy Technologies GmbH, a DFKI spin-off company founded in 2007. In 2013, she won the Google Focused Research Award for her contribution in the field of natural language processing. In 2014, she was awarded the honor of DFKI Research Fellow, the highest honor for researchers at DFKI. Dr. Xu has published more than 100 research papers, many of which have been published in internationally renowned artificial intelligence conferences such as ACL, COLING, EMNLP, CONLL, NAACL and LREC. She was also the area chair of text mining, information extraction and Q&A, in European Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL) 2017, and also the area chair of text mining and Q&A, in International Association for Computational Languages (ACL) 2018. Feiyu Xu studied technical translation at Tongji University in Shanghai after having been nominated and selected with a waiver of the national admission exam in year 1987. She then studied computational linguistics at Saarland University from 1992 to 1998 and graduated by receiving a Diplom (MSc) with distinction. Her PhD-Thesis is about "bootstrapping relation extraction from semantic seed" in "information extraction". In 2015, Feiyu Xu has completed a habilitation in big text data analytics. In 2019, Dr. Xu was selected as Forbes 2019 China List of Top 50 Women in Tech. At Global AI Application Product Expo 2019 in China, she was honored as top 10 Persons of the year of Chinese Artificial Intelligence. Specialties: AI technology strategy, information service system design, business intelligence, big data, natural language processing, conversational AI, knowledge graph, AI solutions, mobile applications, fluent in Chinese, English and German.
Vice Chairman:
Timon Rupp
A hybrid by education, an entrepreneur by heart, a visionary by mind. Timon believes in the creative power of highly connected experts and entrepreneurs. With the founding of The Drivery GmbH in 2019, he created a global marketplace for mobility innovation. In a unique environment, the exchange of ideas and concepts between visionaries, inventors, and politicians is accelerating innovation. Timon has distinguished himself as an MDAX executive, an entrepreneur, and a corporate venturing specialist with several successful foundations. After spending many years abroad working in Asian and American innovation centers, Timon returned to the EU where he founded the leading IoT platform Lightify in 2013. After a high-growth phase and collaboration with partners such as Google and Amazon, he exited Lightify in 2017. In 2017 Timon joined the executive leadership circle of another MDAX company as vice president and head of its incubators. He successfully accompanied several highly valued startups as a mentor and member of the board through the ideation, founding and growth phase.
Dr. Nicole Renvert
Head, Government Relations, Voith GmbH & Co. KGaA
Nicole Renvert holds a doctorate in Political Science with a focus on transatlantic relations and works in government relations for the technology company Voith. She studied History, International Relations and Political Science at the University of Bonn, the Sorbonne in Paris and the Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.. She teaches at the Berlin University of Applied Science, is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) in Washington, D.C. and is a board member of the Forum Ebenhausen of the Science and Politics Foundation (SWP). Nicole Renvert has worked for the Research Institute of the Holocaust Museum, the World Bank, the OSCE, the Aspen Institute and the Foreign Office and has worked internationally for several corporate foundations.
Pei Albrecht
Head of Asia Affairs, ALBA Group plc & Co. KG
Pei Albrecht studied international economics and trade and innovative management in China and Germany. She worked in various industries, e.g. pharmaceutical industry, education, business development, as well as for an international machine tool manufacturer in the field of project development and intercultural management between Germany and China. In 2010 she started working in the recycling area at the ALBA Group, one of the leading recycling and environmental service providers as well as raw material suppliers worldwide. Today she heads the Asia Affairs department in the company.
Lydia Bierwirth
Head of Technology Communications, Siemens AG
Lydia Bierwirth is heading global Communications for Siemens Technology. She has been responsible as Business Partner Communications to Managing Board Member, Cedrik Neike, for the last four years. In her role, she has been managing cross-teams and projects with a strong focus on Berlin and Asia. Lydia held several positions in communications, transformation and strategy in Germany and abroad such as Head of Thought Leadership for Siemens Smart Infrastructure or Mobility Global Coordination & Communication Strategy closely linked to businesses and government affairs. She studied business administration and international marketing in Hanover, Germany, and Deventer, the Netherlands.
Chika Yamamoto
CEO & Bridgebuilder, Crossbie
Angel investor, cross-border business accelerator, and educator inspired by building a global inclusive future, which our next generations can live in peace. CROSSBIE is a Berlin based company with a focus on bringing Japan and the global startup ecosystems together. CROSSBIE creates a tech marketplace for both companies and startups, promotes development of new innovations, and drives sustainable business and societal impact. Recently became a Partner at The Change to expand the horizon to support all sizes of Germany based companies financially. In my past I founded a few startups, worked in an early stage startup, and built a location based mobile service ground up in a corporation. Such services include: ICT, Ed-tech, location and SNS based consumer service, ad-tech, and EC retail with logistics behind. My product and service management experience since 2004 includes: vision creation, consumer research and validation, roadmap and portfolio management, product development, and product launch and rollout. Focus areas include: UX, B2B2C deployment, 3rd party alliances, strategy and brand management, and product marketing, in Japan, Europe Middle East and Africa regions, and north America.
Dr. Dr. Talat Mahmood
CEO, Bridge to Pakistan (B2P) GmbH
Dr. Dr. Talat Mahmood is a founding member of the Asia Berlin Forum e.V. and has been organizing the "Pakistan Business Day" in Berlin since 1997 with high-ranking delegations from business and politics. Over the past two decades, Dr. Dr. Mahmood has established a high-profile network of German and Pakistani business and politics representatives and has organized conferences with German think tanks and meetings between high-ranking representatives from both countries. Dr. Dr. Talat Mahmood worked as a Senior Fellow at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB), the largest European think tank in this field. He received his first doctorate in Industrial Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin, and another one in Industrial Economics from the Humboldt University of Berlin. As an industrial economist, he has already taught at various universities and published several articles in international journals. He is currently the CEO of B2P GmbH with a focus on providing intelligent products and technology solutions, renewable energy and energy technologies, information and communication technologies (ICT) and clean technologies (waste and water treatment) for German and European companies - and the general public and business world in Pakistan.
Miguel Encarnacion
Managing Partner, Unifier Ventures
Miguel is a Venture Capitalist who spent his early career leading corporate and investment banking deals for HSBC and ANZ. After his banking stints, he co-founded a game design studio, which quickly led him down the path of venture capital and angel investments. In 2013, he joined Novel Capital, a multi-family office with headquarters in Manila, Philippines, leading the foray into private equity, venture capital, and advisory while growing the portfolio from 10 to 60 companies. Since 2017, he has been based in Germany to invest in and advise European technology startups looking to internationalize and scale in Southeast Asia. He is a mentor for the Berlin Founders Fund and an ambassador for both the AsiaBerlin network and the German Accelerator program.
Niels C. Meinke
Head of Government & External Relations and Berlin Representative Office, Mitsubishi Electric Europe; Special Advisor PR, German-Japanese Business Association (DJW)
Rainer Seider
Head of Unit International Affairs, Governing Mayor of Berlin, Senate Chancellery
Rainer Seider, strong on 27 years’ experience in international cooperation and projects, is heading the Unit for International Affairs and serves as Deputy Head of Protocol for the Governing Mayor of Berlin. He holds two German law degrees (Staatsexamina) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Sciences. Rainer initiated AsiaBerlin (former Asia-Pacific Week) as a platform for dialogue with Asian partners in 1997 and the AsiaBerlin (AB) Delegation Trips in 2016 and AB Events in 2020. He has special experience in cooperation with partners in France, the USA, Russia, Turkey, and various Asian countries. Rainer is an international networker for Berlin with a focus on startups.
Upen Barve
Chief Fusionist VP, Head of Future Hub Engagements, SAP New Ventures & Technologies, SAP SE​; Founder & Curator, SAP Intelligent Enterprise Institute, Berlin Chapter​
Upen heads Future Hub Engagements at the SAP managing SAP external ecosystem and fostering new collaborations based on SAP’s vision. As a true Fusionist, he enjoys working with various minds, ideas and ambitions, using and exchanging methods, tools and mindset to identify the possible and desired futures. Upen leverages his experience in technologies, innovation methods, inspiration from various cultures and geographies to create new flavours and business experiences helping organizations to stay future ready.​ ​ He is a Certified Global Business Transformation Master, has Masters in eBusiness, and is a senior Design Thinking & Business Innovation Coach. Since 2003, Upen has held several strategic roles at SAP in various board areas and geographies. He has created several pioneering business initiatives & experiences. He represents SAP at key external forums to foster strategic ties. Upen has assisted various leaders and c-level executives on managing innovation in times of exponential growth and also advises start ups on customer acquisition strategies.​


Swantje Gies
Managing Director
Before joining the Asia Berlin Forum e.V., Swantje was active in development cooperation for many years. She worked at a large international operating organisation in the Asia & Pacific department and was mainly responsible for projects with partners in India and Nepal. Her focus is on a range of issues from human rights, health, gender equality to climate change. Swantje has a background in international economics; she studied in Göttingen, Istanbul and Shanghai.
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