Dr Lee Rong is a global pioneer of information and communication technologies shaping the future of Industry 4.0. With over 20 years international experience in ICT and Operational Technology, Dr Rong is one of the world’s leading technical and commercial experts on 5G, cloud computing and Industry 4.0. Having studied and worked in the field in Australia, France, Japan, and China, Dr Rong has had a quintessentially global career, which has taken him from academic researcher, to industry expert, and most recently, tech entrepreneur. Always working at the cutting edge of mobile technology development and commercialisation, he has held research, strategy, partnerships and sales roles with some of the world’s leading ICT companies.
Determined to fulfil his dream to create his own company, he joined a new subsidiary of manufacturing giant, Foxconn, in 2017 as the Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer. This subsidiary, backed with US$90M of investment from the FoxConn group, drove market development of 5G+Industry 4.0 applications within Foxconn. In 2020 he leapt further to the frontier of Industry 4.0 applications, at AI-Link Network, a company backed with US$15M investment (including angel investment from Xiaomi Inc.) to focus on the application of 5G and Edge Computing to support and underpin smart manufacturing.
Dr Rong migrated to Australia from Shanghai at the age of 15, completing his school education and progressing into a Bachelor of Computer Engineering (Hons) at UNSW. He then completed his PhD on distributed multimedia systems at the University of Wollongong, before moving to Paris in 2007 to start his post-doctorate at France’s National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology. It was in France that he was drawn into the field of telecommunications, joining France Telecom, Orange, where he led exploration of 4G technologies and the future of cloud computing as a senior research engineer. His hunger for travel and experiencing new cultures saw him move to Japan while still working for Orange, diving deep into the Japanese technology ecosystem. Recruited by Ericsson, he worked in product strategy and customer engagement in Tokyo, before transferring to Beijing in 2015 as the company’s prime driver on 5G cooperation with the largest mobile operator in the world, China Mobile. Over the following two years, Dr Rong drove cooperation with partners such as Intel and Qualcomm achieving a total of three “world’s first” commercial launches.
For the past nine years, Dr Rong has worked at the forefront of 5G in the global centre of the technology’s development. He has been recognised as an Industrial 4.0 and 5G expert by two of the largest and most influential government provinces in China, and in 2021 he was awarded the prestigious expert award by the largest industrial mobile robot AGV/AMR consortium in China. Dr Rong is passionate about the role of advanced technologies in the future of work. In his current role he is pursuing the potential of robotics, cloud computing, Industrial loT and 5G connectivity to work together to improve manufacturing capabilities and sustainability in the face of an ageing workforce and the impacts of climate change.