University shines on world stage

November 30th, 2010

It was a gamble to commit to being the only UK university with its own presence at 2010’s World Expo in Shanghai, China, but Nottingham’s investment has achieved positive outcomes.

New business and research partnerships are emerging from 17 expert-led events attended by more than 1,000 key stakeholders, as well as the many meetings that took place in and around the Expo.

Hundreds of thousands of Expo visitors explored — through words, pictures and video — The University of Nottingham’s world-changing research in sustainability as part of its collaborative exhibition with ZEDfactory based on the theme Zero Carbon, Zero Waste.

For six months, from May until the end of October this year, 73 million visitors flocked to Expo 2010. This was the largest ever Expo and the first in a developing country. The 5.3 sq km site was dubbed a ‘global village’, with 246 nations and 50 organisations exhibiting under the main theme Better City, Better Life. The University addressed this theme across subject areas.

Top researchers from Nottingham’s campuses in the UK and Asia — as well as leading academic colleagues from other institutions worldwide — hosted and participated in thought-provoking workshops, lectures and conferences spanning the University’s extensive research in sustainability.

“Expo 2010 provided a compelling platform to showcase our portfolio of work in sustainability conveying our message to a genuinely global audience. Being at Shanghai Expo reminded us all that resource management, population health and climate change are problems that respect no national boundaries,” said the University’s Expo lead Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Chris Rudd.

“With every major city of the world represented at the Expo, we had a unique chance to benchmark the East Midlands’ progress tackling critical issues provoked by climate change — how these affect ordinary citizens and the challenges and opportunities facing the sustainable cities of tomorrow.

“Every new visitor to our ZEDpavilion exhibition left with a clear sense of these messages,” he said, “but they were also alive to the knowledge that some of the world’s most creative and dedicated scientists are improving lives, driving economic growth and helping our cities to eat, drink and breathe.”

The University of Nottingham’s first Expo event, on China’s Sustainable Development, was launched by former Deputy Prime Minister the Right Honourable John Prescott.

The programme included subjects as diverse as alternative energy and carbon capture and storage, to MRI and sustainable healthcare, zero carbon building and planning, plant reproduction for global food security, film and television studies, and mental health.

All events took place in The Auditorium at London ZEDpavilion. The building is an example of urban best practice, designed and built by leading green architects ZEDfactory, which was founded by Bill Dunster, lead architect for the first phases of Jubilee Campus.

ZEDpavilion was chosen after winning the international design competition in this category. For Shanghai Expo, the University partnered with the East Midlands Development Agency (emda) to attract Chinese investment to the East Midlands through the work of emda’s East Midlands China Business Bureau. Our events attracted 92 senior managers from Chinese industry representing 75 companies. The University received 411 serious business enquiries. Government and policy-makers, academics and students also attended. Visit:

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