Specialised Expo 2017 Astana drew to a close last night, 10 September, following a three-month journey into the theme of “Future Energy.” Staged in the Republic of Kazakhstan’s young capital city, the first Expo in Central Asia concluded with an impressive closing ceremony led by Nursultan Nazerbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
“The Expo has been a success. This is one of Kazakhstan’s most brilliant achievements since its independence”, declared President Nazerbayev during the closing ceremony, which was attended by 18 heads of State and government, National Commissioners, BIE Officials, Expo staff and volunteers.
The Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Vicente G. Loscertales made a video address, declaring: “Expo 2017 Astana has united the world on its site and has inspired the international community, international participants, the private sector and civil society to renew their commitment to a sustainable future.” The Secretary General expressed his gratitude to President Nazarbayev as well as to the Organisers, Participants and volunteers for making the Expo such a success.
115 countries and 22 international organisations participated in Expo 2017, offering visitors a global picture of the challenges and opportunities raised by the “Future Energy” theme through educational, entertaining and immersive pavilions. Gathering policymakers, experts and business leaders through an array of events and meetings, the Expo has been a centre of discussion allowing global players to discuss the state of energy today and to shape the agenda for the future. The Future Energy Forum, a series of 12 conferences, was held within the framework of the Expo, resulting in the ‘Manifesto of Principles and Values’, a blueprint with lasting guidelines for a global energy transition.
With an average of over 50,000 visitors per day in its final weeks, four million visitors attended the Expo before its gates closed to the public on Sunday evening. Dozens of cultural events each day proved just as popular as the thematic and international pavilions, as visitors from all over Kazakhstan and further afield flocked in increasing numbers to the Expo site. Marked by a spectacular light and sound show as well as energy-themed performances, the closing ceremony was the last of over 3,000 cultural and thematic events held throughout the 93 days of the Expo.
Centred around the 80-metre “Nur Alem” sphere, the Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill-designed Expo site spans 25 hectares, creating a brand new district of Kazakhstan’s capital city. The Nur Alem sphere will continue to be a popular attraction with its Museum of Future Energy, while the rest of the site will be host to business and research activities, including the newly created Astana International Financial Centre.
The next Specialised Expo will take place in either 2022/23, with the 170 Member States of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) to elect the host country during its 162nd General Assembly on 15 November 2017. Three candidates are seeking to organise the next Specialised Expo: Poland (Łódź), the United States (Minneapolis) and Argentina (Buenos Aires).
The Expo 2017 Astana edition of the BIE-Cosmos Prize has been awarded to the National University of Lesotho for its initiative to design and produce low-cost solar collectors.
Jointly awarded by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the Expo ’90 Foundation and Expo 2017 Astana, this year’s edition of the BIE Cosmos Prize was open to not-for-profit projects citizen and group initiatives working in the area of “Future Energy”, the theme of Expo 2017.
Six projects from across the world were shortlisted to be showcased in the Energy Best Practices Area of Expo 2017 Astana, following a call for applications in February 2017. Receiving a grant of 20,000 euros, the winning project was announced within the framework of BIE Day, after being selected by an international jury.
The jury recognised the relevance of the project with regard to the “Future Energy” theme of Expo 2017 and its commitment to promote energy for all. Dimitri Kerkentzes, Deputy Secretary General of the BIE, indicated that the winning project is “a concrete example of the core values of both Expo 2017 Astana and Expo ’90, to promote sustainability and environmental protection.” Mr. Shinya Kubota of the Expo ’90 Foundation stated: “the National University of Lesotho’s project fully embodies the harmonious coexistence of nature and mankind, the fundamental principle of the Expo ’90 Foundation.”
The winning project is an initiative of the Department of Physics and Electronics at the National University of Lesotho (NUL), which seeks to promote the local production of low-cost flat plate solar energy collector. These collectors use the sun’s energy to heat water for purification and cooking, thus improving living conditions in rural areas of Lesotho where there is limited access to clean water and energy. NUL’s initiative involves providing training about designing and producing solar collectors using locally available resources.
The BIE-Cosmos Prize is a collaboration between the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) and the Expo ’90 Foundation, which commemorates the International Horticultural Expo 1990 in Osaka, Japan. At each World Expo and Specialised Expo since 2008, the BIE-Cosmos Prize has supported innovative and exemplary projects linked to the theme of the Expo. Each prize gives financial support to one project whose development constitutes a tangible part of each Expo’s grassroots legacy.
The BIE Day Awards Ceremony was held this evening, during which the recipients of the Expo 2017 Official Participant Awards were announced. Held on the eve of the closing of each Expo, the Awards Ceremony, which includes the attribution of BIE Medals and Certificates, celebrates all those who have made major contributions to the success of the event.
An international jury composed of nine members visited each pavilion of the 115 countries and 22 international organisations participating in Expo 2017 Astana. Split into four different categories according to the size of the country’s participation, Official Participant Awards were granted either for Exhibition Design or for the development of the “Future Energy” theme.
A total of 24 gold, silver and bronze awards were handed out during the ceremony, which took place in the presence of the President of the General Assembly, Steen Christensen, and the Deputy Secretary General of the BIE, Dimitri Kerkentzes.
List of Expo 2017 Official Participant Awards
Among Type A pavilions (more than 700m2), Russia received the Gold Award for Exhibition Design. The Silver Award went to the United Kingdom, and Bronze went to the Republic of Korea.
For Theme Development, the Gold Award for Type A pavilions went to Germany. Silver was awarded to China, and Bronze was awarded to France.
Among Type B pavilions (between 400m2 and 700m2), Qatar was granted the Gold Award for Exhibition Design, with Azerbaijan receiving Silver and Monaco receiving Bronze.
For Theme Development, the Gold Award for Type B pavilions was given to Switzerland, with Hungary receiving Silver and India receiving Bronze.
For Type C pavilions (less than 400m2), the Gold Award for Exhibition Design was granted to Poland, with Silver going to Slovakia and Latvia taking Bronze.
For Theme Development among Category C pavilions, Finland received the Gold Award. Silver and Bronze were awarded to Singapore and the Czech Republic, respectively.
Among Category D pavilions (joint pavilions within the “plazas”), the Caribbean Community Plaza received the Gold Award for Exhibition Design. The Pacific Ocean Plaza received the Silver Award, and the Bronze Award was given to the Latin America Plaza.
For Theme Development, Tajikistan won the Gold Award within Category D pavilions. Ghana and Ukraine won silver and bronze, respectively.
An Honorable Mention was given to the International Organisation Joint Pavilion.
BIE Medals and Certificates
At the end of each Expo, the BIE awards medals and certificates of merit to organisations and individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the success of the Expo.
The Gold Medal, the BIE’s highest honour, was awarded to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazerbayev in recognition of his personal engagement in bringing Expo 2017 to Astana and making it such a success. The award was accepted on his behalf by Chairman of the Board of Astana Expo 2017 NC Akhmetzan Yessimov. A Gold Medal was also given to the International Participants of Expo 2017 for their collective support and their spirit of cooperation and partnership. The award was received by Romas Jankauskas, Chairperson of the College of Commissioners and Steering Committee, Commissioner of Lithuania.
The Astana Expo 2017 National Company, the organiser of the Expo, was awarded a BIE Medal of Honour in recognition of the dedication of its entire organising team in planning and executing the event, with Chairman Akhmetzan Yessimov receiving the award. The second Medal of Honour was awarded to the City of Astana for integrating the Expo into its strategic vision and day-to-day life, with Mayor Adilbek Zhaksybekov receiving the award. The third Medal of Honour was awarded to the Commissioner of Expo 2017, Rapil Zhoshybayev, for putting together a truly international Expo.
Certificates of Merit were awarded by the BIE to Expo 2017 Volunteers in recognition of their essential support to Organisers, Participants and visitors. The second Certificate was awarded to the Press and Media who covered Expo 2017, recognising their role in promoting and communicating the Expo.
The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) has paid tribute to Organisers and Participants alike as part of BIE Day at Expo 2017 Astana. Taking place on the penultimate day of the Expo, BIE Day is an opportunity for the BIE and its Member States to celebrate the Expo as it draws to a close, involving all those who have contributed to its success.
After celebrating their own national days throughout the duration of the Expo, BIE Day is an occasion for Member States to gather alongside BIE officials and Expo 2017 representatives to look back on what has been achieved. As the BIE is responsible for overseeing Expos from their candidature phase through to their execution and legacy, the event also symbolises the continuity of Expos, and involves the host countries of upcoming Expos – China, host of Horticultural Expo 2019 Beijing and the United Arab Emirates, host of World Expo 2020 Dubai.
The ceremony featured high-level participation from the Organisers of Expo 2017, demonstrating their longstanding cooperation with the BIE. Addressing attendees on the National Day stage, following the flag ceremony, the Chairman of the Board of Astana Expo 2017 National Company, Akhmetzhan Yessimov stated "Expo 2017 is a unique mega-event not only for Kazakhstan, but also for the whole post-Soviet region and for Central Asia."
The Deputy Secretary General of the BIE, Dimitri Kerkentzes, thanked “all those who have made Expo 2017 Astana such a success.” Mr. Kerkentzes added: “organisers and participants, with the cooperation and guidance of the BIE, have created an event that has improved our understanding of the energy challenges facing us and future generations.”
Expo 2017 Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev then took to the National Day stage, adding: “Expo 2017 Astana has become not just a platform for innovative technologies, but also a place for negotiations, meetings of different cultures and discussions”.
President of the General Assembly of the BIE, Steen Christensen, emphasised the importance of the “Future Energy” theme, calling on all participants to “commit to actionable measures and consider the next steps in relation to this theme.”
The ceremony included a cultural programme featuring dancers from Astana, as well as performances by China and the United Arab Emirates.
Concluding the festivities, the BIE Day Awards Ceremony will be held this evening in the Energy Hall, in an event featuring a rich array of Kazakh cultural performances. The Awards ceremony includes the announcement of the recipients of the Expo 2017 Official Participant Awards, the BIE-Cosmos Prize and BIE Medals and Certificates.
The winners of the Expo 2017 Official Participant Awards are based on the decision of an international jury, which has assessed each pavilion’s exhibition design, and development of the “Future Energy” theme. The BIE-Cosmos Prize, jointly awarded by the BIE, the Expo ‘90 Foundation and Expo 2017 Astana, is a grant attributed to a not-for-profit project working in the field of “Future Energy”. BIE Medals and Certificates are awarded by the BIE to individuals and organisations who have made major contributions to the success of the Expo.
The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) is the intergovernmental organisation embodying the commitment of its 170 Member States to lead, promote and foster International Exhibitions for the benefit of the citizens of the international community. In 2012, BIE Member States elected the Republic of Kazakhstan as the host of Specialised Expo 2017.
Six not-for-profit projects from across the world have been shortlisted to receive the BIE-Cosmos Prize, organised in partnership with the Expo ’90 Foundation and Expo 2017 Astana. The prize rewards not-for-profit citizen and group initiatives working in fields related to the theme of the Expo – “Future Energy”.
The six projects are being presented in the Energy Best Practices Area at Expo 2017 Astana, bringing international attention to their respective causes. A jury, appointed by the BIE, Expo 2017 and the Expo ’90 Foundation, will select one winning project to receive a donation of 20,000 euros. The announcement will be made on BIE Day, held on 9 September, the penultimate day of the Expo.
The selected projects include a solar oven promotion scheme in Burundi (ASEPE), a solar project to use solar energy to power a technical school in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (OCEAN), a university project to design and construct low-cost solar collectors in Lesotho (NUL), a rehabilitation centre’s eco-friendly initiatives in Lithuania (Full Home Community), a research project in Romania to improve solar panel efficiency using energy from bacteria (UMPH), and an engineering project in Spain to store energy using compressed air (Energy’s Engineer Entrepreneurs).
The BIE-Cosmos Prize is a collaboration between the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) and the Expo ’90 Foundation, which commemorates the International Horticultural Expo 1990 in Osaka, Japan. At each World Expo and Specialised Expo since 2008, the BIE-Cosmos Prize has been awarded to projects linked to the theme of the Expo to encourage citizen participation. Each prize gives financial support to one project whose development is considered part of each Expo’s grassroots legacy.
At World Expo 2015 in Milan, which was organised under the theme “Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life”, the BIE-Cosmos Prize was awarded to the “Nutritious Diet and Sustainable future for Haiti’s Children” project, submitted by non-governmental organisation CESAL.
Short descriptions of the selected not-for-profit projects may be found below:
ASEPE - Burundi
The Association Ensemble pour la Protection de l’Environnement (ASEPE) is an environmental NGO in Burundi aimed at promoting eco-awareness and protecting the environment. The NGO is seeking to promote the use of solar ovens in Kamenge district of Bujumbura, as a way to reduce the use of wood as a cooking fuel. This will reduce deforestation and is a sustainable and accessible form of energy in an area where electricity access is low.
OCEAN - Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Organisation Concertée des Ecologistes et Amis de la Nature (OCEAN) is an environmental NGO aimed at restoring ecological balance while promoting socio-economic development. The project is to install solar panels to provide clean and reliable energy to the Kitomesa Institute, a technical school in the suburbs of Kinshasa that only receives electricity for an average of 2-3 days per month. The project aims to cut pollution and deforestation while contributing to the more widespread use of solar power in the country.
NUL - Lesotho
The Department of Physics and Electronics at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) is seeking to promote the local production of low cost flat plate collector solar panels. The project aims to provide energy in rural areas of Lesotho where poverty is widespread and where energy for water purification, heating and lighting, is obtained from paraffin or wood, which has consequences on development and health. The project seeks to provide training about designing and producing solar panels using locally available resources.
Full Home Community - Lithuania
The Full Home Community in Panura Village, Lithuania, provides free-of-charge rehabilitation and consultations for individuals who suffer from drug addictions, and their families. The association has partnered with the Lithuanian scientific community to create an organic herb farm that makes use of a herb desiccator with an integrated solar panel. The Full Home Community is also developing an electrical energy storage system and has built high-energy efficiency buildings certified by the Passivhaus Institut.
UMPH, Cluj-Napoca – Romania
UMPH Cluj-Napoca is a leading medical university in Romania with rapidly growing spectrum of research niches. Researchers at the university have conceived a project focused on renewable energy: using cyanobacteria, a bacterium found in most habitats on earth. The project involves the use of hybrid solar panels that generate more electricity than standard solar panels by capturing the energy produced by bacteria.
Energy’s Engineer Entrepreneurs - Spain
Energy’s Engineer Entrepreneurs is a group of industrial technology engineers from the University of Vigo in Spain. Their project would focus on clean energy storage as a substitute for batteries and fossil fuels, which are not sustainable. The new energy storage system relies on the potential energy of compressed air, which produces energy when it is released by using an air motor, and would be of particular use in providing electricity to remote areas.