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INNOPROM-2011 Preview

20 June 2011

The Sverdlovsk region’s pavilion under the working title Innosfera will become a central part of the Innoprom 2011 exhibition. The pavilion is built in the shape of a sphere in which LCD screens will display footage of the Sverdlovsk region of the future – not the near future, but the future visitors will be able to see. “We would like to tell the story of what the region will be like after 2020, after we hold the Expo 2020 exhibition in Yekaterinburg and implement several major projects, the foundation for which is currently being laid by the regional authorities,” said Maxim Zverkov, director of Formika, which is the operator of the exhibition along with the IRP Group.

Video clips have already been shot and the 3D rendering of interiors and landscapes, which will be inhabited by virtual characters from “Yekaterinburg of the future”, is close to completion. Innosfera will contain about ten locations, each of which is related to a major project for the Sverdlovsk region. Such projects include the Moscow-Yekaterinburg rapid train service, a modern auditorium for Urals Federal University, the liner of the future arriving at Koltsovo Airport, a new shoreline area (a project by Barcelona architect Josep Asebillo) and more. It appears the video clips will also contain elements of science fiction (for example, mining operations on the moon) and will be a cross between infotainment, sci-fi and a declaration of intent by the Sverdlovsk region authorities.

Innoprom this year will increase the number of major companies exhibiting their achievements for guests. Such companies will include well-known brands like Mercedes, which is bringing over a large delegation and a commemorative booth dedicated to the company’s 125th anniversary (with three cars, although the models have not been disclosed). Siemens is planning to set up one of the most impressive stands, which includes its own a small forum area, where the company will hold roundtables and sign memorandums. Siemens’ largest exhibit will include a model of the Desiro electric train on display.

Among the major Russian participants, the most fascinating booths promise to be those of Rusnano (which will display part of the most interesting exhibits from the “Look, it’s NANO!” exhibition at the Polytechnical Museum in Moscow) and the Skolkovo Foundation, which purportedly is planning to present a new prototype of its electric car at Innoprom as well as select bids for residents of the foundation.

More than 20 foreign delegations have confirmed they will participate in the exhibition, both official representative offices led by ambassadors or ministers as well as members of European and Asian companies. This year, representatives of Africa, such as South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland and Congo, have expressed interest in the exhibition. A Polish delegation will have its own stand, the Manufacturing Technologies Association will represent the UK, and delegations are expected to arrive from Canada, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Iran, Vietnam and Madagascar.

Innoprom workshops are a place where concepts, developments and existing prototypes will be presented by school, university and graduate students. Following Innoprom 2011, the workshops will continue functioning in a format resembling clubs of young technicians. Almost an entire zone at the exhibition has been provided this year to the Urals Robotics and Automation Development Centre of the Urals Federal University, which has selected its top ten most complete and efficient developments to display. Among them is a robot which can crawl along water mains, search for design defects and repair them independently, an invention that could lead to a revolution in the utilities system.

The Urals students will have competition from Moscow State Technical University students, who will demonstrate the Iguana EVO2 race car they built and also make it available for a test drive.

Innoprom is not just a platform for specialists. Yekaterinburg residents may also visit the exhibition. The tradition will continue of holding a Children’s Day on the last day of the exhibition, when entire families can visit, walk around, marvel at the exhibits and take part in different types of shows. (In fact, you may visit Innoprom any day; entry is free and all you have to do is come to the registration counter to receive a guest badge).

Innoprom will have even more outdoor advertising this year. The city is to be decorated with flags, while posters will be put up in store windows and inside public transport. The exhibition should become a sort of city-wide celebration. A huge free concert is also to be held in the centre of Yekaterinburg as part of Innoprom on Children’s Day.

The governor will once again hold a reception for VIP delegations at the Central Park of Culture and Leisure, after which an entertainment programme is planned for those who enjoy nightlife. The organisers say privately that some of the most important parts of such forums and exhibitions occur after the official events have ended. The afterparty is not just a memorable event; it is also an opportunity to informally discuss important issues.

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