For the first time in the history of Poland’s participation in the World Exhibitions, our national pavilion will come back home. Once EXPO 2020 Dubai comes to an end, the pavilion will be transferred to the campus of the Białystok University of Technology, becoming the showpiece of an educational centre for knowledge about wood. The enterprise will be carried out under an agreement concluded during the Eastern Economic Congress in Białystok between the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology, Polish Agency of Investment and Trade, Białystok University of Technology and Podlasie Voivodeship.
“Poland’s participation in every international event is a great opportunity to promote our achievements, history and tradition. For me as the minister of entrepreneurship and technology, it implies primarily a possibility for our entrepreneurs to establish new business relations and thus expand their presence on international markets, as well as a chance to promote our economy. I’m really glad that our national pavilion, Poland’s showpiece in Dubai, will also be the showpiece of Podlasie and Białystok University of Technology at home.
“There could be no better location for our wooden pavilion than Podlasie – Poland’s green lungs”, says Jadwiga Emilewicz, Poland’s Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology.
Poland at EXPO 2020 in Dubai
EXPO World Exhibitions are the largest and the most prestigious economic, promotional and cultural events in the world. EXPO 2020 in Dubai is due to take place between 20 October 2020 and 10 April 2021, and will be the first World Exhibition organised in an Arabic country.
Poland has been an active participant of the World Exhibitions for many years now. Apart from building the Pavilion and its own exhibition in Dubai, Poland plans to carry out accompanying programmes and events, as well as taking part in the Organiser’s initiatives. The Polish exhibition will be accompanied by an economic programme, political and diplomatic programme, cultural promotion programme, tourism promotion programme and regional programmes. Following the exhibition’s main theme – “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” – several dozen public and private entities are involved in Poland’s preparations for participation in EXPO 2020 in Dubai. The leading themes of the exhibition recommended by the organisers – sustainability and mobility – are elaborated by Poland in three subject areas: technology, international cooperation and nature. The theme of the Polish Pavilion is “Creativity inspired by nature”. Poland will be represented as a strong centre of cooperation that uses scientific development to offer the world sustainable and eco-friendly technologies inspired by nature. The objectives of Poland’s presence at EXPO 2020 in Dubai include both the strengthening of Poland’s image around the world and economic promotion. We plan to create a multidimensional presentation of technologies and companies representing sectors of strategic importance from the perspective of exports to Middle Eastern markets and, consequently, real growth in business transactions.
The Polish Pavilion will be the main arena for the presentation of Poland and a carrier of information about Poland during the EXPO 2020 World Exhibition in Dubai. The Polish Pavilion will be located on a plot with an area of 1,876 m2 in the central point of the exhibition devoted to mobility. Both the location – at the intersection of several main communication routes – and the interesting shape of the plot make it possible to prepare an attractive exhibition and thus catch the attention of a large number of visitors. The competition for the conceptual design of the Polish Pavilion and the internal exhibition for the EXPO 2020 World Exhibition in Dubai was won by the WXCA studio based in Warsaw.
The Pavilion’s architecture refers clearly to the theme of mobility. It creates an open, upwards growing modular structure that invites visitors to relax in the shadow of a large roofing and to contemplate the installation floating above the guests’ heads – a kinetic sculpture depicting a flock of flying birds. The wealth of nature, diversity of the landscape and strategic location in the centre of Europe make Poland the most important habitat for European migratory birds. Inviting the visitors to take part in this journey and look at the abundance of Polish avifauna is an opportunity to develop an intriguing multithreaded story not only about the beauty of Polish nature, but primarily about international exchange, mobility, the export of ideas and technological thought. Poland will be represented as a strong centre of cooperation that uses scientific development to offer the world sustainable and eco-friendly technologies inspired by nature. What distinguishes us from other pavilions is an extended children’s zone, divided into a zone for toddlers and a workshop zone for older children. Having regard for the main theme of EXPO 2020 – “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” – we address our offer also to younger generations, who will create the future of our world.
Podlasie at EXPO 2020 in Dubai
The EXPO 2020 World Exhibition in Dubai will also feature the Presentation of the Podlasie Voivodeship organised under the name Drewnopolis 2020. It will have its sequel in the opening of an educational centre for knowledge about wood in Białystok under the name Drewnopolis. The location is by no means accidental − it would be difficult to find any place better than the site of a technical school that educates engineers specialising in the management of areas of a great natural value. A region surrounded by a primeval forest will become the site of an interactive museum – a centre of knowledge about all of the aspects of this natural resource. Its role will be to show future generations what forests give us and how we should take care of our natural heritage.
The Podlasie Voivodeship Marshall’s Office has invited such significant and professional partners as the Białystok University of Technology, Environmental Protection Institute and Unibep Group, which is the institution behind the idea and the exhibition’s name, to carry out this challenging enterprise. The common strategic goals of all of the partners include most notably creating the image of Poland as a country effectively combining elements of environmental protection with other pillars of sustainable development, i.e. economic and social development and cultural heritage; promoting Poland’s achievements in the area of environmental protection, in particular the protection of biodiversity, sustainable forest economy and hunting, and eco-innovation; the international expansion of Polish companies pursuing business in the sector of wooden construction and environmental technologies.
The Podlasie Voivodeship has extensive experience in promoting the region at world exhibitions, just to mention the highly successful voivodeship’s exhibition at EXPO 2015 in Milan (also at EXPO 2000 in Hanover and EXPO 2018 in Astana – mainly economic missions). During the EXPO 2020 World Exhibition, the Marshall’s Office will not only conduct promotional activities and organise the economic missions of representatives of key sectors acting as ambassadors to Podlasie’s economy, i.e. the wood and furniture industry, yacht industry, metal and machine industry, food industry and the dynamically growing IT industry. For the first time, it will present a new fascinating story, deeply and truly rooted in the reality of Podlasie, which will not end in Dubai.
Drewnopolis Exhibition 2020 in Dubai is the beginning of the story about Podlasie’s nature, people and love for nature, created with the assistance of the Podlasie Voivodeship Marshall’s Office, Białystok University of Technology, Environmental Protection Institute and Unitalent Foundation, which coined the name of the exhibition. It will be an attractive and innovative form of presenting the region at the world exhibition, as well as a prelude to the future centre for wood studies – Drewnopolis. The exhibition area will be divided into three parts:
Part I – The nature of Podlasie
Let’s look into its origins. We will discover some incredible mechanisms that have been regulating its life for thousands of years. We will understand how it was born, how it grows, how it dies and how it is reborn, maintaining everything in continual balance. We will see a world where the shade of huge trees hides a rotting tree trunk, which is home to a new generation of organisms. Thanks to modern 7D effects, we will be able to feel just like primeval people, who penetrated into the heart of Podlasie’s wild nature some centuries ago. While visiting the exhibition, we will feel the breath of the forest, a delicate movement of air that carries its hypnotising smell. We will see a part of the primeval forest recreated by experts. Together with holograms and 3D projections, it will be our gate to the secrets of the forest. We will hear the authentic sounds of various species of wild animals and birds residing in the backwaters of Biebrza and Narew. This way, we will be able to understand the nature of Podlasie with its power and beauty. The exhibition will present the region’s natural conditions, the flora and fauna of the Podlasie forests and the characteristics of the backwaters of the Biebrza and Narew Rivers.
Part II – People who have fallen in love with nature
At this point, the exhibition will tell us a story about the special relationship between humans and nature. We will make acquaintance with old artisans. Pursued for generations, their passion has given birth to brilliant ideas on how to benefit from the wealth of nature. Podlasie is a land whose residents have always lived in the neighbourhood of grand old forests. With the passage of time, they learnt how to use the rich gifts of nature. They discovered species of edible plants and fungi, learnt how to hunt game and, most importantly, mastered woodworking techniques so as to be able to use this easily available renewable resource with a wide range of applications. Thanks to the exhibition, we will discover old carpentry techniques that made it possible as early as centuries ago to construct entire estates of durable wooden houses. We will see how the construction industry of today uses wood to build energy-saving and cheap residential buildings. We will look through unique wooden windows from Podlasie – the works of carpentry masters and specimens of unique design. We will also see a future in which wood allows us to create intelligent eco-systems of residential buildings and futuristic wooden sky-scrapers or even entire cities living in symbiosis with nature. The exhibition shows the history of settlement in the region and the use of the gifts of nature in all aspects, such as health, food, clothes and construction materials, as well as folk artists from Podlasie and sectors of Podlasie’s economy, as an example of sustainable economic development.
Part III – Nature that has fallen in love with people
For centuries, the relationship between humans and nature has been influencing both parties. The exhibition will show us how modern technology helps us to take care of nature so that we will be able to enjoy it for thousands of years to come. We will see methods of sustainable forest economy. We will check how robots and intelligent drones explore the forest and how they may become the guardians of its safety and health in the future. We will become familiar with the results of research conducted by scientists who are searching for new anti-cancer drugs among newly discovered species of plants and fungi. We will discover the Podlasie Voivodeship as a region surrounded by forests, well connected to the rest of the world and attractive for companies from the high technology sector. The IT sector all over the world is looking for locations where highly qualified specialists can work creatively. The vicinity of nature gives us a sense of peace and balance. Its beauty and complexity are inspiring. We will get to know specific IT companies that are developing their ideas in this area. We will become familiar with a vision of a region that may become a new Silicon Forest thanks to its natural conditions. We will see a place where programmers of the future create new IT solutions in offices surrounded by rivers and forests. We will see a place where people love nature and nature loves people. The exhibition will display projects prepared by students of architecture at the Białystok University of Technology. They present companies and residential estates of the future that form “healthy eco-systems” with the nature of Podlasie, the vision and mission of the “Silicon Forest”, the use of the science and research potential of universities located in Podlasie for the protection and development of the region’s natural areas.