"Intellectual Belarus". Innovative exhibition concept

№ 4, 2020

Job title: директор выставочного унитарного предприятия «Белинтерэкспо» БелТПП

The Strategy "Science and Technology: 2018–2040", approved by the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, defines the digital and production-and-technological contours of the intellectual economy as priorities and sectoral areas of scientific and technological development in Belarus. By 2040, it is planned to ensure an increase in the science intensity of the GDP, enhance the share of high-tech sectors in the structure of the economy and the share of innovative products in the total industrial production. These ambitious tasks require the commercialization of the activities of scientific organizations, the intensification of international cooperation, the active attraction of funding in the form of grants and investments.

Together with the National Academy of Sciences, the Exhibition Unitary Enterprise "Belinterexpo" of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has developed an innovative exhibition concept "Intellectual Belarus" designed to thematically classify numerous Belarusian R&D results and present them to visitors of exhibitions in Belarus and abroad.

The concept was first implemented during the exhibition "Science and Innovations of the Republic of Belarus" within the framework of the Second Congress of Scientists of the Republic of Belarus in December 2017. The exhibition consisted of eight clusters dedicated to the priorities of the country's development: "Belarus as an IT country, and artificial intelligence technologies", "Electric transport", "Electronics", "Nanotech industry and additive manufacturing", "Space technologies", "Unmanned robotic technologies", "Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals", "Industrial technologies and new materials".

After that, the exhibition was repeatedly presented to the audience as part of significant events held in Minsk. These events, for example, are the 31st International Congress of the Association of Space Flight Participants held in September 2018, the Exhibition of Scientific and Technical Achievements timed to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus in November 2018, the agricultural exhibition "BELAGRO" in June 2019, exhibitions of achievements and the most significant results of scientific, technical and innovative activities of Belarus within the framework of the Days of Belarusian Science in 2019 and 2020.

Besides, the exposition of the best scientific achievements was twice presented abroad: in Kazakhstan, within the framework of Made in Belarus exhibition of domestic manufacturers in April 2019, and in Egypt, within the framework of the exhibition "Belarus – Egypt: Partnership for the Future" in February this year.

Clusters of the implemented projects were formed depending on the profile of the exhibition, the participating organizations and exhibits presented, and reflected the achievements of domestic scientists and developers in such areas as physics, mathematics and computer science, chemistry and earth science, medicine and biology, agricultural science. The developments demonstration was accompanied by the exhibits' positioning on podiums of various geometric shapes with LED backlighting, which made it possible to attract attention and highlight each exhibit. In 2019, the concept was developed and within the framework of several projects was supplemented with light structures, lightboxes, that demonstrate the application of the presented developments and products.

In July – August 2020, another exhibition was held in Minsk within the framework of the concept "Intellectual Belarus". It presented over 150 latest achievements and technologies of the domestic scientists in the priority fields.

Unitary Enterprise "Belinterexpo" of the BelCCI together with the specialists from the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus presented a project in the format of polygons. R&D results of the Belarusian scientists were grouped into thematic clusters, such as "IT country. Scientific support and economy digitalization", "Overcoming COVID-19" and "Technologies of the future". The multi-stage information presenting made it possible to deliver all the necessary information about the parent organizations, direct developers, names, technical characteristics and thematic focus of the exhibits not only to scientists and experts but also to the general population. A modern, effective display of scientific developments helped to demonstrate the way of their application in various sectors of the economy, which increased the chances for their being introduced into production, enhanced the export potential and prestige of Belarusian science, and aroused additional interest from the population.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the exhibition, the BelCCI Chairman Vladimir Ulakhovich noted the uniqueness of the joint project focused at the promotion of Belarusian science in the global market. "The Academy of Sciences has enormous potential, resources and developments, our advantages include partner network throughout the world. Having joined our efforts and advantages, we have given birth to the project "Intellectual Belarus". Over the previous two and a half years we have organized 24 exhibitions together with the Academy of Sciences. More than 120 contracts, agreements and memoranda were signed at them. One more figure to mention: at these exhibitions alone, the NAS organizations signed $0.5 million worth contracts for the supply of domestic products to different markets," Vladimir Ulakhovich said.

Chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus Vladimir Gusakov highly praised cooperation with the BelCCI. "Recently, we have been actively interacting with the BelCCI while organizing all the exhibitions to make them more attractive. Today's exhibition presents the latest, most efficient technologies. Most of them are unique," Vladimir Gusakov noted.

The Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus plan to continue the implementation of the "Intellectual Belarus" concept at different events in Belarus and abroad.

Besides, the concept is being developed of a permanent interactive exhibition "Intellectual Belarus" to be organized at the premises of the Academy of Sciences in 2021.