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Future Energy EXPO 2017

(14 July 2017)

Members of the Faculty of Humanities recently joined a University delegation, led by Professor Steve Flint, to Kazakhstan, to participate in the ‘Future Energy’ EXPO 2017 in Astana. The University’s status as an official sponsor of the UK pavilion raised our profile as a leading knowledge partner in the UK economy, showcasing expertise in energy, advanced materials and smart cities. 

The team spent three days in Astana and attended the UK National Day on 26 June, a range of events celebrating British achievements, which provided good networking opportunities between government contacts and guests representing other nations. 

Faculty members also attended a roundtable event led by Almaty Tech Garden, a tech cluster working with businesses, universities and investors to deliver business-led innovation. Discussions on research-led, collaboration opportunities continued afterwards. 

The team then went to Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan, where they met with the Almaty Development Centre, the city’s inward investment group, and the Centre for Urban Studies, to find out more about ‘WeAlmaty’, Almaty’s smart city project, which is supported by the British Council. We shared our knowledge of Manchester’s CityVerve project, and how private-public partnerships are supported in Manchester. 

Dave Carter from the Manchester Urban Institute (MUI) was invited to speak at the Almaty Innovation Forum, an annual conference, attended by over 500 delegates from government and business. Dave presented a summary of smart city activity in Manchester, including an overview of the work of MUI. 

Discussions to take forward activities are now underway, including more collaboration with the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, helping them to expand their capacity in areas such as urban planning and environmental management. 

The Faculty of Humanities Business Engagement Support Team (BEST) comprises Dr Andrew James, Associate Dean for Business Engagement and External Relations, Shanta Aphale, Business Engagement Manager, and Rachel Kenyon, Business Engagement Officer. Business Engagement describes any collaborative working with non-academic partners, which might include research, teaching, placements, CPD or facilities sharing. 

For advice and support on any of these activities or relationship building with new partners, contact the Faculty Business Engagement Team via the Business Engagement website.