Startups, businesses contribute to Campus Germany’s innovative exhibits at Expo 2020

Dubai - The pavilion will present solutions for an innovative storage system designed to compensate for fluctuations in the amount of wind and solar energy supplied to the grid.


Sandhya D'Mello

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Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Published: Wed 23 Jun 2021, 5:20 PM

Last updated: Wed 30 Jun 2021, 2:32 PM

The German Pavilion ‘Campus Germany’ — situated in the Sustainability District of the Expo 2020 Dubai site — will showcase 36 innovative and creative exhibits linked to sustainability, grouped in labs and dedicated to energy, cities of the future and biodiversity.

“This is a very accomplished exhibition and we’re greatly impressed with the pavilion as a whole. We are very happy with the curated content on the topic of sustainability,” said Dietmar Schmitz, Commissioner-General, German Pavilion.

“The German Expo presence is being built under contract to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, which has commissioned Koelnmesse to organise and implement the project. The German Pavilion’s three themed areas will house an array of fascinating exhibits designed to encourage interaction and raise awareness of how important sustainability is both for today and tomorrow. The German technologies and innovations on display will make a lasting impression on Campus Germany’s international visitors and leave them eager to spread the sustainability message. Videos and display boards will explain the more complex ideas and innovations, and visitors will also be able to try out the exhibits’ functions for themselves,” added Schmitz.

Gerald Böse, president and chief executive officer of Koelnmesse, said: “The exhibits are really the core of the German Pavilion. Along with the overall German concept and imposing architecture, the German Pavilion at this Expo will yet again deliver a set of messages that stay in people’s minds.”

Energy Lab

Visitors to the Energy Lab and Energy Terrace will be able to learn all about the sustainable generation of electricity, loss-free transmission and alternative forms of storage. One exhibit, provided by startup Enerkite, takes a new approach to wind energy with kite-based systems that offer a considerably more efficient means of generation than traditional wind power facilities. Another, supplied by Heliatek, relies on energy produced by the sun. It is an ultra-light, flexible, ultra-thin, organic solar film that can be used for completely new applications beyond the capabilities of conventional solar technology.

In 1987, two German physicists received the Nobel Prize for their development of a ceramic material that conducts electricity loss-free at a temperature of -206 °C. E.ON’s AmpaCity exhibit develops their idea further and shows how it can work in practice, paving the way for a technology that is set to play a key role in transmission in tomorrow’s energy grids.

Another exhibit, supplied by Munich City Council in collaboration with the federal state of Bavaria, focuses on the sustainable utilisation of geothermal technology, which can be used to generate electricity and heat. Munich’s medium-term goal is to meet its district heating needs primarily from this renewable source and to make its district heating 100 per cent carbon-neutral.

Another exhibit is about limestone – a cost-effective material that offers an excellent means of storing renewable energies in a particularly sustainable and efficient manner. Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), which has provided the exhibit, have found a way of making the more than 600°C reaction temperature manageable.

The exhibition will also feature the StenSea – “Stored Energy in the Sea” project, which is being conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology. Using a model, the exhibit will demonstrate how offshore pumped storage stations in the sea work and how, particularly if installed along the coastlines of Europe, Japan and the US, they could supply as much as 1,000 times today’s land-based pumped storage capacity.

The German Pavilion will also present solutions for an innovative storage system designed to compensate for fluctuations in the amount of wind and solar energy supplied to the grid. The exhibit, provided by WEMAG and the APEX Group in collaboration with the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, is an interactive reaction game. It will challenge visitors to prove their energy management skills and actively experience the energy revolution using battery and hydrogen storage systems.

Future City Lab and Future City Terrace

In the Future City Lab and on the Future City Terrace, things will move to the beat of tomorrow’s cities in an exhibition covering a wide range of ideas, from food supply to mobility. With its partner SSI SCHAEFER, INFARM presents a future-proof, smart, modular farm where everything grows in perfect conditions – with 95 per cent less water, 90 per cent less mileage, 95 per cent less land and zero chemical pesticides.

Two other exhibits are about energy and fresh-water supply. The first shows a dye-sensitised concrete material, which researchers from the “Building Art Invention” platform at the University of Kassel use as a photovoltaic cell. By applying a solar-active, organic liquid, such as fruit juice, their invention can turn any building into a solar power facility.

The other demonstrates that traces of medicines, viruses or chemicals remain in purified water despite state-of-the-art technology and large amounts of energy being used in the water treatment process. It will present a process developed by the Technical University of Munich and Berliner Wasserbetriebe (Berlin water utility), which harnesses the power of natural bacteria to reduce these residual pollutants in a targeted and efficient manner.

Two further exhibits in the pavilion cover mobility from two very different angles. TK Elevator’s “Multi” reinvents the elevator as an urban transport system. Horizontal transport, vertical transport far higher than currently possible, significantly better utilisation of valuable building space and a smart control system mean Multi will revolutionise how the buildings and cities of the future are planned.

In addition, the 7-Seater Lilium Jet showcases the vision to create a sustainable and accessible high-speed, regional transportation service. The electric vertical take-off and landing jet by Lilium offers industry-leading capacity, low noise and high performance.

Another exhibit helps to make use of carbon dioxide and thus to promote a circular economy. It will present a process developed by Covestro and their partners, which enables as much as 20 per cent of the crude oil used in plastic production to be replaced by securely bound carbon dioxide.

Biodiversity Lab and Biodiversity Terrace

The Biodiversity Lab and Biodiversity Terrace will give visitors a first-hand experience of Earth’s riches. As well as revealing some of nature’s wonders, these two areas will show how nature actually inspires technological innovations. Of an estimated 10 million species on our planet, only 2 million have actually been described. The Taxamap, the work of Dr Marin Freiberg from iDiv and Leipzig University, shows all terrestrial species currently known. It is a map of diversity - diversity that we need to protect. This is also the focus of BASF Agricultural Solutions’ interactive game on biodiversity in agriculture. The loss of natural habitats is one cause of global biodiversity decline and this exhibit shows solutions for modern sustainable agriculture that makes intelligent use of land. In turn, this allows for the most resource-efficient yield without devoting more land to farming. The result is better protection for biodiversity without major decreases in yield.

Another exhibit examines the challenges facing agriculture around the world as a result of climate change. It shows how the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences (IBG-2) at the Forschungszentrum Jülich research centre applies state-of -the-art processes to explore, for example, the properties plants will need in the future to cope with increasingly extreme environmental conditions.

UGT’s “EcoUnits” will also be on show, illustrating that ecosystems – highly complex structures – can be investigated under laboratory conditions. And another exhibit, supplied by iDiv, will demonstrate the disastrous impact of European earthworms on North America’s ecosystems.

The inspiration for Festo’s SmartBird exhibit came from the herring gull. The ultralight flying robot boasts excellent aerodynamics and maximum agility and can take off, fly and land autonomously without any additional drive mechanism being required. Its active articulated torsion drive makes the wings twist in a specific manner and provides both lift and propulsion. This functional integration has enabled Festo to unravel the technical secrets of bird flight as can be experienced in this interactive exhibit.With biodiversity being such a complex field, the exhibition’s creators have mainly opted for gamification and animation in this lab, the aim being to engage visitors in an infotainment experience.

Visitor journey delivers experiences

As well as the exhibition content, there will be various other opportunities for visitors to the German Pavilion to discover new experiences and innovations.

One example is the multimedia presentation in the “Germany by numbers” area. In it, students from the Media Production Department at Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences and Arts have used their skills to produce informative yet entertaining animation sequences and games about sustainability in Germany. There are also immersive soundscapes in each of the German Pavilion’s three labs, created by students from Trossingen University of Music. And sustainability plays a major role in the building itself and its fittings and furnishings. For instance, the paint supplied by Caparol for the Pavilion’s walls is manufactured just a few kilometres away in the company’s Dubai production plant. The environmentally friendly paint is non smelling, has zero VOC and a proven anti-microbial property that kills 99.9 per cent of viruses and bacteria, including coronavirus, on all painted surfaces. The furniture for the Pavilion is also very environmentally friendly and is manufactured completely in Germany by SEDUS. It will be used in areas such as the VIP lounge, where high-quality Villeroy & Boch tableware made in Germany will also be used. Villeroy & Boch will also be supplying all of the ceramic sanitary fixtures for the Pavilion.

In addition, visitors will be able to marvel at Merck’s eyrise smart glass, which turns windows into “sun shades” at the press of a button, thereby reducing the amount of energy needed for air conditioning.


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