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University of Cambridge in support for Astana Expo-2017

14 may 2013, 18:23
0

Expo2017 fever in Kazakhstan is picking up momentum and its contagious vibes can now be felt as far as Cambridge. This is not very surprising though as Cambridge academics, particularly through the efforts of Cambridge Central Asia Forum, have supported President Nazarbayev’s vision to promote Future of Energy as the theme of the Expo in Astana from the beginning.

However the new ‘Energy’ in the theme is injected by the launch of Cambridge Campaign in support of Expo2017 led by Kazakh and British students of CCAF who have recognised the full potential and positive implications of Cambridge innovation ecosystem for the Astana 2017. This ecosystem not only draws from the powerful University of Cambridge but also many innovation and technology parks and hubs in the City, putting it on par with Silicon Valley in technology innovation and commercialisation. This dual power is Cambridge is enhanced by its ability draw together political decision makers not only in the UK at the highest level, but also globally. We see leaders and decision makers of US, China, India, Russia and Japan to name a few passing through this tiny city on a weekly basis. Our own Nursultan Nazarbayev was here last July.

This is because Cambridge is uniquely relevant to Kazakhstan and the theme of Future Energy, as Professor Saxena and Professor Lonzarich and Prof Littlewood from famous the Cavendish Laboratory point out. Saxena outlines the strategy they are following in his lab to develop energy production, storage and transmission technologies based a combination of by-products of petro chemicals and rare-earth metals. These technologies combining what comes from under the mother-earth of Kazakhstan with Cambridge brain power could revolution energy consumption in China, Russia and even the US. Kazakhstan is thus at the centre stage of this paradigm shift.

Prof David MacKay who is both at the Cavendish Laboratory and the Chief Scientific advisor of the UK Governments Department of Energy and Climate Change highlights that the  Future of Energy is the future of our Universe. How we eat or how we breathe, how we live or work are all intrinsically linked to how we consume energy.

So the future of energy is not only dependent on finding new or renewable resources of energy, which are essential, but also on how we choose to live our lives as individuals and communities. He is pioneered development of 2050 pathway calculator being used by many countries including UK, China and South Korea, to plan an energy future which is both sustainable and productive (https://www.gov.uk/international-outreach-work-of-the-2050-calculator#calculator-international-outreach). Serik Orazgaliev, a Kazakh PhD Student in Cambridge, a Bolashak grantee, at Centre of Development Studies in Cambridge University is already looking at how this could be adapted for the Kazakh case.

At this Centre of Development studies, another of hub in University of Cambridge for Kazakhstan related topics, vibrant discussions are led by the Director Prof Peter Nolan and Dr Shailaja Fennell, which range from Industrial Policy, International Relations and Efficiency of Oil and Gas, Mining and Agro companies in Kazakhstan. These are all the themes which are very relevant to implementing concepts of Future Energy.

Due to the uniqueness Kazakhstan offers as a combination of a sustainability minded nomadic heritage, vast energy resources and agriculture hub,  it is best positioned to provide some of the most innovative solutions to world energy problems at the upcoming and well deserved Astana Expo 2017


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