The World Expo in Milan, due to start today, will have a Wageningen touch. A selection of innovative research from Wageningen will be on display in the Dutch pavilion.
This scientific avant-garde includes the cultivation of plants in soil from Mars by Alterra researcher Wieger Wamelink. The man coordinating Wageningen’s contribution is landscape architect Dirk Wascher from Alterra. ‘The Netherlands wasn’t originally going to take part in the World Expo at all,’ says Wascher explaining the last-minute action. ‘But the municipality of Rotterdam and the business community took the initiative to organize a pavilion after all.’
The theme for the exhibition is Feeding the planet, energy for life. And that means there is a place for a number of Wageningen innovations. Wascher submitted a list of a few dozen possible subjects to the organizers. The final selection had not yet been announced yesterday. However Wamelink will definitely be represented in Milan with his Mars soil experiments. He will even be giving a talk there. Wascher is looking for more Wageningen researchers who are interested in doing that. ‘There is room for seminars in the second week of June and September. Anyone who wants to give one can contact me.’
Wamelink sees the World Expo as a good opportunity to draw attention to his experiments. ‘They are expecting 15,000 visitors a day. I proposed setting up an experimental plot but they didn’t want that.’ The World Expo will run from 1 May to 31 October.