That’s how the What Will You Plant...In 2011 exhibit ended. The Valley organized its own exposition for the first time in its heart–ASU Building IV, the location of the Communication and Technology Transfer Centre. The purpose of the exposition was to distinguish the products that the founders and partners of the Valley created together from the general mass at the exhibit. This is an attempt to introduce society to work done by scientists and entrepreneurs in the field of innovation.
The visitors of the exposition were invited to learn what novelties would be available to consumers soon, and to see and get a taste of innovative products. While some visitors were disconcerted, others enjoyed getting to know the creators of innovations and learning more about the products and techniques of scientists, as well as their advantages.
The headcount at the exposition wasn’t as great as the entire exhibit, but that was never the Valley’s goal. The Valley’s task was to inform society about its desire to disseminate news on innovation: updates on the Valley, who we are and what we’re up to; opportunities for visitors to join in the Valley’s activities; how to take advantage of the Valley’s services.
We believe we succeeded because we got good feedback from Minister of Agriculture Kazys Starkevičius and the new rector of ASU, Professor Antanas Maziliauskas, which is especially fun and encourages us to carry on and look for more ways to share our innovations.
The employees of the Communication and Technology Transfer Centre are especially grateful to the founders and partners of the Valley who were not afraid to take a risk and took part in the first exposition with their showpieces as well as with their own innovations when possible. Our first mistakes and other teachable moments arose during the first exposition, but they didn’t weaken our desire to exhibit or our drive to continue, because the agricultural sector really has a great deal to show farmers and city folk at the exhibition as well.
Every day of the exhibition different participants of the Valley introduced their innovative products. The first day of the exhibition visitors were able to visit the virtual 3D Food Science and Technology Centre of Excellence, and to learn what opportunities the centre has to offer members of the business and academic community. Later, they were able to taste experimental bread baked by the staff of the LRCAF Institute of Agriculture, herbal tea grown at the Perloja Experiment Station, chat with scientists who make presentations about bread baking techniques and herb gowning. Concurrently, ecologically baked bread and other products from the entrepreneurs at UAB Du Medu were presented. This combination was designed to provide scientists and entrepreneurs the opportunity to interact with each other, to hear the visitor evaluations, share experiences, and maybe commercialize another product.
On the second day of the exhibition the LRCAF Institute of Horticulture entertained us from the very morning with the products they had created. Institute researchers presented lyophilized fruits and vegetables and treated us to nectar, the recipes for which they came up with themselves. Visitors were able to sample products created by the Institute with their business partners, learn how to make the products or purchase them in Lithuania.
UAB Arvi Kalakutai KŪB made a brief presentation about their operations and production techniques, and treated people to some of their products.
The LRCAF Institute of Forestry and UAB Euromediena presented their academic accomplishments. Visitors had the opportunity to hear and see how roses bloom and trees grow in a test tube, and what opportunities there are in Lithuania to grow forests in a fraction of the natural time span. Innovative technology entrepreneurs who are interested could see how innovations are successfully implemented into production and become good business.
After getting a taste of innovative products and seeing things that dazzled their eyes, visitors were able to get acquainted with another Communication Centre project: the MAJoR student and pupil group presented their services in the field of advertising and event organization; they explained to anyone who was interested how they came up with the idea to link their activities to Nemunas Valley and how they advertised their first product–Valley accessories–friendship watches.
On the third day, UAB Obuolių Namai (Apples’ Home), a business incubated by Nemunas Valley, presented a juicing and packaging technology new to Lithuania and treated guests to organic fruit juice.
The tasting marathon was extended by IĮ Pakramtukai–a young and innovative company and Valley partner seeking to popularize a unique food drying technology. They treated visitors to ŽemŽa, the dried beef that many people already know and enjoy, as well as the company’s new "pakramtukais" ("chewables")–died pork, chicken livers, zucchini, bell peppers, and other products.
The Valley exposition visitors had the opportunity to see innovation presented by UAB Elinta VS: electric cars, body scanners, and other innovations in the works. This is one of the few Eastern European companies producing innovative products: computer vision systems and devices for signal processing and recording.
Lithuanian Biomass Energy Association, a Valley founder, was represented by UAB Biokaitra with a presentation of customized automated furnaces fueled by straw pellets. This is the only company in Lithuania and the entire Baltic region that offers such a product. The company can also supply the requisite amount of fuel.
Researchers from Aleksandras Stulginskis University made various presentations: the Faculty of Agronomy presented their laboratory lyophilized and dried fruits and vegetables; the Environmental Institute, fuels from renewable energy sources and emerging technologies; the Faculty of Water and Land Management in conjunction with UAB Concept Fortis, environmentally friendly sapropel-fertilizers and a trichodermin-fertilizer made from it.
The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences presented
Rustic yogurt and its production technology developed by the Faculty of Animal Husbandry Technology and of antibiotics and other therapeutic agents developed in laboratories.
All the visitors were welcome to see more presentation by the Valley founders as well. The Science Cafe employees invited guests to taste Italian coffee and tea market revolution, TEA TO GO.
A great thank you to all the honourable participants of the expositions: UAB Arvi Kalakutai KŪB, LRCAF Institute of Agriculture and its Perloja Experiment Station, LRCAF Institute of Horticulture, LRCAF Institute of Forestry, LUHS Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Faculty of Animal Husbandry, Aleksandras Stulginskis University, UAB Euromediena, UAB DU Medu, IĮ Pakramtukai, UAB Elinta VS, UAB Biokaitra, UAB Obuolių Namai, and UAB Concept Fortis.