Press release

Firms shortlisted to deliver the UK Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015 revealed

Creative innovators in design, food, technology, music and science, have been shortlisted to deliver the UK Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015.


Creative innovators from the worlds of design, food, technology, music and science, have been shortlisted to deliver the UK Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015.

The competition to run the UK Pavilion was launched in January this year (2014) and the 8 shortlisted teams progressing to the next stage include talent from London, Nottingham, Bath and Cornwall. Businesses involved in the teams include architects, musicians, jelly sculptors, artists, 3D data capture specialists and farming technologists.

More than 130 countries are expected to take part at the Universal Expo which has chosen as its theme ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’. A total of 20 million visitors are expected at the Expo which will run from May to October next year (2015).

The winning team will be asked to highlight world class British research, innovation, entrepreneurship and international development interventions contributing to improving the quality of people’s lives and meeting the global challenge of feeding the planet under the working title - ‘Grown in Britain: Shared Globally’.

UK Commissioner General, Hannah Corbett said:

Feeding the planet is a global challenge for both the developed and emerging world and the UK has a powerful story to tell about how we are generating world-leading breakthroughs in agri-tech, plant science, animal health, technology as well as food and drink.

The Milan Expo will be a unique opportunity for the UK to demonstrate our world class innovation and creativity to millions of people around the globe.

I have been impressed by the number of companies who applied and delighted that the final list represents such a diverse cross-section of British talent.

More than 85 creative and construction teams responded to the first phase of the design and construction competitions, both launched in January 2014. The creative teams are led by architects and design agencies collaborating with other creative companies. They will present their detailed concepts in April 2014.

Businesses that make up the 8 shortlisted creative teams include:

  • architects AL_A and the conservation organisation The Nature Conservancy
  • architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and Studio Myerscough
  • architects Asif Khan and the world’s largest museum exhibition design firm Ralph Appelbaum Associates
  • designers Barber & Osgerby, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum
  • David Kohn Architects, food artists Bompas & Parr and food educationalists London Research Kitchen
  • landscape architects Grant Associates and sustainable farming technologists Seawater Greenhouse
  • design practice Paul Cocksedge Studio and the creators of commercial aquapoinic farm GrowUP
  • artists Wolfgang Buttress Studio and the music management company for the Chemical Brothers, Fleet River Music

Seven construction firms have also been shortlisted to build the UK Pavillion. They are from London, York and Italy:

  • Cooperativa Muratori and Cementisti – CMC di Ravenna
  • GL events Owen Brown
  • Impresa di Costruzioni Ing. E. Mantovani S.p.A
  • Nussli UK Ltd
  • Mace Limited
  • Pico In-Creative (UK) Limited
  • Stage One Creative Services Ltd

Malcolm Reading, architect and design competition organiser, said:

The creative shortlist represents an inspiring mix of skills, combining design, content and interpretation and spanning a number of professional fields from architecture and music to agri-business, via engineering and story-telling.

The collaborative approach rises to the challenge of making a memorable pavilion for Milan and our shortlist has great talent and energy.

Notes to editors

1.For media enquiries please contact Laurel Smithson:; +44 (0)207 215 5989

2.For further information on the design competition please contact Jayne Broomhall on (0)20 7831 2998 or via email at

3.For further information on the construction competition please contact Christine Losecaat at

4.Both competitions have been advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU)

5.A dedicated micro site which gives further details of the two-stage design competition can be accessed at:

6.Both competitions are being run in accordance with European Union procurement guidelines under the Restricted Procedure.

7.Multi-disciplinary teams with expertise in contemporary design, engineering, events and exhibitions management, sustainability, digital skills, interpretation and education were invited to enter the first stage of the competition, providing they could satisfy the criteria in the Expression of Interest document available through the competition website.

8.Each participating country in Milan Expo is asked to interpret the main theme based on its cultures and traditions. The UK’s working title is ‘Grown in Britain, Shared Globally’ reflecting the UK’s global contribution to food security, driven by its open, creative and collaborative culture.

9.The UK pavilion at Milan Expo aims to:

  • build on the huge success of the UK Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010 and the positive perceptions created by the London 2012 Olympic Games
  • reinforce the UK as an open and innovative country, engaging the world
  • advance trade and investment objectives in key markets
  • showcase the UK’s ground-breaking research and development on food security
  • showcase the leading role played by UK business in promoting sustainable sourcing
  • showcase world-class British solutions to the challenges of a rapidly-changing world

10.The Expo ( will:

  • contribute to the international exchange of ideas that World Expos promote
  • send a powerful message of Britain as an excellent place to visit and do business
  • start on 1 May 2015 and end on 31 October 2015. It consists of 6 months of performances, encounters, conventions and other events on a dedicated site to the north-west of Milan.

11.Further details on the short-listed teams can be found at:

12.Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) is a strategic architectural consultancy, which specialises in the selection of contemporary designers. They are enthusiastic advocates of the power of design to create new perceptions and act as an inspiration – whether at the local level, or internationally. It offers a service to find the very best designers for clients with new building projects, whether through open-international, or private-invited competitions.

13.In the 2012 Autumn Statement, UKTI was awarded an additional £70 million for each of 2013/14 and 2014/15, enabling the recruitment of more international trade advisers around the country, expansion of existing services including the Trade Access Programme (TAP) and the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS), and support to expand the range of assistance available to UK companies through overseas British chambers of commerce.

14.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

15.UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit or visit the online newsroom at

Published 5 March 2014