by Mark Ollig
Copyright © 2016 Mark Ollig
A golden scissors cutting through a multicolored ribbon officially opened the 44th International Exhibition of Inventions recently.
This event took place in Geneva, Switzerland.
Approximately 40 countries, including China, Spain, Russia, France, Poland, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Switzerland, were represented.
This year’s exhibition drew 57,612 visitors.
Many were industrialists, distributors, country representatives, and business people.
Approximately 700 inventors and presenters described and demonstrated the nearly 1,000 inventions.
Mechanical and industrial, health and medicine, sports and leisure, agriculture, security, textile and clothing, solar power, the environment, and other categories were represented.
Numerous deals were being conducted during the exhibition.
Business and trade representatives were making agreements with the inventors of the devices and technologies they wanted to invest in, and be a distributor for.
Regulations for the exhibition included a stipulation saying “an invention may be exhibited in Geneva only once and must be protected by intellectual rights.”
One event press release said companies are buying inventions “from the outside,” and products being used today have an average lifespan of three years.
It had once been assumed, with the arrival of the Web, publicly attended exhibitions would drop off, and people would just watch and participate at these events online using a computer.
However, after many years of the web and internet, the organizers of this event came to a conclusion, saying; “Technology will never replace human contact.”
Since its start in 1972, this exhibition event has shown thousands of inventions.
Jean-Luc Vincent is the president and founder of the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva.
Inventions from this exhibition have been successfully marketed and used in real-world situations.
One includes an invention by a person from Romania exhibited in 2013.
It’s a device attached onto a vehicle for scanning and detecting planes carrying smuggled goods, such as weapons, or drugs.
A factory built in Switzerland to manufacture this invention resulted in new jobs and improvement to the country’s economy.
One invention from 2003 was the first magnetic bearings for use on a spacecraft; they operate at a speed of 5500 RPM (revolutions per minute).
I watched an 11-minute video of this year’s event, showing a walk-through of the large, open hall where the exhibits were located.
The camera-person did a good job. It felt like I was there in person, walking past the various inventions and signs displayed at exhibit tables, while observing and listening to the activities taking place.
Presenters, or the inventor themselves, would demonstrate and explain their invention’s benefits to visitors who stopped by and showed interest.
Music could be heard playing in the background.
One large banner over an exhibit table read: “Hong Kong Science Park – Turning Innovations to Golden Opportunities.”
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, or PolyU, was one of the invention exhibits in this park.
Their creations earned 14 awards from the International Exhibition of Inventions.
PolyU was awarded one grand prize and gold medal for its “Anti-heat Stress Clothing for Construction Workers in Hot-Humid Weather.”
“With excellent one-way transferability and liquid moisture management capacity, the technology improves fabric breathability, speeds up sweat evaporation, and helps construction workers to reduce heat stress,” according to the press release from PolyU.
They also won a special merit award, and a gold medal for their self-cleaning solar panels, which use a “highly dispersed nanocomposite paste.”
A special transparent paste or coating is applied onto a solar panel.
This coating will protect the solar panel from “organic and inorganic dirt,” thus reducing cleaning costs by 70 percent.
Another benefit seen is an increase in the average output power from the solar panel.
The coating will also protect the solar panel surfaces “from corrosion of sandstorm and acid rain,” according to PolyU’s press release.
I look to seeing this special, beneficial coating being applied on existing solar panels around the world.
The complete press release from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s website can be seen here: http://tinyurl.com/bitspolyU.
The top grand prize was awarded to Professor Kok-Wai Cheah from Cathay Photonics, for his technique of protecting glass display screens used on smartphones and other devices.
The process involves the particular technique of applying a thin layer of sapphire over an existing glass surface at a high temperature.
A very thin layer is enough to provide adequate protection without diminishing the glass’ transparency.
Sapphire is one of the hardest materials available.
This technique of applying sapphire can be used on other glass surfaces, such as TVs and watches.
I took a screen capture of the professor holding a glass display using the thin-layered sapphire-applied process: http://tinyurl.com/bits-Cheah.
The Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions homepage is: http://www.inventions-geneva.ch/en.