Tuesday, April 12, 2005

REPORT FROM THE 33rd INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION OF INVENTIONS: (From Deutsche Welle) The Swiss city of Geneva played host to some of the most creative minds on the planet: Over 1000 inventions from 42 countries were on display at the 33rd annual Geneva inventors fair with every single one being exhibited for the first time ever. All exhibitors were looking for a patent, and a sponsor.

Inventors have long had to contend with being portrayed as wacky eccentrics stumbling from darkened laboratories to blink self-consciously in the light of publicity once their work is done.

While the stereotype remains, the reality shows that inventors are no longer the bumbling social misfits whose imaginations forge the world around us. Many are driven as much by financial success and acclaim as by the desire to help humanity.

The jury prize went to an invention from France: a new, non-polluting method of cleaning the hulls of boats, without taking them out of the water. The Inventors Oscar prize went to Ahmed Alhashash from Kuwait for his airbags which can be incorporated into shirts, jackets or suits, for motorcyclists.

The fair attracted inventors from all over the globe and has become very popular with some nations, in particular Malaysia, Russia, France and Iran over its recent history.

Around two-thirds of the exhibitors were companies or institutes, with the remaining third made up of individual inventors. The fair is mainly a place for investors and inventors to meet but actual sales of products are restricted to a small area where 40 exhibitors show off their wares.

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