Taiwan once again emerged as the top winner at the world’s oldest invention show, capturing 27 gold, 32 silver and 23 bronze medals at this year’s International Trade Fair for Ideas-Inventions-New Products (iENA) after winning the team championship last year.
A total of 800 inventions from 37 countries were on display at the four-day exhibition in Nuremberg, German.
Taiwan had the biggest overseas delegation, exhibiting 98 inventions.
Taiwanese students performed particularly well at the show, whose theme this year was “Young, creative, oriented on the future — Inventing at School.”
Yeh Chi-chang (葉其璋), an eight-year-old student at Kaohsiung American School, won a silver medal for his innovative swimming trunks capable of preventing swimmers from drowning.
Yeh’s teacher, Hsieh Wen-chan (謝文展), a professor at National United University, said creativity was primarily developed within one’s family and at school, and that the earlier an interest in inventing can be nurtured, the better.
Hsieh also said that Taiwan, which possesses limited natural resources and faces stiff global competition, would have a limited economic future if it relied only on original equipment manufacturers production.
“Only through innovation can Taiwan create another economic miracle,” he said.
Meanwhile, Liu Chih-hsin (劉志鑫), a teacher at Catholic Kung Tung Technical Senior High School in Taitung County, who took his students to the venerable Nuremberg show for the first time, said he teaches his students to create inventions that have practical applications in everyday life.
The high school won three medals at the exhibition, including a gold medal for a hair dryer capable of vacuuming up dust and other particles.
In addition, an invention to remove heavy metals from the fumes and dust discharged by garbage incinerators — developed by National United University professor Chang Kun-sen (張坤森) — won a gold medal and an environmental protection award from the International Federation of Inventors’ Associations.
A thrilled Chang said his new technology, which has been awarded patents by five countries, could forge a new future for Taiwan in eco-friendly waste management.