Sun, Sep 18, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Group urges government to support young inventors

By Rachel Lin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Asia University student Ke Ya-hsuan displays her award-winning shoes, which can drain water, at an event in Taipei on Wednesday at which Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung was introduced to the inventions of Taiwanese students who have won awards at six different invention exhibitions.

Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

Taiwan Creativity Development Association deputy director Shen Yu-hao (沈毓豪) called on the government to provide greater support for younger Taiwanese in terms of inventions and creativity.

Shen is the deputy head of a group representing Taiwan at the annual iENA trade fair in Nuremberg, Germany, which is considered by the innovation industry as a professional platform for exhibiting ideas and their potential commercial viability.

Should Taiwanese inventions be commercialized, they would provide evidence of the success of the nation’s educational programs, Shen said.

Taiwan has won 158 gold, 181 silver and 91 bronze medals at six large innovation conventions since last year, Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said, adding that the results were the pride of the ministry.

Shen and Pan made the comments yesterday at a ceremony for the medalists, including Asia University students and siblings Ko Ya-hsuan (柯雅瑄), Ko Kai-chieh (柯凱傑) and Ko Hsin-yu (柯心育), who won gold at the International Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition (ITEX) held in Kuala Lumpur from May 12 to May 14 with their shoes that drain water.

Typhoons are common in Taiwan and the heavy rain they bring often causes people’s shoes to become wet, Ko Ya-hsuan said, adding that the situation causes odious smells, as well as athlete’s foot.

By employing custom soles with holes on the side, the shoes are able to drain water that finds its way inside, she said, adding that the family has already made a prototype and plans to mass-produce the shoes.

Hsiuping University of Science and Technology representatives, who won a gold medal in a separate division at ITEX, said they hoped their invention — a receptacle that automatically sorts garbage — would reinforce the practice of recycling.

The invention would be particularly useful for large communities, they said, adding that they also developed a “cash card” for the system that would charge an individual more for disposing of garbage in the wrong trash can.

The device uses internal sensors to identify materials based on weight and how much light is reflected, they said.

St John University’s Tsai Hsi-jao (蔡錫鐃) and Tsai Ping-huan (蔡秉桓) created a steam foot bath, which won gold at the Seoul International Invention Fair last year.

The device offers both comfort and functionality, as water poured into its receptacle is dispensed into its surroundings as steam, Tsai Hsi-jao said, adding that it provides comfort that is both energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

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