Taiwanese inventors win top prizes at fair in Seoul

BRIGHT IDEAS::A total of 134 devices were awarded, which was testament to the quality of the nation’s inventions and ideas, the head of the delegation said

By Lee I-chia and Tang Chia-ling  /  Staff reporters

Mon, Dec 03, 2012 - Page 3

Taiwan was the main winner at this year’s Seoul International Invention Fair (SIIF), held from Thursday until Saturday, with 42 gold, 53 silver and 30 bronze medals, as well as nine special awards.

The SIIF is one of the largest annual invention fairs in Asia. This year, 32 countries participated in it.

Inventors and researchers from different countries showcased their ideas and products to manufacturers, investors, distributors, licensing firms and the general public.

Chen Tsung-tai (陳宗台), head of the Taiwanese delegation, said that about 800 inventions were exhibited this year.

Taiwanese inventors and researchers displayed 147 inventions and received 134 awards, “showing the excellent quality and quantity of Taiwanese inventions,” Chen said.

The Grand Prize was won by a research team led by Far East University’s Vice President Jang Ming-jyi (鐘明吉) and Dean of Research and Development Yeh Yen-liang (葉彥良), for a device that extracts essential oils from fresh flowers.

By controlling the temperature and pressure of carbon dioxide pumped into the device with tubes and valves, the device can achieve complete separation and purification of essential oils and water.

While it takes about 3,000kg of flowers to extract 1kg of essential oils with the current method of extracting from dried flowers, the new device can extract the same amount of oils from just 2,000kg of flowers, Yeh said.

The extraction device has already gained more than 30 patents, he said, adding that they are also applying for a patent on the manufacturing process.

The team said that several Taiwanese companies have already approached the team, hoping to take the product into production.

A Semi-Grand Prize was given to Lin Yen-ju (林晏如), a student at Asia University’s Department of Creative Product Design, for her preheating coat rack, which joins hanger hooks to the internal design of a hairdryer so that it can preheat clothes.

Lin said her invention is designed to warm up clothes, scarves or hats, so people whose hands and feet are often cold or numb in the winter can feel warmer.

Lin is currently in the process of gaining a patent for her device.

Other prize-winning inventions included an automatic toilet seat lifting and lowering device, a carry-along intravenous infusion bag that allows patients to move around more freely, as well as a pair of foldable gardening scissors that are safe enough to be used by children, the Taiwanese delegation said.