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The Warsaw Voice » Other » July 9, 2008
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Polish Inventors Win Medals in Paris
July 9, 2008   
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Polish innovative ideas again triumphed at this year's Concours Lepine, an international inventions fair held in Paris between April 30 and May 12. Of the 19 Polish inventions on show, including new ideas in the fields of energy, environmental protection and mechanics, 13 won medals, of which four were gold.

The medals are all the more valuable because the Parisian judges are known to be exceptionally rigorous in their assessments. The Concours Lepine fair lasts two weeks but fewer medals are handed out than at the three-day Eureka Innovation Fair in Brussels, for example. Only work that meets the highest standards has a chance to win a gold medal.

Frenchman Louis Lepine, an inventor who was also chief of police in Paris, started the Concours Lepine in 1902. This explains why to this day the fair is held under the auspices of the French police each year. This year French President Nicolas Sarkozy additionally lent his name to the event.

Over the years, many of the inventions exhibited at the fair have achieved global commercial success and have passed into everyday usage. These include the ball-point pen, steam iron, two-stroke engine, and contact lenses. The fair is open to all who hold a product patent. Normally 50 percent of the exhibited inventions are prototypes. The fair attracts a wide range of visitors including scientists and entrepreneurs, producers and investors. Poland has been taking part in this prestigious event since 2002, when the Eurobusiness-Haller company became Concours Lepine's official representative in Poland. Eurobusiness-Haller aids Polish inventors by helping them exhibit their work, compile information packs for the jury and visitors to the fair, and provides interpreting services during talks with potential manufacturers. This year the firm also sent out invitations to selected foreign companies and chambers of commerce to visit the Polish pavilion.

Polish inventions that won awards at this year's Concours Lepine included an environmentally friendly fertilizer in the form of silicate glass; a multimedia system to monitor noise; technology to weld together materials of differing physical characteristics; building materials made from energy-production waste; ultra-light aluminum brake discs; solvent recycling; and Micro Look, a hi-tech device that improves the mobility of blind people.

Ewa Dereń
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