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Polish boffins Win Awards in Paris
August 1, 2013   
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A robot evaluating safety in areas that are hard to reach for humans and a chemical compound for the production of a drug for patients with chronic leukemia—these are just two of the six Polish inventions that won gold medals at the Concours Lépine International Exhibition of Inventions in Paris this year.

Polish scientists won a total of 31 medals at the Paris exhibition, which ended in May.

The Concours Lépine International Exhibition of Inventions aims to promote technological progress and technology transfer. This year’s event was held for the 112th time, bringing together inventions and innovations from 14 countries, including Germany, Spain, Britain, Belgium, Russia, Iran, Morocco, Taiwan and China.

More than 500 inventions were submitted to this year’s exhibition, and a 50-member panel of judges handed out a total of 246 medals. Polish exhibitors walked away with 31 medals altogether: six gold, 11 silver and 12 bronze as well as two medals from the French Association of Inventors and Manufacturers (AIFF).

The gold medal winners included the GRYF robot for quick evaluation of safety in hard-to-reach areas—for example for checking vehicles for bombs planted under them. The robot is the brainchild of the Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements (PIAP) in Warsaw. Another gold medal went to the University of £ód¼ Center for Technology Transfer for its fourth-generation dendrimer—an organic compound that can be used to produce a drug for patients with chronic leukemia.

Among the inventions that claimed gold medals was a device for checking the tightness of welded joints, developed at the Institute of Welding in Gliwice.

The jury also gave high ratings to a polymer material with reduced flammability obtained from feathers and other chicken-farm waste. The material has been developed by researchers from the Institute of Biopolymers and Chemical Fibers in £ód¼ together with colleagues from the Jan and Jêdrzej ¦niadecki University of Technology and Life Sciences in Bydgoszcz.

Another gold medal went to a special kind of composite developed at the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Technology in Cracow.

A gold medal in the Young Inventor category went to a group of students from the King Jan III Sobieski School Complex No. 6 in Jastrzêbie Zdrój, southern Poland, for an electronic communication system for the disabled. In Poland the system has received a positive review from the Mimo Wszystko charity foundation, thanks to which it is already beginning to be used by disabled people.

Among the silver medal winners was the Institute of Precision Engineering in Warsaw. It received two silver medals for its BorTermoFluid method for drilling of metal products as well as for its innovative heating method used in vacuum and atmosphere-controlled furnaces.

Silver medals also went to the Tele and Radio Research Institute in Warsaw. The institute’s scientists won plaudits for their laboratory device for the recycling of hazardous waste. The Textile Research Institute in £ód¼, in turn, won plaudits for its “barrier fabric” protecting wearers against electromagnetic fields.

One of the bronze medals went to the Medical Sciences Faculty of the University of Warmia and Mazuria in Olsztyn, which, together with the local University Clinical Hospital, exhibited the NMFlowMetaAnalyser system, which helps detect if a patient has difficulty breathing. The system has also received a special award from the Biomedical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Military University of Technology in Warsaw received three bronze medals for an energy saving system; a cryptography system using elliptic curves in telecommunications terminals; and a mobile system for detecting and warning against epileptic seizures. The Industrial Institute of Agricultural Engineering (PIMR) in Poznañ won a bronze medal for its machine for obtaining biomass from willow.

The Polish pavilion at the Concours Lépine exhibition showcased inventions by Polish research institutions, universities, businesses, technical high schools, and individual inventors. There has been a Polish pavilion at the exhibition since 2003. Over the years, it has showcased advanced inventions in the final stages of development—after trials, studies, and pilot deployments—as well as inventions ready for commercial use.

The Concours Lépine is among the world’s oldest exhibitions. It was first held in 1901 as an initiative by Paris police chief Louis Lépine and was intended to stimulate the French economy, which was in crisis. Over more than a century, the exhibition has showcased and promoted inventions such as the two-stroke engine, the heat turbine, the artificial heart, an artificial lung, a blood transfusion device, a nose inhalator that absorbs dust and provides protection against infections, the laryngoscope, contact lenses, a pump for removing toxins from skin bites, the electric vacuum cleaner, the steam iron, the electric heater, the dishwasher, the washing machine, an infrared remote control switch, the parachute, the ball-point pen and the typewriter.

Owing to its prestige and long tradition, the Concours Lépine attracts a great deal of media attention as well as crowds of visitors, including businesspeople, manufacturers and investors.

O. M.
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