Thai inventors win health, energy medals at Geneva contest
Thai inventors took home a trove of medals at the world’s premier inventions exhibition, including three awards for developing smartphone apps that detect early signs of glaucoma and cataracts as Thailand’s commitment to innovation moves from vision to reality.
Engineers working for the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), a government agency, also won five medals for four inventions including a gold medal and special prize for its “PEA Solar Hero Application,” a one-stop service application that consumers can use for installing solar panels on rooftops.
The International Exhibition of Inventions at Geneva, Switzerland, this month showcased over 1,000 inventions from 40 countries. The event drew over 60,000 attendees from five continents, with support from the Government of Switzerland and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). In 2009, WIPO bestowed its Global Leader Award on the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej “in recognition of his extraordinary commitment to promoting intellectual property and his important contribution to society as a prolific inventor.”
The Thai government is emphasizing innovation and research and development in its blueprint and policies for the Kingdom’s future. And Thais are increasingly striving to follow their late King’s example and contribute to society and the world through innovations and inventions.
Among them are the team composed of ophthalmologists at the Thammasat (University) Eye Center and engineering students at the Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology.
The team secured three bronze medals for “GlaucoApp,” which screens for glaucoma; the “Intelligent Eye Doctor,” an app that detects cataract, pterygium, and pinguecula; and an app specifically for glaucoma patients to monitor their condition and give them guidance. All can be downloaded to smartphones.
Another Thai who won gold medal and special prize from the Russia’s Institute of Space Device Engineering that caught the interest of many visitors and journalists was Nattaphorn Kaewprathum from the Diary Farming Promotion Organization of Thailand. She built a solar powered mini truck or a mini “tuk-tuk”, the three-wheeled taxi tourists love, that is operated by solar power, using solar panels on its roof to generate electricity. The mini truck could carry up to 500 kg of raw milk from a diary farm to a collection point and could perform 150 – 200 km journey.