The 2012 Taipei International Invention Show and Technomart (INST), Asia's largest invention exhibition that took place from Sept. 20 through 23 this year, was a fitting platform for showcasing the nation's latest agricultural inventions and developments. At the Agricultural Pavilion located in Section D of the Taipei World Trade Center's Exhibition Hall 1, the Council of Agriculture (COA) displayed an unprecedented sum of 56 new patents and discoveries that ranged from bio-technology, environmental protection and energy conservation, tools and machinery, food processing and preservation, health foods and dietary supplements to disease control and prevention, mass production and new specimens.
Groundbreaking developments to benefit all sectors
Below are some of the highlights of the agricultural inventions displayed in the 2012 Taipei INST:
The invention of the grouper iridovirus inactivated vaccine
Developed to combat grouper iridovirus (GIV), a lethal virus better known as the sleepy grouper disease that infects the host's internal organs, the killed viral vaccine is the nation's first-ever patented vaccine for aquaculture purposes. The medical innovation is expected to improve the survival rate of grouper fingerlings by 20 to 30 percent and increase the total output of the nation's grouper farms by NT$2.4 billion.
The launch of two energy-conserving, award-winning watermills
Two local inventions, the dual-roller watermill and the wind-powered watermill, were showcased at the 2012 Taipei INST after winning respectively the gold and the silver medal at the 39th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva last year. The dual-roller watermill uses a motor to pump water through the first set of wheels, which in turn triggers an adjacent set of wheels to enter rotation as well; without expending any extra electricity, this second pair of rollers increases the oxygen levels of the pumped water by 10 to 20 percent. The other award-winning device, the wind-powered watermill, runs on a combination of pressurized water and natural wind, which effectively cuts electricity expenditure by up to 50 percent. Designed specifically for aquaculture establishments, the made-in-Taiwan watermills are expected to rake in considerable profits from China and Southeast Asia. In Taiwan alone, fish farms take up around 51 thousand hectares of land, a sizable region that requires at least 200 thousand operational watermills.
The cultivation of Cordyceps militaris from silkworm cocoons
Cordyceps militaris has long been hailed as the successor to its close cousin Cordyceps sinensis, the legendary Chinese medicinal ingredient colloquially known as the caterpillar fungus. Using live silkworm cocoons as the host body, Taiwanese researchers were able to cultivate Cordyceps militaris of higher quality than those breed from grains or liquid culture. The silkworm-bred fungi, which contain greater traces of pharmacologically active substances than other artificially cultivated specimens, are expected to capture a significant portion of the Chinese medical market and provide a new business opportunity to domestic silkworm breeders.
The creation of Lepista nuda Taiwan No. 1
Lepista nuda, commonly known as the wood blewit or the blue-stalk mushroom, has long been considered a rare delicacy by French connoisseurs and comes with a price tag that is 5 to 10 times higher than that of the common button mushroom in Europe. Combined with the nation's advanced cultivation techniques, Lepista nuda Taiwan No. 1 is a new strain of edible mushrooms that yields 10 percent more crops of a visibly superior quality than the unmodified specimen. Annual domestic production of the lilac-tinged delicacy is expected to exceed 10 metric tons by 2013.
Tapping into the international scale of the 2012 Taipei INST, the COA hopes to help local innovations gain better exposure. Through hosting the Agricultural Pavilion at last year's invention exhibition, agricultural officials successfully completed the commercial transfer of 34 patented technologies and received more than NT$10 million in royalties. This year, the COA increased the number of patents on display from 51 to 56 in its attempt to boost the nation's technology transfer capabilities. Moreover, the Council also held a forum titled “Agricultural Safety for a Sustainable Future” on Sept. 21 to raise public awareness on the importance of agricultural safety and sustainability.
Taiwan Agriculture TechnoMart, your online portal for commercial transfers
For those who missed out on the 2012 Taipei INST, simply log on to the Taiwan Agriculture TechnoMart (tatm.coa.gov.tw/english/engHome.aspx) for more information on the patented technologies and inventions available for commercial transfer. The COA also welcomes any inquiries concerning possible partnerships and collaborative projects from domestic enterprises and manufacturers.
In the future, the COA will continue to assist the agricultural sector in its transformation from a traditional, labor-intensive trade to becoming an energy-efficient powerhouse driven by scientific advancements. By promoting the nation's technological expertise and factual research, the COA hopes to usher forth an era of agricultural sustainability and prosperity.