Invention expo focuses on patent commercialization (China Daily)

This year’s national invention exhibition will highlight patent commercialization by organizing matchmaking between inventors and entrepreneurs, said Lu Dahan, secretary-general of the China Association of Inventions, at a news conference on Friday in Beijing.

One of the biggest galas of its kind in China, the National Exhibition of Inventions was first held in 1985 and has showcased more than 20,000 patented research results during its past 20 sessions.

The 2015 National Exhibition of Inventions is due to be held in Yongkang, Zhejiang province, from Oct 24 to 27.

Co-hosted by the China Association of Inventions and the local government, the four-day event is expected to attract participants from the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan, as well as the Chinese mainland, along with military units, who will display their latest scientific achievements that have both patents and promising market prospects.

The exhibition will be held in the new Yongkang International Convention and Exhibition Center. Built in 2011, the new venue has hosted about 100 forums, according to the local government.

Exhibition areas for teenage inventors and young entrepreneurs will be set up and several innovation and intellectual property forums will also be held.

“Patents can bring real benefits to the public and earn inventors profits only if they are commercialized,” Lu said.

Although many efforts have been made by Chinese governments at all levels, patent commercialization still remains a tough issue, he noted.

“One of the biggest problems for most of the individual inventors is the lack of funding and investment. It is difficult for them to apply for the government funds, and the number of angel investment agencies is not enough to meet the demand,” Lu said.

Some inventors, especially retired scientists and researchers, have problems understanding the needs of markets, overvaluing their patents and cooperating with others, he added.

From this year, the National Exhibition of Inventions, which is held every two years, plans to settle in Yongkang permanently, which “will inject continuous impetus to promote Yongkang’s economic transition”, said Chen Meirong, executive vice-mayor of the city.

Chen said the local government attached great importance to the exhibition and was supported by the provincial science and technology department and the intellectual property office.

Yongkang was chosen as the new permanent venue because it has good business and industrial environment, Lu said.

“Yongkang has a large number of self-employed businessmen who have a strong demand for industrial upgrades and transformation. Also the local government is service-oriented and has high working efficiency,” he said.

“With joint efforts by the association and the Yongkang government, we hope the national invention exhibition can serve individual inventors, companies and investors,” Lu added.

Yongkang has a thriving private economy, with hardware manufacturing as its pillar industry, which has earned the county-level city the name “hardware city of China”.

It is also one of the richest regions in China, with annual per-capita GDP reaching more than $10,000. In 2014, the city’s GDP exceeded 45 billion yuan ($7 billion), an annual increase of 8 percent.

Individuals and companies in Yongkang filed more than 2,600 patent applications this year, of which 2,417 were authorized, which ranked the city top in Jinhua in terms of both patent applications and authorizations.

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An inventor demonstrates his product – a bed that helps look after the elderly and handi caped peole – at the 2014 International Exhibition of Inventions, co-organized by the China Association of Inventions and International Federation of Inventors’ Associations.

(China Daily 08/19/2015 page17)