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Shower of Top Awards Honors Inventions

Nation continues as a major source of patents and designs that are transforming international economy and commercial activities

China's innovation abilities were ranked top of the middle-income economies this year, according to Wang Binying, deputy director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organization, speaking at a recent intellectual property awards ceremony.

"China is maintaining robust development in the field of IP. Its work on patents has made great progress in helping the development of technological innovation in industry," Wang said.

Through the joint efforts of the State Intellectual Property Office and WIPO, 25 inventions and designs were conferred gold awards at the WIPO-SIPO Awards for Chinese Outstanding Patented Inventions and Industrial Design this year.

The winners covered a wide range of sectors such as chemicals, electronics, rail transportation and smart appliances.

Among the innovations recognized was a method of producing polysilicon developed by China Enfi Engineering Co Ltd.

Polysilicon is used to make solar panels, and traditional methods used in its production has caused heavy pollution and energy consumption, said Si Wenxue, an inventor of the award-winning method.

The patented Enfi Engineering method adapts the physical purification and chemical changes to produce polysilicon rods, which increases the utilization of raw materials from 21.5 percent to 99.99 percent and reduces 80 percent of the production costs.

"The innovative technology was dominated by other countries in the past, so we had to develop our method through independent research and development, to balance economic development and environmental protection," Si said.

The company now has an annual polysilicon production capacity of 18,000 metric tons, ranking it No 6 in the world.

Leading Chinese home appliances manufacturer Haier won two awards for the industrial designs of an air conditioner and washing machines.

The air conditioner was designed to combine Chinese and Western elements and its designer said it helps adjust comfortable temperature and humidity for its users, with its hollow double-gate design and temperature self-balancing technology.

Haier said the product had secured the largest share in the market for high-end air conditioners priced higher than 16,000 yuan ($2,469), beating Japanese rivals.

To meet the needs of global users, the company has been striving to integrate resources using advanced technology to set up a sustainable innovation platform, said Wang Ye, senior vice-president of Haier.

Using patents is a core strategy of Haier. Wang added that understanding patents not only protected the IP rights of companies, but also served as the source of innovation.

This year, the ceremony also saw awards to 802 patents for excellence.

Lei Xiaoyun, director of the patent administration department at SIPO, said that overall the amount and quality of patents had steadily increased since the patent awards were set up in 1989.

"The patent awards play a role in leading IP industry development in management and technology innovation," she said.

"We will further promote work on patents to make it contribute more to national economic growth."

Source: China Daily