KIPO hosted the 2015 Appropriate Technology Competition Awards Ceremony in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on December 18.
Jointly organized by KIPO and the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO), the Appropriate Technology Competition in Mongolia was held under the theme “Innovative Solutions for Everyday Life.”
Appropriate technology (AT) is technology suited to the environmental, cultural, social and economic conditions of a region. The fact that it is relatively inexpensive to use and maintain makes it ideal for meeting the needs of LDCs and developing countries.
AT competitions encourage inventors of all ages to utilize patent information for discovering innovative solutions to everyday problems in developing countries. In this manner, developing countries are encouraged to apply this method themselves for the purpose of improving local living conditions.
Since 2011, KIPO has held a total of eight AT competitions in seven different countries thanks to support from the WIPO Korea Fund-in-Trust. All said, more than 700 entries were submitted. The 2015 competition in Mongolia, in particular, received a total of 40 entries—with medals and prize money being awarded to the top three.
Since 2010, KIPO has utilized nearly 270 million pieces of patent information in its efforts to provide AT to developing countries. 2014 was the first year that KIPO held an AT competition in Mongolia, and the result was a spike in demand for AT throughout the region. Accordingly, for the 2015 competition, in order to boost the incomes of people in the recipient country, KIPO worked to boost the incomes of Mongolian people by assisting them with brand development and means of distribution for newly developed AT that could be used in the manufacturing process for naturally dyed wool.
KIPO, in addition to Mongolia’s Intellectual Property Office; the Mongolian Textile Institute; and Hwasoomok Inc., a Korean SME specializing in natural dyes all participated in the AT Development Project. Published Korean patent information revealed a natural dyeing technique that could be adopted as AT for helping to enable such manufacturing processes as the scouring of raw wool and the extraction and application of natural dyes to be conducted simultaneously.
This technology is meant to increase the productivity of manufacturers of wool products in Ulaanbaatar, and it was presented along with a branding strategy that KIPO helped develop in conjunction with the AT.
Hyun-suk Lim, director of KIPO’s Multilateral Affairs Division, stated that KIPO will continue to work closely with experts and international organizations to share IP with less developed countries and push forward AT related projects that make best use out of published patent information.