China’s Coming Age Of Invention

Rebecca Fannin, 06.07.10, 06:00 AM EDT

Now, everything is made in China–

but little is invented there.


When will the familiar label “Made in China” switch to something more challenging: “Invented in China”? Not for another decade at least, according to investors and technology entrepreneurs who gathered recently at an event in Beijing to discuss the topic. (For video of the event, click here.)

Sure, some things are already being invented in China. Internet whizzes have pushed advances in mobile gaming and instant messaging. But many obstacles prevent a full-scale leap into widespread inventing.

One hurdle is culture. Entrepreneurs in China are still afraid of failure, noted Feng Deng of Northern Light Venture Capital. A failed startup in Silicon Valley is practically a badge of honor. In addition, entrepreneurs in China may be good at coding software, but they make for lousy managers. That often keeps their businesses from scaling.

Innovation in China comes largely by accident, not by design, said DCM investor Hurst Lin, one of the first generation of China’s returnee entrepreneurs from the West and co-founder of Chinese Internet portal Sina. Facebook and Google ( GOOG news people ) were accidents of imagination that was allowed to roam and think differently. Such breakthrough ideas could not have been the result of an upbringing in China, said Lin, where education needs to move toward critical thinking and away from sheer memorization.

Even so, Lin and others (including myself) hold out hope–and the expectation–that China will climb the innovation ladder quickly. Why? Necessity is the mother of invention. Many of the country’s 1.3 billion people are yearning for middle-class living standards and the cars and consumer goods that go with it. The market for homegrown innovation is there.

Major and rapid developments are coming in clean tech–an area that Northern Light’s Deng is focusing on with bets in energy-efficient lights, wind power and energy storage. Let’s hope some of these ideas can clean up China’s polluted cities.
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// Before China’s tech hubs join the same league as Silicon Valley, however, the country needs more collaboration among university labs and venture capital firms to work on breakthrough ideas. This method has worked well in Silicon Valley and in Boston. In Shanghai and Beijing I’m told that professors and scientists prefer not to share their intellectual capital with financiers.

Still, corporations worldwide are pouring more investment into Chinese R&D operations every day, a point made by Egidio Zarrella of KPMG.

One example is corporate America’s interest in Chinese biomedical research and development–an area of investment that is rapidly becoming as hot as clean tech. Pfizer ( PFE news people ) recently established a joint venture with Crown Bioscience to work on finding a cure for cancers common in Asia–predominantly lung cancer. While in Beijing, I got a tour of Crown Bioscience, which is located in an immense life sciences park close to the Great Wall.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 7th June 2010

Claim to save hugely in heating bills




When the combustion process is improved more value is then gained from the wood used. Excessive smoke is unburnt fuel. SmartBurn enables this fuel (smoke) to be burnt in the fire instead of being released into the atmosphere.    SmartBurn reduces Carbon emissions (as soot and sap).

Chimney Before SmartBurn Chimney After SmartBurn Before  SmartBurn After SmartBurn

Each SmartBurn prevents approximately 15 kg of smoke haze and      particulate emissions from entering the atmosphere.

SmartBurn contains a mixture of non-toxic natural ingredients and for best results SmartBurn should be replaced every 3 months.

SmartBurn is also effective in lounge open fireplaces and kitchen stoves.

SmartBurn is proudly Australian Invented, Manufactured and Owned.

This exciting technology has been Internationally Patented and the name SmartBurn has been Trademarked.


Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 29th May 2009


Flesh eating robot on wheels

Chew Chew

Chew Chew the gastrobot (Pic: New Scientist)

At last, a robot that is powered by food – but watch out, this gastrobot’s ideal food is flesh!

According to this week’s New Scientist, a researcher at the University of South Florida has developed a 12-wheeled monster called Chew Chew, with a microbial fuel cell stomach that uses E. coli bacteria to break down food and convert chemical energy into electricity.

“Turning food into electricity isn’t unique,” says Wilkinson. “What I’ve done is make it small enough to fit into a robot”.

The microbes produce enzymes that break down carbohydrates, releasing electrons which are harnessed to charge a battery by a reduction and oxidation reaction.

Wilkinson says this is analogous to blood supply and respiration in a mammal – but delivering electrons instead of oxygen.

Gastrobot consists of three 1-metre long wheeled wagons complete with pumps for redox solution, battery bank, oesophagus, ultrasonic eyes, mouth, DC motor and E.coli powered stomach.

Unfortunately, the microbial fuel cell doesn’t produce enough power to actually move Chew Chew. Instead, the electricity is used to charge the batteries and only when these are fully charged does can the robot move. When the batteries are drained, the cycle must then be repeated.

According to New Scientist, early applications for gastrobots are likely to include mowing lawns – grazing on grass clippings for fuel.

The ideal fuel in terms of energy gain is meat, says inventor Stuart Wilkinson, but at the moment Chew Chew lives on sugar cubes.

Catching meat would require the robot to produce more energy and besides Wilkinson isn’t so sure it’s good to give gastrobots a taste for meat.

Conversion to eat carion flesh or decaying corpses is another option.

“Otherwise they’ll notice there’s an awful lot of humans running around and try to eat them,” he warns.

Tags: science-and-technology

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 13th May 2009


Protecting wood without solvent emissions
A new process to treat timber so that it lasts longer has
been developed. Unlike the current Light Organic Solvent
Preservative (LOSP) process, the new process doesn’t release
organic solvents into the atmosphere. This new process is an
alternative to the current LOSP process widely used in Australia
to reduce rot and breakdown in timber.
Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 9th May 2009

New life for African mahogany
African mahogany is a high-value hardwood timber species
with great potential for forest plantations in northern Australia.
A genetic program is underway to provide quality control in the
growth of this species. This will result in fast growing trees with
good form for logging and ultimately high value use.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 9th May 2009