by Mohammad Mahdi, Afghanistan (PPRE 2013/15)
On 27 November 2015 the international trade fair for “Ideas – Inventions – New Products” brought inventors from all over the world to Nuremberg for four days. More than 700 inventions awaiting their step on to the market were presented. Trade visitors from 44 countries met up with the approximately 500 iENA inventors. The best ideas won awards from an international jury of experts and one of the awardees was a PPRE student from Afghanistan.
Alongside the main fair, inventors were invited to showcase their green inventions in the 5th World Competition of Green Inventions which had been held coincident with the iENA 2015 exhibition and Mr. Mohammad Mahdi, as part of Afghanistan Inventors Association, presented his unique invention called Blue Boat.
Blue Boat prototype built in Afghanistan
Blue Boat is a water pump which operates without electricity, solar, wind, oil, gas, etc. and even without any human power! It is especially designed for irrigation of agricultural fields where the water source is a river. In fact Blue Boat is hydro water pump. It floats like a boat on the river and should be fastened to both sides. Energy of water stream is captured by 7 crossflow turbines beneath the machine and converted to mechanical energy which operates 2 double acting pumps. These pumps suck the water from river and shoot it toward a higher elevation.
The initiative began by Mr. Zahidi (colleague of Mr. Mahdi) who was an experienced but not well educated mechanic working for US army forces in Central Afghanistan. When US soldiers withdrew Afghanistan, he lost his job and started working on agricultural field to cover his life expenditures like more than 60% of Afghanistan’s population. Drought and limited water access are the main problems for Afghan farmers. Effectiveness and fair distribution of available water (mostly seasonal streams) is a critical issue as well. To find a solution and tackle these problems Zahidi utilized his practical experience and incorporated it with Mr. Mahdi’s expertise in hydro power and they both ended up inventing this green water pump.
On the day of competition in Nuremburg, even though the manufactured Blue Boat was not present due to lack of funding for its transportation from Afghanistan to Germany, the pictures, the detailed presentation on its concept and a video which showed the invention in action was enough to satisfy the high jury to award Afghanistan Team with a Bronze Medal. A great international honour for Afghanistan Inventors Association for the first time!
Moreover Blue Boat received 90% fee reduction for relatively expensive Patent Registration Procedures from WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization).
One of side events of this fair was a workshop on International Patent Systems conducted by Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in which participants received updated and in depth information regarding International Patent Registration procedures and application.
Currently Mr. Mahdi and his colleagues are pursuing the procedure of Patent Registration for their invention, simultaneously working on R&D to increase the efficiency of Blue Boat and trying to decrease the cost of manufacturing by utilizing materials which are cheaper and more affordable for villagers in rural areas. They plan to participate in upcoming exhibition and fairs with a refined version of Blue Boat to find an incorporation with an industrial partner to proceed towards commercialization in rural market.
The Afghanistan inventors team (right: Mahdi)
Read the complete Press Report on iENA 2015 here