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The Inventor and Development King

The Inventor and Development King

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Published by KTBF
The audience was in reference to the decision by WIPO to present its first WIPO Global Leaders Award to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand.
The audience was in reference to the decision by WIPO to present its first WIPO Global Leaders Award to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand.

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Published by: KTBF on Jan 24, 2009
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06/16/2009

 
The Inventor and Development King
“Villagers have said that miracles happen wherever the King treads. Arid land becomesfertile once again.”To the uninitiated, it must be tempting to dismiss this approximate translation of a Thairadio spot as worshipful hyperbole. Yet to Thais, apart from the obvious affection towards theirKing, the statement contains a very real element of truth. For over half a century, His MajestyKing Bhumibol Adulyadej has applied his technical ingenuity and resources to improving the livesof his people, in particular farmers otherwise at the mercy of nature. His inventions have helpedmake droughts more bearable, water less polluted and innovation more widely appreciated.What the Thai people have long known has again been given due recognition by theoutside world.On 14 January 2009, Dr. Francis Gurry, Director-General of the Geneva-based WorldIntellectual Property Organization (WIPO) presented the WIPO Global Leaders Award to HisMajesty the King.WIPO, a United Nations specialized agency with 184 member states, announced inJanuary last year that His Majesty would be the first recipient of this award – its most prestigiousrecognition of outstanding contributions by world leaders to the cause of intellectual property topromote development. In its press release, WIPO acknowledged His Majesty’s “remarkablecontribution to intellectual property both as an inventor and as an active proponent of intellectualproperty as a tool for development”, also noting him as an artist who has “created over 1,000works, including paintings, photos, musical and literary works such as songs and novels”.Some of His Majesty’s best known projects relate to artificial rain. Rainmakingtechniques invented by His Majesty, with such memorable names as “sandwich” and “supersandwich”, have brought welcome moisture to land parched by drought, and relief to thousands of farmers.The Royal Rain Project, as it is called, is one of the more than 4,000 royally initiateddevelopment projects to date. Others include those pertaining to irrigation, farming, drought andflood alleviation, crop substitution, public health, distance learning and employment promotion.Another of his inventions well-known among Thais is the Chaipattana aerator. Thisfamily of devices, building on villagers’ familiarity with water wheels, was developed as a low-cost solution to help address water pollution in rivers, canals, swamps and marshes, in areas thatlacked an effective waste water treatment system. Examples of the major water treatment projectswhich employ the Chaipattana aerator include those in Bangkok’s Makasan Lagoon, initiated byHis Majesty the King himself, and in Ayutthaya’s Bangpa-in Palace, implemented withcooperation from the German business community. Today, the aerators are widely used to treatwater in both Bangkok and rural areas. One such aerator also stands in Woluwe Saint-Pierre Park in Brussels.Other royal inventions include water purification devices, a liquid-propelled engine forsmall boats, as well as techniques for conversion of palm oil into palm diesel as an alternativesource of energy, and techniques to revitalize acidic soil.In implementing many of his projects, the King, who studied science and engineering inSwitzerland before switching to law and political science to prepare for his responsibilities as aconstitutional monarch, has invented and developed along the way various tools and techniquessuited to the problems at hand and the areas concerned. A large area of the Chitralada Palace

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