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November 21, 2009

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Vegetable-aquatic mix takes patent center stage

AN artificial cultivation complex that breeds organic vegetables and aquatic products attracted most attention at the opening ceremony of the annual Shanghai Patent Week yesterday.

Before the visitors was a big aquarium with fish, shrimps and hairy crabs swimming among reeds. Vegetables, such as lettuces and cucumbers, and grapevines were floating on the aquarium water.

Yan Jianye, inventor of the cultivation complex who runs organic farms both on the city's Chongming Island and in the United States, said it was a perfect biosphere where vegetables and aquatic animals complemented each other.

Moisture and nutrients needed by vegetables come from water in the aquarium and excrement of the aquatic animals.

Meanwhile, vegetable roots help decontaminate the water and create an ecological environment for the aquatic animals, he said.

"Vegetables cultivated in this way are completely organic because no fertilizer and pesticide are used," Yan said.

"And these vegetables haven't absorbed any heavy metals in soil."

The technology has been tried out for 18 months on a 2,000-square-meter lot at the Chongming farm.

"I will spread the technology to any company interested since it will help more farmers increase their income," he said. "I don't care about the technology transfer fee."

The cultivation complex is one of the 203 patents and inventions displayed for trade during the three-day event.

Officials of the Shanghai Intellectual Property Administration expect patent trade volume to reach 200 million yuan (US$29 million) this year compared with 170 million yuan in 2008.

Seven patents were auctioned yesterday, only the second sale of its kind in the city.

The patents cover the fields of medicine, construction material and engineering.

With one patent failing to be auctioned, the other six patents were sold for a total of 65.36 million yuan.

A biomedical product that can be used to treat burns was auctioned for a record 29 million yuan.


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