Over the course of four days, over 350 inventions from 17 countries were showcased at the iENA Inventors’ Fair at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre. Inventors were able to hold productive discussions with investors, distributors and consultants, and initial licensing talks could already take place on site. The combination with the Nuremberg Innovation Congress and the “Hack & Make” Creative and Technology fair was very well received.
Nuremberg – In 2021, after a year’s break, the iENA Trade Fair “Ideas – Inventions – New Products” could again display the exciting results of creative innovation processes. Owing to the international travel restrictions and uncertainties that still exist in many cases, iENA was smaller this year, but by no means less successful for those inventors present. The inventors not only travelled from Germany – they also came to the iENA in Nuremberg from other countries, such as Korea, Croatia and China, showing that international events are possible even in these times.
The project manager of the iENA, Sandra Hübner, gives a positive summary, although there were considerable external challenges in the lead-up: “The 2021 iENA showed how fruitful and important live events are. The inventors presented their inventions – some of them complex and needing explanation – and that simply works best in the form of a personal conversation. We’re particularly pleased that many distributors, investors and licensors came to the iENA and were interested in the inventions”, says Sandra Hübner.
The iENA stage programme offered professional inspiration and featured discussion panels where inventors talked about hurdles, challenges and opportunities – as well as presenting their projects, innovations and ideas – to an interested audience.
The highlight for inventors this year was once again the iENA medal ceremony, where the best inventions are awarded prizes and honoured. Beforehand, an expert jury examined and evaluated each of the 350 inventions. The “iENA Grand Prize” went this year to Michael Könker with the Wendebank (turning bench). Youth inventors also brought promising inventions to Nuremberg: the Prize of the City of Nuremberg went to Niklas Senz, Rebecca Ritter and Maria Messmer from the Schülerforschungszentrum (SFZ) Südwürttemberg for their rapidly biodegradable plastic films, and the European Inventors’ Association AEI 2021 Grand Youth Prize went to Jan Heinemann with his Löschigel (extinguishing hedgehog), an invention developed as part of the “Jugend forscht” initiative. Korea was a partner of the iENA this year and the Korean inventors from Sunmoon University were awarded the AFAG Messen und Ausstellungen GmbH prize for an information and guidance system for bus lines that they’ve developed.
Focus on the power of innovation with the iENA and Innovation Congress
The combination of trade fair and congress worked out well and the synergies of the iENA Inventors’ Fair and Innovation Congress were exploited effectively. This showed that congress attendees were also the right visitors for the iENA and were interested in the inventions and developments that were presented there. At the same time, some inventors and developers used the professional inspiration of the congress to further develop themselves and their innovations. The presentations at the Innovation Congress built on one another and resulted in exciting and lively discussion rounds afterwards.
Hack & Make Creative and Technology festival
Hack & Make was well attended over the weekend: lots of creatives, tinkerers and the curious were interested in the offerings presented by FabLab Region Nürnberg and its partners. Hack & Make showcased the ingenuity and possibilities of creatives who turn their ideas into reality. Visitors were able to marvel at many new creations and try out 3D printing and laser cutters for themselves on site. In addition to Siemens, other FabLabs from the region and other exhibitors from the “maker” scene were also involved. Planning for Hack & Make 2022 is already underway.
iENA 2022 – the outlook for the international inventors’ fair
Next year, the iENA Trade Fair “Ideas – Inventions – New Products” will again be taking place on its traditional date, parallel to the consumer trade
fair Consumenta. The Innovation Congress will be further expanded and partnerships consolidated for next year, and Hack & Make is also scheduled to run in parallel again. The iENA is expected to return to its usual international strength next year. The foundations for this have already been laid this year with the restart.
Exhibitor comments on the iENA 2021 Trade Fair “Ideas – Inventions – New Products”
Joonho Koh, Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA), Korea:
“Our members were very satisfied with the results of their attendance at the fair. To see everyone again in Nuremberg was a highlight. The placement of our stand was ideal as well”.
Wolfgang Müller, Steinbeis Transfer Centre:
“Nowhere can you find more networkers, inspiration and implementation opportunities in one place than at iENA in Nuremberg. Attending the fair is always worthwhile. Inventors came to Nuremberg with certain ideas and intentions and were able – through valuable conversations and discussions – to discover new applications for their inventions on site. The exhibitors could cross-fertilise one another with their ideas and establish valuable informal networks. Attending the trade fair not only offers the opportunity to have your great work acknowledged, but also further suggestions – and optimisation ideas for the further development of your ideas – often arise in conversation”.
Helga König, INNOVATION FORUM:
“For me, the iENA 2021 was the strongest fair year since I’ve known it. Both in terms of visitors and the quality of exhibitors. Whoever came this year wanted to make a difference! iENA 2021 was THE meeting place for inventors, marketers and decision-makers”.
Thomas Gernbauer, Gernbauer Innovation Hub, Linz, Austria:
“I was able to make lots of good contacts and hold numerous discussions. We really enjoyed being at the iENA Nuremberg and will certainly come back again next year. The great interaction between inventor and exhibitor colleagues was also really rewarding. You could say we were in exactly the right place here”.
Torsten Sauer, Korbsauna GmbH:
“We were very excited about the great media interest in our wicker sauna. It’s unbelievable how many enquiries we received. We were able to make great contacts at iENA and so we’re very satisfied with our first fair appearance”.
Timo Wedershoven, Airboom GmbH:
“We’re really satisfied with our attendance at the iENA trade fair and were able to have excellent discussions. We’re confident that we were able to make the right contacts who can support us with their know-how in the future. We would also like to emphasise the great cooperation of the iENA exhibitor community. We can benefit from each other’s experiences and observations”.