Ecuador: Albert Einstein: El Retrato De La Innovación

Last Updated: 3 September 2018
Article by Lorena Sandoval
Most Read Contributor in Ecuador, September 2018

Quien no ha escuchado hablar de Albert Einstein, el famoso físico teórico, conocido como el autor de la teoría de la relatividad, pero quizás muy pocos conocen su faceta como examinador en la Oficina de Patentes de Suiza y, las investigaciones realizadas que condujeron a obtener sus propios inventos y más de cincuenta patentes en distintas áreas técnicas.

Einstein nació en una familia judía en una pequeña ciudad Alemana de Ulm. Su padre Hermann y su tío Jacob Einstein fueron ingenieros con ideas novedosas, muy adelantadas para su época, juntos comenzaron un negocio de instalación de agua que luego se convertiría en una pequeña fábrica de electroquímica "ELEKTROTECHNISCHE FABRIK J. EINSTEIN AND CO", que producía dínamos, lámparas de arco, equipos de medición eléctrica y sistemas de iluminación. Fue así que en 1885, la compañía ganó un contrato para iluminar la ciudad de Munich durante el festival más importante de Alemania, el famoso Oktoberfest.

Las investigaciones realizadas por Jacob Einstein alrededor de la electricidad le hicieron merecedor de seis patentes para instrumentos eléctricos, entre las más importantes: "Aparatos para mejorar la medición eléctrica"; "Mejoras en lámparas de arco eléctrico"; "Ruedas de fricción con resorte"; entre otras. Albert Einstein creció en un entorno de innovación privilegiado, rodeado de inventores, inventos, investigaciones y libros de ciencia que su padre y su tío le proporcionaban, avivando así, su inquietud y curiosidad por transformar lo existente, por dar nuevas soluciones que mejoren la vida de todos y por romper paradigmas de la ciencia y la tecnología.

Años más tarde, en junio de 1902, una vez que Einstein había terminado sus estudios universitarios, fue nombrado como experto técnico de tercera clase en la Oficina de Patentes de Suiza, su trabajo era analizar todo tipo de inventos que deseaban tener protección en Suiza y verificar si los mismos cumplían los requisitos necesarios (novedad, nivel inventivo y aplicación industrial) que deben tener todo tipo de inventos. El haber estado cerca de los últimos adelantos de la ciencia y la tecnología elevó más aún la visión científica de Einstein. El Director de la Oficina de Patentes, Friedrich Haller, consideraba que Einstein era uno de los más preciados examinadores de patentes de la época. En julio de 1909, Albert renunció a su trabajo como examinador para ser Profesor de la Universidad de Zurich.

Siendo profesor universitario, Einstein dedicaba parte de su tiempo a investigar la forma de resolver problemas técnicos, creando así, matrices para máquinas e instrumentos, cuya consecusión fue la generación de varios inventos, que en colaboración con otros científicos de la época le llevaron a obtener sus propias patentes.

De todos los inventos generados por Einstein, cuatro han sido considerados de gran valor histórico por su aplicación, por el renombre de los científicos colaboradores y el nivel de innovación notable para la época; y, son las siguientes:

  • Sistema de refrigeración en colaboración con Leo Szilard.
  • Sistema de reproducción de sonido en colaboración con Rudolf Goldschmidt.\
  • Cámara automática ajustable de intensidad ligera en colaboración con Gustav Bucky.
  • Girocompás en colaboración con Hermann Anschütz- Kaempfe.

La trascendencia más relevante de la faceta de Einstein como inventor se hace evidente al analizar el invento que desarrolló en colaboración con Leo Szilard, que consistía en la obtención de un refrigerador seguro, sin dispositivos móviles que permitiran eliminar el compresor mecánico y los gases tóxicos, la investigación entonces consistía en un sistema de absorción donde una fuente de calor y una llama de gas natural se usaba para proporcionar la energía que permitía conducir el proceso de enfriamiento. El sistema de Einstein y Szilard obtuvo ocho patentes vinculadas y solucionó el problema que existía con los sistemas de refrigeración de la época, que producían derrame de humo tóxico y que causó la muerte de varias familias en Berlín. Los derechos de la patente fueron vendidos principalmente a la compañía Electrolux.

Aunque en esa época el invento de Einstein y Szilard no fue comercializado por la depresión económica, actualmente el sistema ha retomado el interés de varios científicos y es así que Malcom McCulloch, un ingeniero eléctrico de la Universidad de Oxford, utilizó las patentes del sistema de refrigeración de Einstein-Szilard como "estado de la técnica"1 y consiguió mejorar el invento ajustando los gases circulantes en un sistema que no necesita de compresor, no dispone de partes móviles y puede funcionar sin electricidad, su aplicación está dirigida al transporte de vacunas que necesiten refrigeración en poblaciones remotas que no disponen de energía eléctrica.

El proceso que vivió Einstein y que inspiró posteriormente a McCulloch en este caso a mejorar un grandioso invento, es el mismo proceso que han pasado, los investigadores y científicos de otros países, que para mejorar su capacidad de abstracción han comenzado sus investigaciones con el "análisis del estado de la técnica en patentes" principalmente y, que les permitió examinar el desarrollo que existe alrededor de cada investigación que se realiza en el mundo, realizando un proceso de "Benchmarking científico" que les permitió asimilar las etapas más importantes del sistema de transferencia de tecnología: Imitar, Igualar y Superar y de esta forma conseguir que países como Suiza, Korea, China, Japón y principalmente Estados Unidos puedan situarse entre los 10 primeros sitios en el ranking de innvación 2018 elaborado por la Organización Mundial de Propiedad Intelectual (OMPI).

Lamentablemente, en nuestro País se produce el efecto contrario, cuando los investigadores y científicos ecuatorianos consideran que el proceso de investigación debe partir de una conceptualización particular de solucionar problemas subjetivos, o cuyas investigaciones parten de la empírica apreciación de desarrollar procedimientos o productos con poco o ningún "análisis del estado de la técnica en patentes" y consideran que el único análisis previo a una investigación que deben realizar es en "literatura científica no patente", siendo que por este camino solamente están accediendo al 5% de toda la información científico-técnica que dispone el mundo2 , este proceso errado conduce a investigaciones sin resultados valiosos que puedan obtener derechos de patente, siendo la consecuencia final que el Ecuador siga ubicandose en el puesto 92 del ranking de innvación de OMPI, de entre 124 países.

BIBLIOGRAFIA

  • Ideas, historia intelectual de la humanidad. Peter Watson, Serie Mayor, segunda edicion Julio 2009, Pag 594, 1060, 1176
  • Einstein's Patents and Inventions. Asis Kumar Chaudhuri. Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre
  • Artículos sobre ciencia tecnología y cultura. Alejandro Polanco Mesa. Einstein, Szilard y el taller de refrigeradores.

Footnote

1 El estado de la técnica está constituido por todo lo que antes de la fecha de presentación de la solicitud de patente se ha hecho accesible al público por una descripción escrita u oral, por una utilización o por cualquier otro medio.

2 Datos proporcionados por la Organización Mundial de Propiedad Intelectual (OMPI)

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