Ten Exciting Innovations of the Year

Sep 8 , 2019

The machine, which was built by Kidane Gebreselassie and Dawit Melese, brought together a farmer and mechanical engineer in Bishoftu, Oromia Regional State. The machine spent the past five years in development and the one that got patented this year is the 14th version of the first prototype.

Twenty-year-old Sebelewongel Biruk used to receive sharp criticism from her family on her ability to bake injera, a sour flatbread made of teff.

She was never able to bake the perfect injera and found the task to be tedious, time consuming and unenjoyable. That is when she started thinking of solutions.

"I thought anyone would want to avoid the task if there were an alternative means, and such an option could be of great help in the households across Ethiopia," said Sebelewongel.

She started doodling designs when she was in high school and said the product development took close to two years as she was busy when she became a full-time medical student at Black Lion Specialised Medical Hospital.

"I spent a significant amount of time reading and doing research online, as the area was not my profession, and there was a lot I had to learn," said Sebelewongel.

The complete injera processor Sebelewongel designed does not need any human intervention. It can carry out the whole process required to bake injeraon its own from mixing raw dough with water to taking out and piling the baked injera.

The machine also has an option to let its users decide on the thickness of the injera, the speed it bakes as well as colour.

Two years ago, when she was showcasing her product at an event, she got suggestions that she should patent her innovation. Subsequently, she started the process of registering her injeraprocessor at the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO).

She went through all the procedures from filling out forms to publishing a notice of her innovation on a newspaper and waiting for three months to see if anyone objected to her patent request. Finally, after two years, her innovation was patented under her name.

Sebelewongel is glad her processor was patented and feels secure about it. She is one of the 95 people that got their innovations patented in the passing Ethiopian year by the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office, which was established with the principal objective of giving protection for innovations in the country.

Getting innovations certified is the first and major step in protecting one's ideas, work and goodwill, according to Elias Mohammed, public relations officer at EIPO.

The office also facilitates the commercialisation of intellectual property (IP) assets through the distribution of information to different entities so that the technology can be optimised, transferred and promoted to the general public, according to Elias.

The Office is structured in four core departments and gives IP protection in four areas. Its main department works on issuing a patent for utility model innovations, innovations at a small scale level, as well as registering, examining and certifying patents for industrial designs.

Its second department deals with trademark registration & protection, while the third extends protection for literary and artistic works through copyright law. The last is the Intellectual Property Asset Development Department, which manages and governs IP issues.

In the passing Ethiopian year, the Office issued 95 patents, 3,245 trademarks and 366 copyright certificates. Out of them, Fortunezeroed in on 10 captivating innovations.


The machine, which was invented by Sebelewongel, takes up tasks from raw ingredient entry through dough mixing and baking to aerate, collect and store each loaf of injera.

It saves processing time by heating the flour before the battering stage, and also by raising the temperature of the dough chamber to facilitate fermentation. Major components of the processor include the decantation tube, yeast storage cavity, linseed brush, dough faucet, lithe plate as a take-out slide and drawer.

"The invention is compatible with modern kitchens, saves time and energy, is less spacious and has a multi-purpose processor," said Sebelewongel.


The machine, which was built by Kidane Gebreselassie and Dawit Melese, brought together a farmer and mechanical engineer in Bishoftu, Oromia Regional State. The machine spent the past five years in development and the one that got patented this year is the 14th version of the first prototype.

“Extra caution needs to be taken when planting teffand using fertiliser, since the crop is susceptible to chemicals," said Kidane.

While fertiliser can be beneficial when a teffseed is planted, the seed gets wasted if it comes in touch with the fertiliser, added Kidane.

The machine uses a vibrator connected to a power source to plant teffseeds while applying fertiliser at the same time, managing perfectly to keep the two from getting in contact.


This invention allows people to use their cell phones to turn on any electrical equipment in their house. Invented by Yishaq Fereja, the system uses two cell phones, data storage, a switch and a sound transducer that changes the audio signal into an electric one.

The application of such a mechanism is diverse and lets people turn on and off boilers, televisions as well as other electronic equipment in their house while they are away from home with just a phone call or through setting the alarm.


The Plasma Cutting Machine is a 3D Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine used to cut plates and sheet metal by using Oxy-Fuel and plasma gas.

The machine is mainly made of different types of structural frames, rail guides, gantries, bed strips, stepper motors with stepper drivers and separate electrical and electronic control components.

Built by Endasahw Shanko, it also uses a computer to interpret and display the alphanumeric instructions to perform the intended task.


The machine built by Eregatu Gashaw is used for engraving, cutting and polishing precious stones and gemstones such as opal, ruby, aquamarine and emerald.

Built from stainless steel, the machine uses six different gears to polish and shape the stones. It has an electric dynamo, and every gear has a water system of its own.


This invention brings herbal tea made from avocado leaves by Yididiya Borsamo. The tea can be prepared in two forms, either red or green tea.

The process begins with collecting the avocado leaves and cleaning them. Then the leaves will be stored between 25 degrees centigrade to 27 degrees centigrade to dry off. The dried leaves are then ground into smaller pieces and used to make tea. Orange, pineapple, lemon and ginger can also be used in the process to add a different flavour to it.


The composition discovered by Fanteyaheu Yimamu (MD) mixes the liquids of various fruits and plants such as avocado, mango, banana and sugarcane with the powders of corn, rice, bean and soya bean. The final product comes out in the form of a dry pellet pet food. The full vegetable food is advantageous to the animals and prevents them from getting heart and vascular diseases, according to an abstract from the patent.


This invention has a seed storage container where the seeds are stored, and there is a seed control gate where seeds slowly pass to the seed controller that plants the seeds.

The planter is registered to Zhou- Ji Long who is originally from China’s Shanxi Province. The seed controller structure is mounted under the container; it consists of two parallel slide boards with controlling holes that rotate backward and forward, controlling the number of seeds that fall into the opener to be planted in the soil.


This innovation was invented by Ermiyas Tamene and is used to pierce through aluminium and profile metals. The machine can exert up to 5,000 Newtons on the metals and can produce different size holes.


The vitamin powder for animals is made from various fruit and vegetable waste products. Invented by Tewfros Shiferaw, the powder contains more than seven types of vitamins.

PUBLISHED ON Sep 08,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1011]

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