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The selection principles of inventions and inventors

Selection of the most important inventions

There are about 8000 people in Latvia who are the authors or co-authors of at least one registered invention. In the last 20 years the inhabitants of Latvia have received about 12 000 patents (the authors’ certificate of USSR also can be considered a patent which is owned by the state). Admittedly not all of these patents have been received for very significant inventions. How did we select the ten most important ones?

From our point of view the main criteria of the importance were as follows: sold licences to the Western companies, built plants, great production capacity, utilization in the military complex, acknowledgement in the world. Any of the ten selected inventions meets one of these criteria.

Selection of inventors

We laid a special stress on the fact that inventors of different branches would be represented here: including chemists, physicists, engineers, physicians, selectionists… Another criterion was the belonging to the category of the authors of the most important inventions. And the third one was the requirement for several patents…

Gradually a standard structure of materials provided for each inventor was formed. It consisted of the biographical data, interests in inventing, main inventions and their main idea, selection of patent documents, etc. Later on one more section that had not been planned beforehand was added, e.i. the inventor’s thoughts about inventing and its importance for Latvia.

The materials are not perfectly uniform and homogeneous as they contain information about very different people: each person is a personality and this especially refers to inventors. When we realized that we stopped pressing the inventors to give materials of one and the same type. In several cases we managed to get very interesting photos from the inventors characterizing them not only as personalities of genius but also as people having maybe the same interests and passions as we do…