Washing machines for dogs, and the power of the Ig Nobel Prize

The sometimes unexpected power of winning an Ig Nobel Prize, as reported in El Pais [here is an auto-translation from the Spanish]:

“I’m not surprised that we have more Nobel laughter than really”
Spain triumphs in the Ig Nobel in recent years with peculiar studies and inventions

… But it is important not to underestimate the power of Ig Nobel, as explained by Eduard Segura, who won it in 2002 in the Hygiene category for his invention: a pet washing machine. “We were surprised by the global impact, but all of that free publicity was fundamental for us, it could be a joke prize, but it has fixed our way of life,” he says. This engineer affirms that he has sold since then some 400 machines -whose two models cost 17,000 and 7,000 euros- in a business for which six people work. And that everything is due to the prize….

“We did not know the awards and when we saw the videos we thought we were too serious for that”, explains Margarita Garriga, head of the award-winning team made up of five researchers from IRTA (Agrifood Research and Technology Institute). “We felt uncomfortable and we did not go,” says Garriga, who nevertheless acknowledges that the experience would have been spectacular: “Now I regret not having gone to Harvard.” The study for which they were awarded in Nutrition, the thesis of Raquel Rubio, proposed the use of bacteria present in the feces of babies to ferment sausages.

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