Commentary by Ellen DombSubscribe via Email or RSS | Biography
November 5, 2010
TRIZ Futures Conf. Day 3
Next year: Dublin, Ireland will be the site for 2011 TRIZ Futures meeting, hosted by the Institute of Technology Tallegh, one of Ireland's 14 Institutes of Technology. The announcement was made by the ETRIA board and Patrick Coman, professor at the Institute. I suggest that all our readers include this meeting in their planning for 2011.
Day 3 of the meeting began with dual sessions, and this personal report only has information on the sessions that I attend. The morning opened with Walter D'Anna and Gaetano Cascini's paper "Supporting sustainable innovation through TRIZ system thinking." Their goal was to create design support tools that could be used by people without explicit TRIZ training. Their SUSTAINability map, a matrix that plots the elements of Maslow's hierarchy against objects, tools, resources,suppliers, etc., and includes customers' energy resources, is used by the designer graphically: if the number of interactions and the complexity of interactions can be reduced, the design becomes more sustainable. Walter demonstrated the use of the map for design creativity with a case study of mens' clothing care, that generated several new, low-energy designs.
Vicente Chulvi and Rosario Vidal explored "Usefulness of evolution lines in eco-design" using Darrell Mann's evolutionary potential formalism. They created a matrix plotting 31 patterns of evolution vs. the LIDS design protocol elements, and used a simple evaluation rating (+, ++, -, - - ) to examine correlation. Examples: one LIDS priority is reducing weight. The pattern of symmetry change has a + correlation, the pattern of segmentation has a ++ correlation, and many patterns have no correlation. They concluded with a caution that technological evolution does not always mean ecological evolution, and their future plans include extensive patent research and development of an algorithm based on their matrix. This started vigorous audience discussion of the use of 31 patterns, vs. laws of evolution, vs. 76 standards, and whether the laws are predictive or probabilistic.
Giacomo Bersano presented the work of a French-Italian Industry-Academic consortium "European testing of the efficiency of TRIZ in eco-innovation projects for manufacturing SMEs." The challenges of water, oil, epidemics, climate change, and hunger were viewed at the system level as the results of past decisions. The EU project REMake will enable 300 SMEs in 6 countries to participate in advanced methods development and training to become "eco-innovators." (www.aim-innovation.com for detailed information.) Life Cycle Assessment is one of the most commonly used tools, and it quickly identifies opportunities for innovation to enhance sustainability, but it has deficiencies - it is not designer-friendly, and it requires expensive software that can only be used by specialists. The study produced an extensive analysis of methods for eco-assessment and improvement, with emphasis on usability, and they are now in the test phase on improved LCA and others. The program will be evaluated in 2012 both from the point of view of how easy it is to adopt and how much impact there is on eco-issues, and how much ROI to the businesses.
Manabu Sawaguchi (TRIZ Journal frequent author!) presented an extensive evaluation of 10 "big hit" products in Japan, selected with some TRIZ-related criteria, to understand how industry and consumers see innovation. He also tried the same study with university students, and found that 3 products (WII, Ipod, and E-money) showed differences between male and female students in the rating of the products. (Interesting too that these were the 3 highest rated.) Technical business people had the same top choices, with slightly different profiles. Very interesting top criteria for the most popular products:
- Accomplishment of (latent) required functions
- Big impact to society
- Solution of contradictions
with issues like quality rated much lower in importance. The first 2 items changed places on some products, and solution of contradictions remained a strong factor in all evaluations, and became the leading factor in health drinks. Common factors (which M.Sawaguchi said surprised him and the research team) were
1. Innovators use existing technologies
2. Innovators radically change business models
3. Innovators create new social values but must also be in harmony with existing social trends.
They took the full results of the survey and developed a map of trends of value creation, that creates a scenario that others can use to explore possible avenues of value creation.
Amir Roggel (recently very early-retired from Intel, and a terrific TRIZ advocate - -if you have a chance to hear him speak, go!) presented his vision:"TRIZ to the future." Amir started his analysis with a list of 20 top areas of innovation in the past century, grouped in electro/opto/mecho schemes and a second group for the 21st century, that was bio/info/nano oriented. Although the sciences are the same, the applications are very different, and Amir's conclusion is that we must push the development of TRIZ to support these emerging fields.
TRIZ beyond engineering and technology: Amir combined function-oriented search with learning from the best in simple steps
1. Identify the problem/challenge
2. Formulate the function
3. Identify a leading area of industry or human endeavor which that function is vitally important
4. Identify top expert on the topic
5. Ask the top expert, learn and apply
He illustrated the example with a safety project in Intel's Costa Rican factory, where they found leadership safety at NASA, and local resources with Costa Rica's only astronaut (and local hero).
Amir's analogy between volleyball and TRIZ was very effective: Recieve, set, spike equates to identify the problem, analyze contradictions, resolve the contradictions.
Amir looked next at resolving the contradiction in the TRIZ virtual develpment "machine" in the goals of academia and industry (and also in conflict with the goals of consultants) based on research at Technion on problems in technology transfer.
His concluding messages which became the conclusions for the conference: **Develop TRIZ where the world is going.
**Go where there is an opportunity to improve thinking.
**Resolve contradictions in TRIZ "machines."
The entire audience participated in discussion of what will happen to TRIZ as the economy moves to a service orientation.
The ceremonial session was brief, with great thanks to Caterina Rizzi and all the organizers, and invitations to the Iberoamerican Innovation Congress (Puebla, MX, December) and TRIZ Developers Conference (St. Petersburg, RU, July)
The ETRIA business meeting concluded the day.
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