By: Ellen Domb, editor@TRIZ-Journal.com
The conference Developing Systematic Innovation in the Food Industry was held at the University College Cork in Cork, Ireland, November 26-28, 2000. The conference was organized by Jorge C. Oliveira, with the support of the European Commission 5th Framework programme (Quality of Life key action). The conference provides a very useful model for other industries that need to launch innovation activities across a broad front.
There were over 50 participants from academia, industry, consultancy, and industrial research and development services, from 18 nations. The first day's program began with presentations on TRIZ, on analysis of innovative ideas, and on innovation policy. See Figure 1.
|Background on the workshop goals and
objectives Jorge Oliveira, University College Cork, Ireland
The History of TRIZ Ellen Domb, PQR Group, USA
Three basic concepts of TRIZ (contradiction, resources and ideal final result) Kalevi Rantanen, TRIS oY, Finland
Systematic innovation in food technology Ellen Domb, PQR Group, USA
Experiences with TRIZ for non-technical problems Veit Kohnhauser, BMW Engines, Austria
Robust multicriteria analysis of innovation processes: application to cheese production Jean Renaud, ENSGSI, INPL -Nancy, France
Innovation in enterprises: facts and figures -a cost effective innovation cycle Sean McCarthy, Hyperion, Ireland
Powerful and structured innovation using contradictions for gaining orientation
H. Linde, A. Rehklau, U. Neumann, Univ.. Applied Sciences of Coburg, Germany
A study on the potential of systematic innovation in the Irish Food Industry Barry Winkless, University College Cork, Ireland
TRIZ and related software available on the market Ellen Domb, PQR Group, USA
TechOptimiser: problem solving using knowledge to increase innovation Derek Kilroe, Invention Machine Corp., UK
Figure 1. Program of presentations. Several of these papers will be reprinted in the TRIZ Journal in the coming months.
The conferees were then organized into 5 work groups with delegates from each of the types of organizations in each group, to discuss initiatives for introducing systematic innovation into the food industry. Topics included the following:
One TRIZ technique that was used in some of the workshops was to focus on the contradictions that are found in food technology--how to make food in large quantities that tastes "home made" or how to have the texture of high-fat food with the nutritional benefits of low-fat food, etc.
The organizing committee then merged the recommendations of the 5 work groups and developed common themes for the group to develop further. The discussions then continued on what work should be done, by what agencies, to make systematic innovation available to the entire food technology industry.
As a result of this conference, several exciting actions are taking place:
This conference is a promising beginning to the propagation of TRIZ and other ideas throughout the food industry, using the existing mechanisms of the academic, research, and industrial communities, and is also a model for other industries. The TRIZ Journal will report on the progress of this work as it develops.
Figure 2. The organizing committee. Front row: Laure Morel, Jean
Renaud. Back Row: Geoffrey Morris, Tadeusz Matuszek, Jorge Oliveira.,
Veit Kohnhauser, Kalevi Rantanen. Not shown: Ellen Domb (taking the picture),
Mary McCarthy-Buckley, Charles Daly.
Figure 3. Organizer Jorge Oliveira immediately after kissing the Blarney
Stone. Karen Gadd, TRIZ instructor for Oxford Creativity, a TRIZ Journal
sponsor, just before kissing the Blarney Stone. Irish legend says that one who
kisses the stone receives the gift of eloquence. (In the cold rain, the kisser
grabs the poles and leans backwards over a 75-foot drop to kiss the stone!)
NOTE: The Book of Proceedings and a Report entitled “A Research Strategy for Developing Systematic Innovation Tools in the Food Industry” will be prepared and made freely available. They should be ready by February in hard copy and a month or so later on the website of UCC, Faculty of Food Science &Technology. Jorge Olveira, firstname.lastname@example.org will be happy to receive expressions of interest on such documents, to build a contact list for when they’re ready.