by: Ellen Domb and Michael Slocum
For anyone who wonders whether TRIZ pays off in business, the recent award to Ontro Inc. of the University of California at San Diego's Connect Award for the most innovative new product for 1999 should help answer the question. Ontro Inc. (Nasdaq:ONTR) was honored with the prestigious UCSD Connect Most Innovative New Product Award in the General Business Category on Dec. 16, 1999.
Since 1988, the UCSD Connect program has annually recognized San Diego's most innovative products with this award. Past award recipients include QUALCOMM, Proxima, and Pyxis. The board of 16 judges is composed of CEO's of entrepreneurial companies as well as other local busiiness leaders and academics. The criteria include the business success of the product, as well as technical creativity.
The award-winning Ontro self-heating container is a revolutionary technology that safely heats beverages to a desirable temperature, providing consumers with the ability to enjoy a hot beverage Anytime, Anywhere(TM).
Ontro is engaged in the research and development of integrated thermal containers. The company's Web site (www.ontro.com) provides news and information regarding Ontro and its self-heating container technology.
The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) has been applied to Ontro's developing technology for almost two years by the TRIZ Journal's co-editor, Dr. Michael S. Slocum (previously a consultant to Ontro and currently Ontro's Chief Scientist and Engineer). Design optimization, the evolution of the technology, failure mode mitigation, and the organizational health of the corporation have been areas of TRIZ application.