Powerful tools to speed up innovation
Exploring new territories for new and innovative solutions, one question could arise: is there anything easier than this?
The TRIZ methodology with the S curve analysis, the evolution path, the 9 windows and the inventive contradictions matrix: all these represent valid tools to mobilize and guide our approach to problem solving, toward innovation. Not an easy field, I must admit. But with the above tools the answer to the question is yes!
But there is more.
The different faces of innovation
We all know that today the game changer inventions (e.g. the laser beam or graphene nano particles) don’t happen every day. Most of the time the innovations we see on the market are based on already known principles or technologies. They are incremental innovations.
Often they are inspired by something that already exists in a different field, which is “only” re-adapted, re-focused, for a specific solution, service or scope. Therefore the key point is to have a quick and easy access to the existing knowledge. An example of how powerful this access can be is showed in CREAX activity model, supported by the AULIVE database for innovation (see the below links).
Accelerators for innovation
The engineers of these companies have deep knowledge of the above mentioned tools and they have added therefore an extra speed to the evolution path of products, reducing the time to market in almost ANY segment and product. From the analysis of the existing knowledge which nowadays consists of millions of available patents and, thanks to a specific and proprietary searching software and a huge database of smart solutions, they can offer to any company a preferential path to improve any product or system. An effective answer for any application in any market.
The basic assumption of their approach is that any product has its own intrinsic characteristics and performs specific functions. By plotting the current position (technical functions) of an existing product or application and by comparing it with the unexpressed characteristics-functions the product potentially may have, they can provide customers with more than just one path.
They can provide “a motorway” for product evolution. As you can see in the picture, the existing product is immersed in the AULIVE “evolution polar map” which condenses all the most important trends of evolution coming from a long experience. Each axis is in itself a good one to improve the product and to bring it to a new phase, opening the door to new markets or to reinforce the position in existing ones.
Identifying new territories for development
The uncovered areas on the graph are fields for potential innovations. They are new directions for a revision to improve/ add/ evolve the product functions, making it able to answer new or existing needs of existing or new customers and markets.
The easy access to the knowledge (existing patents) speeds up the identification of the best solution.
Sometimes the additional functions or solutions are already in use in a completely different field and thanks to this clever exercise, often new patents come about. In other cases, the research may encourage the creation of fruitful joint ventures between companies acting in completely different fields with their patents.
Article by Emilio Sitta