Creativity & Innovation

Changing the world...


TRIZ, (pronounced [treez]), is a Russian acronym for "Teoriya Resheniya Izobreatatelskikh Zadatch" (Теория решения изобретательских задач), a Theory of Solving Inventors' Problems, developed by Genrich Altshuller and his colleagues since 1946.

TRIZ is an established science, methodology, tool set, knowledge base, and model-based technology for generating innovative ideas and solutions for problem solving. TRIZ science expands approaches developed in systems engineering and provides powerful tools and systemic methods for use in problem formulation, system analysis, failure analysis, and patterns of system evolution (both 'as-is' and 'could be'). TRIZ, in contrast to techniques such as brainstorming (which is based on random idea generation), aims to create an algorithmic approach to the invention new systems, and the refinement of old systems.


TRIZ way for creative problem solving
Is it possible to learn to be an inventor? Russian engineer and scientist Genrich Samuilovich Altshuller believed that such a thing was in fact possible. To prove it, he developed TRIZ, the theory and practice of the science of invention.

On initial stages of work Genrich discovered, that principles found while analyzing patents from one industry are applicable for problems in other industries. TRIZ was evolving also by transferring strong principles, from one field to another.

His results are being applied to solve creative invention problems not just within all branches of engineering, but within many other technical and non-technical fields as well.


As the saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun, and TRIZ is not the first attempt to establish scientific principles of innovation. The method "And - And" by R. L. Bartini is more than 20 years older than TRIZ. Both methods have grown from dialectic logic independently and at various times.

Altshuller began to develop TRIZ methodology while working in USSR patent office at the time of Stalin. He and his colleagues analyzed in detail over 200,000 patents in order to find out in what way the innovation had taken place. Incarcerated under political charges, he continued his work on TRIZ while in the Gulag labor camps. He eventually developed 40 Principles of Invention, several Laws of the Evolution of Technical Systems (Laws of Technical Systems Evolution), the concepts of technical and physical contradictions that creative inventions resolve, the concept of Ideality of a system and numerous other theoretical and practical approaches; together, this extensive work represents a unique contribution to the development of creativity and inventive problem-solving.

While Samuilovich Altshuller was still alive, he repeatedly stated, "TRIZ, as a science, must belong to all." Saying that TRIZ should have no limitations to whom and where it can be used. Three years after the death of Altshuller, the MATRIZ Association (M.S. Rubin, director) filed the application for trademark registration on TRIZ. The application was filed secretly, without informing the heirs of TRIZ’s developer. No inquiry was made by MATRIZ as to their opinion, nor was the will of the developer addressed.

The tools developed under Altshuller's leadership are: 40 Principles 1946-1971, ARIZ 1959-1985, Separation Principles 1946-1985, Substance-Field Analysis (Su-Field Analysis) 1973-1981, Standard Solutions 1977-1985, Natural Effects (Scientific Effects) 1970-1980, Patterns of Evolution 1975-1980... The different schools for TRIZ and individual practitioners have continued to improve and add to the methodology.

Grounds & relation with other disciplines

Foundational knowledge which TRIZ is based on are dialectics and the scientific method. TRIZ was created as an abstraction of the "world's best solutions", as appearing in the development of inventions.

TRIZ is interdisciplinary and is closely related with ontology, logic, systems of science, psychology, history of technology, history of culture and more.


Selected Links with full text papers, articles or essays

A Typical Example of Innovative Design Based on the TRIZ
Feng Yuan. Tianjin University. china
Abstract: This article introduced a concept design of a machine used to bottle Some technical contradictions occurred in the design, which made difficult to find a solution except compromise. When TRIZ was used the design, things seemed to get easy. A surprised and almost perfect solution was found, and finally it was put into practice smoothly.

Practice and Application on TRIZ in China
Zhao Xinjun School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation. Northeastern University. China

Abstract: Since 1998, the first published paper introduced TRIZ theory in P. R. China; it was widespread in many research areas and places sharply. This article will introduce the former researchers, the universities, the institutes and the companies, who had done some work on TRIZ in China. The main work on TRIZ are mainly about three areas: developing TRIZ software in Chinese type, initiating TRIZ knowledge to students or engineers, and applying TRIZ theory in practice to solve the technical contradiction, shorten the period of developing new product, save lots of wealth. For a short time, more and more people begin to acquire TRIZ knowledge to enhance their creativity and innovative consciousness for solving technical problems or developing new products finally.

Theory of Inventive Problem Solving
Good overview about Triz, introduction, history, examples, how to, ... Rockwell International's Automotive Division faced a problem like this. They were losing a competitive battle with a Japanese company over the design of brakes for a golf cart. Since both Rockwell and the Japanese competitor were in the automotive field, they were competing on redesigns of an automobile brake system but with smaller components. In TRIZ, this seeking solutions only in one's field is called "psychological inertia" because it is natural for people to rely on their own experience and not think outside their specialty. With TRIZ, the problem was solved by redesigning a bicycle brake system with larger components. The result was a part reduction from twelve to four parts and a cost savings of 50%...

Toru NAKAGAWA Osaka Gakuin University, Japan
ABSTRACT This is the first report of our research having three-folded purposes as follows: (1) to apply TRIZ to the problems related to software development and to extend the application field of TRIZ into software development and software engineering, (2) to clarify topics of software engineering with the TRIZ views, and further (3) to feed the principles/knowledge in software engineering/computer science back into TRIZ. For these purposes, we are going to make an approach of choosing topics in software engineering one by one and to consider about it with the whole aspects of TRIZ, including Inventive Principles, Inventive Standards, Trends of Evolution, and philosophical elements in TRIZ.

The concept of Structured Programming was examined in this paper. When we see the historical disputes on the "Goto-less" issue from the TRIZ' viewpoint of contradictions, we have found it not appropriate to teach: "the Structured Programming is a proposal to use only three basic control constructs and no Gotos, and it is a compromise with practice to add four more constructs" (as is often taught in computer science classes). It is because only with these additions Structured Programming has its sound bases. On the other hand, the approach of Structured Programming urges TRIZ especially in the following points: (a) TRIZ Principe 1 (Segmentation) should be extended to reflect the idea of Stepwise Refinement; (b) TRIZ Principle 6 (Universality) should be extended to include the idea of establishing/using industrial standards (this has been a blind point of TRIZ due to so much stress on inventions); (c) TRIZ Principle 7 (Nesting) should be regarded more important as reflecting the hierarchy concept of systems.

Kathleen L. Kitto
Abstract - Fostering creative design within the curriculum in engineering and engineering technology is often both daunting and time-consuming. This paper describes the efforts in the Engineering Technology Department at Western Washington University to foster creative design within the curriculum by using TRIZ, parametric modeling, finite element analysis (FEA) simulation, and rapid prototyping. First, the paper describes how assessment enabled the faculty to create a collaborative environment. Second, the introduction to the design process using parametric modeling and 3D printing rapid prototyping technology during the freshman experience is described. Next, the paper describes TRIZ, the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving, in detail and how that philosophy can be used within an academic setting to foster both creativity and efficient product and process design. Then the paper details how TRIZ, FEA simulation and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) are actually used in the senior year. The paper concludes with the results of the department's assessment efforts and plans for future.