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Report from First International Conference on Systematic Innovation

| On 23, Jan 2010

Ellen Domb

This conference has been planned for over a year, and features many innovations in conference organization, as well as the many papers, tutorials, and discussions of all aspects of systematic innovation.   For example, tutorial sessions were planned for Saturday and Sunday morning, so that people could participate who might have trouble leaving their jobs for conference sessions.  Skype was used (with mixed success due to an overloaded wireless connection) so that Mark Barkan, President of MATRIZ, could give his personal and organizational greetings to the audience.  A mix of government agencies, universities, professional societies and organizations were all sponsors of the conference.  (See photograph of Welcome sign.)


[IMG height=215 alt=”” src=”http://www.triz-journal.com/wp-content/uploads/library/images_upload/Welcomesign.JPG” width=267 border=0]


Even the coffee break was innovative, with the snacks arranged to form a map of Taiwan, with each food item placed in the province where it was made (see photograph of food map.)


[IMG height=240 alt=”” src=”http://www.triz-journal.com/wp-content/uploads/library/images_upload/taiwanmap.JPG” width=207 border=0]


Yesterday, participants from the China, Japan, Korea, Russia, the US, Taiwan, and the UK took a tour bus from Hsinchu to Taipei and toured the Chaing Kai Shek memorial, the 101 building, and the National Palace Museum, for a cultural orientation to Taiwan.  Today, I was the first tutorial speaker, focusing on the TRIZ aspects of Systematic Innovation, and emphsizing ideality, the use of resources, and the resolution of physical contradictions.  The audience of over 100 was participative (well, they laughed at my jokes and made a good effort to apply what they were learning to their own work situations) and appreciative.


The main conference started with a group photo of the 150 participants from 14 countries.  We were welcomed by Professor L.J.Chen, President-elect of the National Tsing Hua University, which was both sponsor and venue for the conference.  He invited us to take advantage of Hsinchu’s resources as the science center of Taiwan, as well as the universitiy’s scenic, technical, and cultural resources. 


Professor D. Daniel Sheu, Chairman of the conference and President of the Society for Systematic Innovation, welcomed us and gave a detailed overview of Systematic Innovation, to establish the context of the conference.   He mentioned some of the innovations in conference organization, including the launch of the new Journal of Systematic Innovation (an academic, reviewed publication), developed in parallel with the conference, and announced the planning for the second conference in 2011 in Shanghai.   (See picture of Daniel welcoming us informally at the reception on Friday evening.)[IMG height=240 alt=”” src=”http://www.triz-journal.com/wp-content/uploads/library/images_upload/DanielSheu.JPG” width=320 border=0]


Darrell Mann’s keynote address challenged the audience to expand their skills in innovation beyond TRIZ and beyond many of the standard tools that are usually related to TRIZ (QFD, strategic planning, TOC, DOE, Stage Gate,  …) to the dozens of tools and methods that are now part of Systematic Innovation.  He developed both a high-level matrix for selecting tools (the rows are the people in your organization, with a row each for senior executives, marketing, product development, and operations, and the columns are the 4 stages of the S-curve) and a “periodic table” showing a way of grouping 60 or more conceptual tools.   Since many participants were “graduates” of Darrell’s classes in Taiwan in the last several years, they were well-oriented to appreciate the elegance of this form of organization of the constituents of systematic innovation.  Of course, Darrell took advantage of the opportunity to announce the publication of 3 new books, as well!


The afternoon was capped off with six simultaneous breakout sessions, with 4-5 papers in each (3 in Chinese, 3 in English) and a poster session with 15 papers in Chinese and English.   There were many case studies from a wide variety of industries.  I was chairing one session, so I could not move around much, but I saw examples from automotive safety, steel processing, paint production, and university research management.   The session chairpeople were asked to recommend the best papers in their sessions for futue publication, so I anticipate that Real Innovation and TRIZ Journal readers will see a sample of the best of these papers in the next few months.


More tomorrow…