10 (or so) Online Resources for TRIZ

By Lilly Haines-Gadd

You can find websites dedicated to TRIZ concepts all over the internet. Here is a roundup of ones that are easy to understand and most useful when starting to apply TRIZ principles.

The TRIZ Journal

The TRIZ Journal was founded in 1996 by Ellen Domb and James Kowalick and contains a wealth of articles on TRIZ and its application in industry.

After a small hiatus where it was only available for viewing, it’s now live online again with a new management team generating new content. The extensive archive is a treasure trove for people interested in learning more about TRIZ: there are more than a thousand articles on TRIZ written by practitioners and TRIZ experts, case studies and examples of the 40 Principles in different industries. There is also an archive of the journals’ blog posts and discussion boards.

Oxford Creativity Resources

Regular short webinars are available, including an introductory “Welcome to TRIZ” as well as more in-depth TRIZ topics. There are also a number of case studies on the application of TRIZ in industry and some introductory information about TRIZ. In the resources section you can find an interactive online Contradiction Matrix, plus some materials available for download: a printable Contradiction Matrix, the 40 Inventive Principles with examples, a number of TRIZ worksheets for putting the tools into practice, plus a cartoon gallery with a number of cartoons by Clive Goddard which can be freely used.

Oxford Creativity Effects Database

Oxford Creativity has a free Effects Database, created, maintained, and continually developed by Andrew Martin. You have the option of searching by function you want, parameter you want to change or energy transformation you require. The results can also by split by broad effect, specific application or you can select both. There is a short description of each effect and a link to the relevant Wikipedia page.

Production Inspiration

Production Inspiration is a free Effects Database: less comprehensive results but with pictures. If you go to the top left of the page, there is also the option to navigate to PatentInspiration (a tool for searching patents); MoreInspiration (a catalogue of novel inventions) and TestMyCreativity (a creativity test).

TRIZ.co.kr

Another free version of the Effects Database plus information on other TRIZ tools in English and Korean – TRIZ.co.kr includes the 40 Inventive Principles, plus the full Standard Solutions (in the original Classical TRIZ 5 classes) and Trends of Classical TRIZ. Make sure you select “TRIZ” from the bar on the first page. The site is not very easy to navigate around but does provide the Classical TRIZ tools and the steps of ARIZ (the Algorithm of Inventive Problem Solving).

AskNature

Biomimicry is the reapplication of nature’s solutions to solve problems, usually in technical applications such as engineering and design. AskNature is a wonderful resource for finding out how nature has solved problems; sort of an alternative to the Effects Database. It is searchable by function, so if you have already defined the functions that you want, as well as looking up how humans have worked out how to solve the problem, you can ask nature as well! In addition to the database, there are some case studies, information on current design challenges and upcoming biomimicry events (mostly in the US).

Patent Databases

Google Patents

European Patent Office

US Patent & Trademark Office

Patents used to be only available in paper form: to see relevant patents took a lot of paperwork and time. The fact that patents are now available online, for free, is amazing…and a fantastic resource for problem solving. There are a number available, listed above. Google Patents is the easiest for a quick and dirty search; for a more in-depth search, the websites of the European Patent Office and US Patent Office are better.

Quirky

This is not technically a TRIZ resource but is a useful source for new inventions – and a place to share them! Quirky is an invention platform where ideas are shared and developed by others: if you have an idea and don’t know how to develop it, Quirky could be the way forward. Ideas are evaluated weekly, and a selection taken forward to development. You can contribute ideas, expertise and suggestions for improving products. So it can also be a place where you can hone your TRIZ skills: take an imperfect invention and develop it further by understanding its problems with TRIZ.

TRIZ 40

TRIZ 40 is an online, interactive Contradiction Matrix in English, German and French.