More-of-the-Same or a Breaktrough Innovation?

 

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In  a recent post What’s (not) an Innovation? we mentioned that an innovation consists of a new combination of

  • a function – the innovation has the purpose of satisfying a need
  • a principle – there is a mechanism or idea how to deliver that function
  • a market – the innovation has a value that can be traded.

But still remains the question:

  • When is an innovation really breaking patterns more than other innovations?
  • When is an innovation incremental?
  • When radical?
  • When is a technical solution just more-of-the-same routine engineering?
  • What is the difference with a scientific invention?
  • When is it patentable?

Valeri Souchkov presented a new classification scheme for solutions or inventions, based on the original classification by Genrich Altshuller.

world-conference-triz-future-2008-57-november-2008-university-of-twente-enschede-the-netherlands-5-638Principles (scientific discoveries) cannot be patented. The levels of inventions 2 to 4 are patentable. So, a new combination of a principle with a function and a market can patented, regardless the fact that the new combination of principle and function in another market already exists. Below you will find 4 examples of patentable solutions, based on the same principle and the same function, but with different applications. That is to say: fulfilling different needs and as such, serving different markets.

Principle: quickly increasing/decreasing pressure, the Function that is used is to remove things; 

Applications (market):

  1.  remove seeds from peppers
  2.  remove shells of cedar nuts
  3.  remove sunflower seeds
  4.  remove dust
  5. splitting imperfect crystals

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Actually, in the examples above we see here concept extraction at work, or in other words “How to Search for (Patentable) Ideas”:

  1. Look for the concept behind an idea (concept= a function and a principle or mechanism)
  2. Apply the concept to other areas (product/market combinations)

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25 Creative Ideas to Reuse – Thinkibility Nibble

Besides the practical, economical and ecological advantages of reusing obsolete things, it is good brain workout to give yourself the instruction:

25 Creative Ideas To Reuse …

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The amount of required ideas is important to avoid too obvious ideas. Try to make twenty-five at least.

If you don’t believe this is possible, look at these examples:

and in general: Old Things

Isn’t it astonishing to see how obsolete things can be redesigned for continued use?

You can even earn money with Ideas for Reuse. A large shoe manufacturer wants to start a new, ongoing consumer behavior where at the end of a shoe’s useful life, the consumer returns their used shoes to the company from which they bought them.

The challenge is to propose a new business model, engagement model or incentives that would compel a consumer to return their shoes to the company they bought them from, as a part of a premium or enhanced consumer experience.

The solution must be part of a premium or enhanced consumer experience, and must increase the competitive value of the product or purchasing experience (i.e. not just a simple “pay people for the shoes” or recycling program)

A well-defined creative task. For more information see The Returning Used Shoe Contest.

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