Thursday, November 15, 2012


7th Iberoamerican Innovation Congress, Orizaba Mexico, Nov. 14

The Seventh Iberoamerican Innovation Congress opened today, Nov. 14, in Orizaba, Mexico, a center of technical universities and industry about an hour’s drive from Vera Cruz. Participants are primarily from Mexico, with papers and delegates from Argentina, Brazil, Honduras, Costa Rica, and elsewhere.  Many thanks to conference organizer Guillermo Cortes Robles and to the board of AMETRIZ for all their work to make this event such a success!

The Congress was opened by the principal of the technical university in Orizaba, then I orchestrated a tutorial on the application of TRIZ to the new definition of business—that new definition being one of corporate social responsibility. Several of the corporate delegates talked about what their companies are already doing, and the university and industry delegates had considerable discussion of how they can work together to have their students/employees understand the scope of corporate social responsibility and have them use TRIZ to solve the seemingly unsolvable problems. Good news is that there are several papers on topics related to some of the aspects of ISO 26000 and some of the historical “green” subjects (energy efficiency, "green" construction, etc.) so this theme will run throughout the conference. 

As always this blog is my personal impressions of the conference—for the full program go to . The opening session of the technical program in the room I was in was by Dr. Jorge Antonio Lechuga Andrade, from the Yucatan region of Mexico, showing his application TRIZ to significant problems in desalinization technology—self-cleaning membranes, improved efficiency of membranes, co-generation of energy, and others. The practical application of these inventive solutions was evaluated at desalination plants in multiple countries.

Eva Cruz Maldonado presented her work for the joint program of interdisciplinary studies in science and engineering (my translation!) which focused on the need for educators who can fulfill the role of “cultural ecologist” and work at the boundaries of science, technology and society, creating a “green” future that goes well beyond the compliance with regulations that is all many companies do today.

Abraham Herrera Montiel and Karla Daniela Luna Flores jointly presented their teaching method for the Model for Function Analysis developed at the Technological Institute in Puebla by Eugenio Miranda Medina, based on the classical value analysis. It is a very hands-on method, that starts with deconstructing the existing system, and identifying the functions of parts, subsystems, etc. Functions are identified as sufficient, inadequate, excessive, or harmful as in other TRIZ-related Subject-action-object methods, in order to identify the functions of the system that are candidates for improvement. There was considerable discussion of the teaching method, with audience members making suggestions for further development.

López-Acosta Mauricio, Mendoza León Jorge G, Montiel-Rodríguez Luis Carlos, and Sánchez-
Padilla Jesús Enrique presented their development of LabRisk, a system that uses Case-Based Reasoning for evaluation of risk and planning risk reduction. They found that there is a tendency for product developers to extend technology outside its previous uses without using the available data on how it will perform when those boundaries are stressed. The commonality with TRIZ is the emphasis on the use of data, and the use of solutions to one problem in other fields to solve multiple problems.

Guillermo Cortes Robles (the conference organizer) presented an overview of the paper on application of trends of evolution during product development, on behalf of the team which was unable to attend. They use a detailed analysis of a chair to illustrate the application of trends of evolution to the seat, the arms, the back, and the whole system (including storage when the seat is not in use.) This is a very comprehensive case study.

A group from Instituto Technologico de Orizaba presented their product prototype: Proyecto Itzaya. It is an aid for the visually impaired that has the general shape of the cane used by many blind people, but also has active elements that sense obstacles and guide the user through the almost universally available resource of the smart phone. The students plan to take this socially beneficial product to market, integrating their TRIZ and business skills. (We’ll look for a report on launching their business next year—they have won several prizes in university innovation competitions.)

Reminder: this is not a complete report-there were six papers in another room that I didn’t see. Check the program, and get the proceedings later from  For pictures see the Ametriz Facebook page.  Note to other conference attendees:  Please add your notes about any of the papers I missed or any other comments  using the "comment" feature here.

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