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TRIZ Inventors Grow in Schools Programme

Triz Cup Awards

Background to TRIZ

Dr Jorge Oliveira first introduced John McSweeney to T.R.I.Z. in April 2002. John undertook intensive training with T.R.I.Z Masters working with Ideation International Inc. in the United States. In the academic year 2002/2003, the Inventors Grow in Schools outreach programme was piloted with the Transition Year students of two Cork schools with excellent results. The U.C.C. Access programme (now called Plus+) have been supporting the programme since 2003 and, each year  it now reaches over 500 Transition Year students in 16 schools throughout the Munster region.

The course is delivered using techniques recommended by the Harvard College of Education postgraduate courses in Multiple Intelligence and Differential Instruction. These courses recommend the use of multimedia, graphic presentations, animation, music and role-play, making the entire experience highly interactive and nurturing of an inventive environment. It produces fantastic results with students who may not perform well with conventional teaching methods and has had a positive impact on many students and their teachers.

The Inventors Grow in Schools initiative seeks to show Transition Year secondary school students how systematic thinking and technical skills can be deployed to solve everyday problems and generate product ideas.  The students then compete for the AIB sponsored TRIZ Cup for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


What is TRIZ?

TRIZ is the Russian acronym for the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving. It was developed in the former USSR by Genrikh Altshuller in 1946. TRIZ was used extensively in the Soviet space and defence industries, enabling engineers to effectively overcome difficult technological challenges within an inefficient economic system. Today TRIZ is used by many leading corporations to enhance their global competitiveness and to develop strategies for the future of technology. From a business standpoint, its greatest strength is revealed through a dramatic reduction in the time required for generating specific solutions to the most vexing and nagging problems a company may face. This can include anything from warranty relief reduction, to quality improvement, to cost reduction – essentially any technological challenge that arises in the course of product and process development can be addressed by TRIZ. TRIZ is in use at Ford, Motorola, Procter & Gamble, Eli Lilly, Jet Propulsion Laboratories, 3M, Siemens, Phillips, LG, and hundreds more…

“TRIZ is a unique, systematic approach for developing globally competitive innovations. For those who must consistently and expeditiously deliver novel and cost-conscious solutions to both their basic and most complex challenges, TRIZ is the holy grail of innovation for which they’ve been searching.”





For more information or to ask about getting this programme in your school, please contact John McSweeney on 021 490 2389 / 087 7779477 or


Process and Chemical Engineering

Innealtóireacht Próiseas agus Cheimiceach

Room 312, 3rd floor, Food Science Building, University College Cork