TRIZ, Buddhism and the innovation map
: Applying the structure and mechanisms of the theory of inventive problem-solving and Vajrayana Buddhist meditation to innovation in engineering design

  • Anja-Karina Pahl

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This Dissertation presents a comprehensive Process Map for innovation [the Map], based on a comparison and synthesis of the reported steps for creating in many disciplines, including Engineering Design and Buddhist Meditation. The Map is presented in three stages and seven detailed steps, following a review of the status quo of innovation in Engineering Design from literature and Industry surveys, and can be said to provide the first natural and common language for innovation. The application of Buddhist Methods is a key feature in thedevelopment of the Map, introducing a consistency and hierarchy, as well as co-evolutionary and eco-systemic aspect to academic understanding of innovation and its management, which has been lacking in models proposed in literature and Tools such as TRIZ in the past. Presentation of the Map theory and Map itself is followed by reports of its testing and proof of concept with anIndustry Collaborator from 2006-10, including: [i] benchmarking of ‘Systematic Innovation’ [ii] an Industry Pilot Test comparing teaching of TRIZ with the Innovation Map and [iii] results of four nine-month periods of application in training, coaching, workshops, Games and GameDays. The Map is shown to improve high-end technical innovation in corporate environments, bystreamlining the way questions are asked, and answers found and evaluated. It is directly responsible for unprecedented solutions achieved by Engineering Design teams addressing long-standing problems in very short time frames. Facilitated sessions using the Map achieve an ROI up to 2847% in each session and are estimated to have contributed billions of Euros value to the Industry Collaborator over four years of testing. In comparison with other options, the Map provides cheaper, simpler and more elegant innovation incorporating Tools, process andpotential culture for any kind of User - Company, Consultant, Innovation Manager or Academic.
Date of Award13 Dec 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorLinda Newnes (Supervisor)


  • TRIZ
  • buddhism
  • innovation
  • systematic innovation
  • innovation process
  • prizm

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