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Tripartite initiative to encourage 'systematic innovation' in Malaysia

AvantiKumar | Dec. 3, 2012
MDeC, Intel Malaysia and MyTRIZ effort to drive problem solving skills to professors, lecturers and students through a competition has been won by a team from Tunku Abdul Rahman College.

MyTRIZ winners 2012.JPG modified

Photo - Team "Knight", Grand Prize Winners of the MyTRIZ Competition 2012 (from left) Yen Foo Soon; Tan Yong Li; Dr. Yip Mum Wai, Head of Mechanical Engineering Division, School of Technology; Keong Chee Sheng; and  Koh Kok Weng.


A team from Tunku Abdul Rahman College has won the grand prize in the first MyTRIZ Competition 2012, organised by government agency Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), semiconductor firm Intel, and the Malaysian TRIZ Innovation Association. The competition is part of a drive to encourage 'systematic innovation' through enhanced problem solving skills, said the partners.

Speaking in Penang on 27 November 2012, Mark Barkan, chief judge of the MyTRIZ Competition, said the competition, which was open to all tertiary students, lecturers and researchers in Malaysia, received an encouraging response with a total of 27 submissions from 18 local universities.

"The participants displayed a good level of understanding of the subject of TRIZ. I'm very pleased to see that the knowledge of TRIZ has improved noticeably over the past two years since the launch of the first MyTRIZ Conference in 2010," said Barkan.

"MDeC is in support of initiatives such as the MyTRIZ Competition to impart problem solving and innovation methodology skills to our talent pool. We believe innovation will propel Malaysia forward and TRIZ can help improve the innovation process," said MDeC general manager of talent division, Mohd Imran Kunalan.

In July 2010, Intel, MDeC and Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) entered into a tripartite agreement to introduce TRIZ as part of the curricula of various institutions of higher learning. Together with MyTRIZ, Intel has successfully implemented the TRIZ methodology in 18 Malaysian universities and trained more than 1,000 TRIZ practitioners consisting mainly university lecturers and government officials.

MyTRIZ has also made progress to introduce the TRIZ curriculum among secondary school teachers in Malaysia at the 2nd MyTRIZ Conference 2012 in Penang recently.

TRIZ is a methodology, tool set, knowledge base, and model-based technology for generating innovative ideas and solutions for problem solving. In Malaysia, Intel, MDeC and MyTRIZ have worked hand in hand with the Ministry of Higher Education to introduce the TRIZ methodology among universities nationwide.

Mechanism to help the elderly to walk

The winning team used the TRIZ methodology to analyse, troubleshoot and eventually create a solution for the elderly to walk with the help of an exoskeletal device. Team 'Knight' from Tunku Abdul Rahman College [TARC], comprising three students - Tan Yong Li, Yen Foo Soon, and Koh Kok Weng - and two lecturers - Dr Yip Mum Wai and Keong Chee Sheng, emerged as Grand Prize Winners and walked away with a cash prize of RM8,000 (US$2,625) with their 'Lower Extremity Exoskeleton Design' project.

"Our idea was simple - we wanted to create a mechanism to help the elderly to walk easily with the help of an exoskeletal frame. We were very inspired by the use of TRIZ which guided us in our thought process and problem solving when working on this project," said Tan, who is a final year student of Advanced Diploma in Technology.

Among the 27 submissions from 18 local universities, Tunku Abdul Rahman College (TARC) was represented by four teams, all of which competed fiercely in finals of the competition.

TARC head of mechanical engineering division, school of technology, Dr Yip Mum Wai, said: "There is a high interest in TRIZ among the students here. As certified Level 1 TRIZ Instructors, Keong Chee Sheng and I give additional lectures on weekends to educate students on TRIZ. The response from students by attendance alone is very encouraging - this is a sign that the students appreciate the usefulness of TRIZ as a problem solving tool."

"I truly believe that through this public-private-partnership with MoHE, MDeC and MyTRIZ, we are able to support the Malaysian government's initiative to develop a knowledge-based workforce capable of competing in a digital and innovation economy," said Intel Malaysia vice president of technology manufacturing group, Robin Martin.


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