A team sent by CGN Research Institute won the first prize at the national final of the 1st China Innovation Methods Competition on Nov 23, with their composite score of theoretical testing and project presentation ranking second.
The team consisted of Deng Zhiyan, Wang Guohe and Zhao Hongji from the Equipment R&D Center. Their project, which involves the application of marine creature cleaning robots in tunnels, is a typical case of utilizing TRIZ, a theory of inventive problem solving.
The invention of such a robot is imperative as the traditional manual cleaning methods are currently far from safe, efficient and well-rounded.
With no mature equipment for reference, the team had to simulate the theorem of manual cleaning and build a platform for functional test. It applied TRIZ to solve problems they encountered, such as the uneven thickness of marine creature residues and damage to the inner wall of the tunnel.
The problem-solving process generated 21 patents, of which five are recognized as domestic inventions and one is an international patent under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The application process for several of the patents is still ongoing.
CGN Research Institute launched TRIZ learning programs in 2016 and 2017, during which 17 research group members systematically studied the theory and produced 54 patent letters of intent and 316 problem solving schemes.
China Innovation Methods Competition, co-hosted by the China Association for Science and Technology, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the People’s Government of Hunan Province, aimed to accentuate the role of innovation methods in propelling entrepreneurship.
This year, 6,300 people from more than 2,000 teams and 1,000 enterprises in 39 fields, including electronics, materials, chemical engineering, energy, and transportation, signed up for the competition.