TRIZ-based technology know-how protection - How to find protective mechanisms against product piracy with TRIZ
The Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT has carried out numerous TRIZ projects in recent years. For SMEs as well as for large enterprises from branches such as automotive, aerospace, electronics, mechanical engineering or white goods, Fraunhofer IPT not only acts as a mediator between TRIZ and these companies but also as technology expert and development partner. Fraunhofer IPT now enters a new field for TRIZ applications: technological know-how protection, i.e. the avoidance of product piracy in technology-intensive markets by integrating new, technology-based protection mechanisms into products and processes. Within a research project, Fraunhofer IPT conducts TRIZ workshops with consortium partners from different branches to identify innovative protection concepts for specific products of the companies involved. Function analysis is conducted in a first step, while in a subsequent step, the application of suitable TRIZ tools such as "sabotage" or "ideal ity thinking" help to generate innovative protection concepts. Following the workshops, Fraunhofer IPT supports the respective companies in elaborating the identified concepts. This paper gives insight into the project "Technology Know-how Protection". After illustrating the design and implementation of the TRIZ workshops, an evaluation of different TRIZ tools is presented concerning their applicability in the field of technology know-how protection as an innovation process.