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  1. Technology
April 2, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

Invention Machine Corp has developed a software program that will act as a thinking partner for the engineer or would-be inventor. The program, Invention Machine Lab, is proving popular within the information technology sector. Digital Equipment Corp, Xerox Corp and Motorola Inc have all bought the software in the last 12 months. It codifies the invention principles behind two international patents and invention techniques of some of the world’s most renowned inventors. The idea is that the user types in the technical problem to be solved and the software draws on a large database of inventive principles and technological discoveries to find the most appropriate principle. The database stores a wide range of principles, from those first used by past masters such as Thomas Edison, through to the latest design technologies and engineering discoveries. The software grew out of studies in the former Soviet Union by Invention Machine chief scientist and founder Valery Tsourikov. Russian scholar Genrich Altshuller asserts that far from being a random process, an invention is driven by a certain method or algorithm. Tsourikov brought computers into the equation to develop the theory. . Proving that the software is not much help when it comes to writing plain English Robert Burton, vice-president and general manager of Motorola’s New Enterprises department said Invention Machine Lab would enable its engineers to continue to rapidly create new products and more efficiently utilize research and development investments. As the company looks for cost-effective ways to develop new products we will rely on outside vendors, such as Invention Machine, to provide next generation, cost saving technology products, he said. In addition to the customized database, Motorola will receive related training and support services at various sites worldwide, in a deal said to be worth about $2.0m. Invention Machine Lab retails for $1,500.

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