Before inventing something, take a look at what is currently available. Note both the positive and negative aspects. Then spot whatever is interesting about these inventions and improve on it.
This was the message of Dr. George M. Colorado, invention development division manager of the Department of Science and Technology’s Technology Application and Promotion Institute (DOST-TAPI) during the technical forum on “Creativity in Invention Development” last August 1, 2013 at the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) in Quezon City.
Held as one of the activities during the DOST- National Capital Region 2013 Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits, the forum raised the awareness of students and professional researchers and inventors alike on the importance of creativity in the invention process. It also gave them pointers on how to be more creative while driving home the idea that “the purpose of technology or innovation is to solve a problem.”
“The natural process of thinking can be influenced to see what the problem is, and what the solution to that problem is,” Dr. Colorado revealed to the audience inside the full-packed Seminar Room of TIP’s Building 1.
Reminding the audience that a mere change of material is not inventive, the speaker, who pleased the crowd with his humorous, witty remarks and examples, explained that as far as inventing new technology is concerned, there is a natural evolution of development which takes place during actual usage of the technology.
Citing the chair as an example, Dr. Colorado narrated how it started as a mere bench and then improved into a soft chair. Later, it was built with armrests because people realized they needed something on which to place their arms. It further evolved into one with a backrest because people realized it had to have something for their backs to lean on.
If the inventor is able to create technology that skips through these evolutionary stages or jumps through several of these phases, said Dr. Colorado, that would be an inventive invention. “But you will be able to do this if you think in a creative manner,” he declared.
Citing perceptive thinking as one of the many qualities of creativity, he said that the inventor should constantly ask himself what will happen next if he develops something in particular. “Consequences and sequels should be considered,” he stressed.
The TAPI official also reminded the budding inventors to get other people’s opinions. “Ask your target clients what they want. And then you have a set of priorities that you can now integrate into the product,” he said.
The other qualities of creativity mentioned in the lecture were sensitivity, originality, flexibility or the capability to adjust to a new development, ability to combine ideas, analytical thinking, ability to simplify, being energetic, having broad knowledge and interests, and being open to new experiences, among others.
Dr. Colorado however emphasized that the human mind must be trained to assimilate these qualities, since some of these factors may actually be influenced. “There are environments which are not friendly to creativity,” he explained.
Lastly, Dr. Colorado advised the newbie and professional inventors to continue gaining knowledge. “The fastest way to learn is to go to an expert and learn from him,” he remarked to the crowd which was mostly made up of students whose attention was glued to the very engaging talk.
During the Technical Forum on “Creativity in Invention Development,” Dr. George M. Colorado, division manager for invention development of the Department of Science and Technology’s Technology Application and Promotion Institute, urged neophyte and professional inventors to create solutions to problems by improving on existing technologies. The forum was one of the activities during the 2013 Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits for the National Capital Region held at the Technological Institute of the Philippines in Quezon City. Photos above show some of the entries in the competition. Bottom photo shows the winning entry for the SIBOL Creative Research-High School Category by students from Batasan Hills National High School. Titled “Difunctional Shoe,” the invention aims to solve children’s health problems caused by flooding via a protective jacket inserted into the shoe. Made of polyphenol, the jacket is durable, water-resistant, and can cover almost the entire leg of a child. (Text by Angelica A. de Leon/ Photos by Gerry Palad and Henry A. de Leon, S & T Media Service, DOST-STII)