Abstract With the evolutions of the surrounding world market, researchers and engineers have to propose technical innovations. Nevertheless, Chemical Engineering community demonstrates a small interest for innovation compared to other engineering fields. In this paper, an approach to accelerate inventive preliminary design for Chemical Engineering is presented. This approach uses case-based reasoning (CBR) method to model, to capture, to store and to make available the knowledge deployed during design. CBR is a very interesting method coming from artificial intelligence, for routine design. Indeed, in CBR the main assumption is that a new problem of design can be solved with the help of past successful ones. Consequently, the problem solving process is based on past successful solutions, therefore, the design is accelerated but creativity is limited and not stimulated. Our approach is an extension of the CBR method from routine design to inventive design. One of the main drawbacks of this method is that it is restricted in one particular domain of application. To propose inventive solution, the level of abstraction for problem resolution must be increased. For this reason CBR is coupled with the TRIZ theory (Russian acronym for Theory of Solving Inventive Problem). TRIZ is a problem solving method that increases the ability to solve creative problems thanks to its capacity to give access to the best practices in all the technical domains. The proposed synergy between CBR and TRIZ combines the main advantages of CBR (ability to store and to reuse rapidly knowledge) and those of TRIZ (no trade-off during resolution, inventive solutions). Based on this synergy, a tool is developed and a mere example is treated.