Funding Frugal Innovation: Lessons on design and implementation of public funding schemes stimulating Frugal Innovation

Bereich: Forschungspolitik & Entwicklung

Literally ‘frugal’ means ‘sparing, economical or saving’. In its narrow meaning, frugal innovation could be defined as the stripping of attributes of technologically sophisticated products, systems and services to make them cheaper without losing technical functionalities and therewith making them affordable for low income customers, either in low, middle or high-income countries. Often frugal innovations also have an explicit social aim. Frugal innovations are distinctive in both their means and their ends. They respond to limitations in resources, whether financial, material or institutional and turn these constraints into an advantage. They result in dramatically lower-cost products and services which surpass or maintain performance dimensions that are compatible with unique circumstances of the poorest population groups. While the affordable products and services can be made available at large scale, they can also create considerable social impacts. As a result, frugal innovations have captured the attention of companies searching for new business opportunities and policy makers who face the ever increasing pressure of more inclusive growth and economic and environmental constrains. The promises of simultaneous economic, social and environmental benefits have inspired a growing number of public funding schemes for frugal innovations by national governments and international charitable organisations.

This policy brief is set out to explore the potential of frugal innovations for the Indo-European science, technology and innovation cooperation. It explores the available public funding schemes for frugal innovations, their motives, objectives and design. This policy brief draws from desk research and semi-structured interviews with frugal innovation scheme owners.



AutorInnen: Granqvist, K.


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Tags: frugal innovation, India

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Kategorie: Discussion Papers

Publikations Datum: 2016

Bezug: Online (download)