Habilitation colloquium of Dr. Rajnish Tiwari on the theme of “Digital Transformation as Enabler of Affordable Excellence”

On June 30, 2020 there was a Habilitation colloquium of Dr. Rajnish Tiwari that marked the successful completion of his Habilitation (“venia legendi”). The colloquium was on the theme of “Digital Transformation as Enabler of Affordable Excellence”. The presentation showed how digital technologies can help achieve frugal solutions that in turn enable affordable excellence.

Abstract of the presentation

Latest since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic the potential of digital technologies as enabler of high-quality-yet-affordable solutions has become clear. Nevertheless, reports suggest that many firms struggle with implementing digital transformation due to the (perceived) need for high investments. Moreover, the true (potential) value-add of digital transformation is not clear to many, as digital transformation is often associated with complex terms such as “Industry 4.0”, “Internet of Things” or “Smart Homes”, whose true value-add is either not obvious to non-experts, or whose value-add is rather perceived in “nice-yet-superfluous” things such as a refrigerator which can autonomously re-order groceries. Thus, the cost-benefit analysis apparently does not seem to justify the requisite investments in many an instance. Continue reading

Cornelius Herstatt speaks on Frugal Innovation at IPDMC 2020

Cornelius Herstatt is today speaking on frugal innovation at the Digital Plenary Keynote Panel at IPDMC 2020 along with Katharina Hölzle and Piret Tonurist. The panel is moderated by Bart VAN LOOY & Petra DE WEERD-NEDERHOF.

Title of his talk is: Frugal Innovation after the Corona-Crisis – Opportunities for affordable, sustainable businesses.

Conference webpage: https://www.xcdsystem.com/eiasm/program/Iin7wnL/index.cfm?pgid=1853

Opportunities of Frugality in the Post-Corona Era

A discussion paper by Cornelius Herstatt and Rajnish Tiwari on the opportunities of frugality-based approaches in the post-Corona era: How frugal innovations can help achieve “affordable green excellence” in a world that could do with more effective use of resources. They argue that the concept of “affordability” has to be considered more comprehensively and in a multidimensional perspective – not just financially, but also socially, infrastructurally and ecologically.

[Download discussion paper]

The world is undergoing a major societal upheaval. Probably for the first time in the human history large parts of economic activity have come to a standstill simultaneously in almost all parts of the world – affecting the economically advanced nations as much as the developing countries. The “lockdown”, a term not known by many prior to the Corona pandemic of 2020, has meant that populations have been (in some cases literally) forced to stay back at home, cut down on their social contacts due to fear of a community transmission of the COVID19 virus, and as a result international and even domestic and local travel has largely come to a halt.

SARS-CoV-2. Image: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM / Public domain

Economic activity has been severally affected in most nations and many people have either lost jobs or have had to reduce their working hours, negatively impacting their disposable income. While, understandably, there is a growing demand for restoring “normalcy”, there are also voices that warn against returning to the “old normal” as if nothing has happened that requires a serious reflection. These voices plead for utilizing the current crisis to develop a “new normal” by utilizing its opportunities, e.g. the unintended-yet-largely-positive environmental impact and the slowing down of the pace of life resulting in reduced stress levels for people who are in a position to better manage social and economic impact of the pandemic.

This discussion paper makes a plea for a more holistic reflection over the causes and effects of the several other urgent challenges facing the world that have been laid bare by COVID19, e.g. climate change, poverty, and diseases. In this current context, we take a closer look at frugal innovations, a concept that has grown in importance over the previous decade and has been known to enable affordable access to goods and services. We examine if and how frugal innovations can be used to develop a “new normal” that acts as an enabler of “affordable green excellence”.

Taking a normative approach, we propose that affordability should be defined in a much more comprehensive manner to includes monetary, societal, infrastructural and environmental affordability. Further, a much closer interaction to the principles of circular economy is proposed. The overlap of frugal innovations and circular economy is the ideal space that should be strived by societal stakeholders, as products that target high environmental affordability without paying enough attention to monetary, societal and infrastructural affordability are as likely to face challenges as are products that are affordable monetarily and in other terms but whose environmental fit is questionable. Policy makers are called upon to create enabling mechanisms to promote affordable green excellence that is required in the post-Corona world even more than it already was prior to the pandemic outbreak.

Note: This discussion paper documents initial ideas with the intention of advancing research on “affordable green excellence”. We invite comments, feedbacks and ideas for collaborative transdisciplinary research/projects from interested colleagues from academia, industry, policy-making institutions and other domains, such as foundations and non-government organizations.

Seminar on frugal innovation for sustainable development goals with CFI participation in Mumbai

CFI is happy to announce organisation of a seminar on frugal innovation as an enabler for the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Mumbai on 25th Sept. 2019. The seminar marks continuation of the fruitful cooperation that CFI has forged with the German Centre for Research and Innovation (DWIH) New Delhi, and this is the third year running for our joint events. Dr. Stephan Buse and Dr. Rajnish Tiwari from CFI will deliver talks outlining the scope of frugal innovation and their potential contribution for societal and economic development for all relevant stakeholders, while Prof. Dr. Cornelius Herstatt will moderate a panel discussion.

The event is organised by DWIH, New Delhi together with the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce and will take place on Wednesday, September 25, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM in Mumbai. Details of the events are as follows.

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Featured publication: Scope of cooperation between India & Germany in the field of renewable energies with a focus on wind sector

CFI conducted a study on behalf of the Consulate General of India in Hamburg to investigate the potential of Indo-German cooperation in the wind energy sector. Abstract of this study can be found below. The study is authored by Dr. Sadhana Tiwari and Dr. Rajnish Tiwari and was published in February 2019.

Abstract

In 2015, India set itself a very ambitious task of expanding its installed base of renewable energies by more than five times to 175 gigawatt (GW) within seven years (by 2022). It was envisioned that 60 GW would be contributed by wind power. In 2018, the objective was revised upwards to 227 GW in total and 67 GW for wind power. The country needed such challenging goals to ensure an early, universal, and 24×7 access to electricity for all citizens.

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