Investigating Frugality and Innovation in Japan

TUHH and TokyoTech collaborate with support of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) to investigate relevance of frugal innovations in the context of Japan

Group photo (L2R): R. Tiwari, M. Tsujimoto and C. Herstatt

Group photo (L2R): R. Tiwari, M. Tsujimoto and C. Herstatt at TokyoTech (Tamachi Campus)

The Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) via its Center for Frugal Innovation at the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management, and the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TokyoTech) via its Department of Technology and Innovation Management at School of Environment and Society (Tamachi Campus), have decided to join hands to conduct joint research to investigate the phenomenon of frugal innovation in the Japanese context. At first, a preliminary research is being conducted with support from JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) to generate initial impressions and take stock of the status-quo of frugal innovations in Japan. A mid-term objective is to conduct comparative studies between Germany and Japan with the objective of enabling mutual learnings. Continue reading

Expert workshop predicts high relevance of frugal innovation for German industry & society

On 12 January 2016, around 30 stakeholders from industry, academia and politics met in Hamburg to analyse and discuss the relevance of frugal innovations for German companies and society-at-large. Frugal innovations are defined as (technological) solutions, focussed on their core functions robustness, user-friendliness and affordability. This phenomenon has, so far, predominantly been observed in emerging markets. The model of frugal innovations could, however, also hold great potentials for industrialized nations, such as Germany, and other international marketplaces. The importance of frugal innovations is, as evidence shows, expected to increase for the domestic market, too.

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Experten sehen frugale Innovationen auf dem Vormarsch

Erkenntnisse aus dem ersten gemeinsamen Workshop vom Fraunhofer-Zentrum Leipzig und der TU Hamburg

Am 12. Januar 2016 trafen sich rund 30 Vertreter aus Wirtschaft, Wissenschaft und Politik, um die Relevanz frugaler Innovationen für deutsche Unternehmen zu analysieren und zu diskutieren. Als „frugale Innovationen“ werden auf Kernfunktionen fokussierte, robuste, benutzerfreundliche und bezahlbare (Technologie-)Lösungen bezeichnet. Dieses Phänomen wurde bislang vornehmlich in Schwellenländern beobachtet. Für Industrienationen wie Deutschland könnte das frugale Innovationsmodel jedoch im Rahmen des internationalen Wettbewerbs große Potenziale bergen. Ebenso wird erwartet, dass die Bedeutung frugaler Innovationen im Hinblick auf den Binnenmarkt zunimmt.

Workshop-Teilnehmer im Gästehaus der Universität Hamburg (Bild: Kühl/TUHH)

Workshop-Teilnehmer im Gästehaus der Universität Hamburg (Bild: Kühl/TUHH)

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„Frugal Innovation in Scholarly and Social Discourse“: New Paper on Trends and Societal Implications

Tiwari_et_al_2016_Frugal_Innovation_BMBF_ITA_CoverAs a part of our joint BMBF-ITA project with Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy (MOEZ) in Leipzig we have published a new paper to assess trends and potential societal implications of frugal innovation by analyszing scholarly and social discourse.Apart from this the paper also reports results of our workshop held in Hamburg on January 12, 2016 to assess the potentials of frugal innovation in the specific context of Germany. The publication details are as follows:

Frugal Innovation in Scholarly and Social Discourse: An Assessment of Trends and Potential Societal Implications

Authored by: Rajnish Tiwari a, Luise Fischer b and Katharina Kalogerakis a

a Center for Frugal Innovation, Institute for Technology and Innovation Management, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Hamburg, Germany

b Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy (MOEZ), Leipzig, Germany

Abstract

The topic of frugal innovation is increasingly gaining relevance in social as well as scholarly discourse. Frugal innovations have been perceived by many to be a phenomenon generally confined to emerging economies where there are large groups of unserved consumers with unmet needs. But there is increasing evidence that this phenomenon is getting relevant also in the industrialized nations potentially affecting the long-term competitiveness of domestic firms not only overseas but also at home.

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Call for Contributions – Scientific symposium: “Potentials of frugal innovation in industrial countries”

Frugal innovations offer high customer value (core functionality, durability, ease of use) as well as significantly reduced costs of ownership compared with standard products and services. The phenomenon of frugal innovations was initially observed in emerging economies and the scholarly discourse still largely focuses on this context. Now there is increasing evidence that frugal solutions are also diffusing in the economically developed nations. It is, however unclear, to what extent frugal innovations are relevant for industrial economies such as Germany in economic and socio-political contexts.

This symposium is part of a larger research project funded by the BMBF as a part of its ITA (Innovations- und Technikanalysen) programme and entitled “Potentials, challenges and societal relevance of frugal innovations in the context of the global competition for innovation”. Project partners are the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy in Leipzig and the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management at the Hamburg University of Technology.

Date: 24 June 2016, 10am – 5pm

Venue: HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, Leipzig, Germany

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