Track 2.15 with the title “Frugal Digital Innovation & Transformation: Impacting Business, Society, and the Environment”is being organized by Track Chairs: Suchit Ahuja (Concordia University, Montreal, Canada), Rajnish Tiwari (Hochschule Fresenius/Center for Frugal Innovation, Hamburg University of Technology, Germany), and Stephanie Cadeddu (Cégep du Vieux Montréal, Canada).
R&D Today, which is a publication outlet of the Research and Development Management Association (RADMA) spoke with the Chairs of this track. In their own words:
Am 19. Mai 2022 nahmen Prof. Dr. Rajnish Tiwari und Timo Achtel an einem virtuellen Pressegesprächs des VDI Wissensforum teil und traten in einen Austausch mit Pressevertreter:innen ein, wie frugale Nachhaltigkeit als ein neues Innovationsparadigma für Werkstoffkonzepte fungieren kann. Die Kernidee dahinter, die auch Innovationsprozesse nachhaltig verändern dürfte: weg von der Konzentration auf einen reinen Technology-Push-Ansatz, hin zu mehr Market-Pull-Strategien. Kein Entweder/Oder, sondern beides – je nach Kontext. Wichtig: „Der jeweilige Anwendungsfall des Werkstoffes entscheidet über die notwendigen Anforderungen, die seitens der OEM für den Kunden abgesichert werden müssen.“
Mit „frugaler“ Nachhaltigkeit“ als neuem Innovationsparadigma für Werkstoffkonzepte beschäftigten sich Timo Achtelik, Werkstofftechnik Volkswagen AG, sowie Prof. Dr. habil. Rajnish Tiwari, Center for Frugal Innovation, Technische Universität Hamburg und Hochschule Fresenius. Die Idee der Frugalität beabsichtigt eine radikale Kostenreduzierung der Produkte und Entwicklungsprozesse durch Konzentration auf Kernfunktionalitäten und optimierte Leistungsniveaus. „Doing more with less“, so lautet die Kernidee, die auch Innovationsprozesse nachhaltig verändern dürfte: weg von der Konzentration auf den Technology-Push, hin zu Market-Pull-Strategien. Der jeweilige Anwendungsfall des Werkstoffes entscheidet über die notwendigen Anforderungen, die seitens der OEM für den Kunden abgesichert werden müssen.
The field of bionanotechnology, sometime also referred to as nanobiotechnology, has emerged from the intersection of nanotechnology and biotechnology. Today, it constitutes one of the fastest growing research fields due to its enormous potential. A particularly promising area of application for bionanotechnology is Life Sciences or Healthcare, where nanomedicine can help with advance diagnostics and targeted, patient-specific treatment in an effective and speedy manner while reducing the use of resources. Thus, bionanotechnology shows high compatibility with principles of “affordable excellence” that lie at the roots of the modern concept of frugal innovation.
India and Germany both have
made substantial progress in this field and many research institutions,
universities, startups and established enterprises are active
stakeholders of this industry, along with government bodies.
Biomaterials, biosensors, functional systems, drug transport/targeting
and implants are the five most active technology fields in Germany’s
nanobiotechnology sector, while a strong focus can be observed in the
application areas of diagnostics, medical devices, therapeutics and
regenerative medicine within the Health/Pharma sector. These areas
coincide with India’s thrust areas of research that is, however, still
largely concentrated in research institutions. A bilateral cooperation
between India and Germany can be highly rewarding as it can use
complementary strengths of the respective ecosystems and help each other
in overcoming their weaknesses, e.g. in ensuring translational
research, developing common regulatory/safety standards, better
utilization of resources & infrastructure, and creation of
cutting-edge knowledge through joint research and exchange programs for
researchers, scientists, students and entrepreneurs to intensify
On June 24, 2021, Dr. Rajnish Tiwari was invited to present key results of the “VISION” project at an online research colloquium of the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences (“Hochschule Fresenius”, “HSF”), which was attended by scholars from the university’s Faculty OnlinePlus spread across not only Germany but also outside. The colloquium was organized and moderated by Prof. Dr. Gudrun Glowalla, Vice-Dean Research, of the Faculty OnlinePlus of HSF.
Empirical investigations conducted for the VISION, e.g. in the form of literature reviews, expert interviews, and stakeholder workshops, suggest that the digital transformation possesses an immense potential to promote creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship (CIE), which crucial to meet the challenges of SDGs, especially in the global South, and ageing societies in the global North. Life-long learning in a user-friendly, resource-savvy and effective manner is critical to achieving these objectives. Reskilling and upskilling of the workforce can be achieved in a highly individualized manner with low costs, high quality (e.g. through use of artificial intelligence, virtual reality etc.). The anytime, anywhere formats can substantially redurce the (opportunity) costs for learners while enabling significant economies of scale for providers of such education. Detailed results of the project were later presented at the R&D Management Coneference 2021.
For more information on the VISION project, see the project website and/or contact Dr. Rajnish Tiwari at TUHH. It is planned to cooperate with HSF to enable mutual learnings. Dr. Tiwari has also accepted a professorial position at HSF, where he is also excpected to stengthen this innovative teaching format with his expertise gained through VISION.
The track, which was originally proposed for 2020 was reactivated and fresh papers were invited from the scholarly community. A total of eight papers were accepted for presentation after a peer-review process. The following two papers with (co-)authorship of TIM scholars were presented at the conference:
(1) Morimura, Fumikazu / Tiwari, Rajnish / Herstatt, Cornelius: “Does frugal innovation matter in the COVID-19 crisis? An investigating into the impact on consumer resistance to home energy management system in Japan” (collaborative research with the University of Kobe, Prof. Morimura from the University of Kobe presented the paper).
(2) Tiwari, Rajnish / Buse, Stephan: “Promoting Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship with Frugal Means: An Investigation into the Role of Digital Transformation” (results drawn from the study conducted under the VISION project, presented by Dr. R. Tiwari).
This track was organized in a cross-institutional and cross-country collaborative project by Suchit Ahuja (Concordia University, Canada), Rajnish Tiwari (Hamburg University of Technology, Germany) and Stephanie Cadeddu (University of Montréal, Canada). The track was very well attended and led to insightful discussions.