„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


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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Workshop zum Thema „Potenziale Frugaler Innovationen“

Potenziale frugaler InnovationenAm 12. Januar 2016 organisieren wir einen Workshop-Tag zum Thema „Potenziale frugaler Innovationen“. Dieser findet als Teil unseres BMBF-geförderten Projektes „Potenziale, Herausforderungen und gesellschaftliche Relevanz frugaler Innovationen in Deutschland im Kontext des globalen Innovationswettbewerbs“  am besagten Tag in der Zeit von 10.00 Uhr bis ca. 17.00 Uhr im Gästehaus der Universität Hamburg statt.

Neben Fachvorträgen wird ein zentraler Mittelpunkt der Veranstaltung eine gemeinsam mit den Teilnehmern durchgeführte „Expertendiskussion“ im kleinen Kreis von ca. 20 Personen aus Wissenschaft, Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft über das vorwiegend in Schwellenländern beobachtete Phänomen der „frugalen Innovation“ und dessen mögliche Relevanz für Deutschland sein. Die Veranstaltung richtet sich an relevante Stakeholder aus ausgewählten Bereichen. Sollten Sie Interesse an der Teilnahme haben, so setzen Sie sich bitte in Verbindung mit uns (ausgebucht; Stand: 8.1.2016).

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Ökonomischer Druck im Gesundheitsbereich und die Bedeutung des „frugalen“ Ansatzes

In der FAZ von heute (9.12.2015, S. N1) beklagt Prof. Dr. Gerd Hasenfuß, Direktor der Klinik für Kardiologie und Pneumologie an der Universitätsmedizin Göttingen und zugleich Vorsitzender der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Innere Medizin e.V., den zunehmenden Kostendruck, dem Universitätskliniken Stand halten müssen. „Unter diesem ökonomischen Druck wird die Forschung an Universitätskliniken einbrechen – mit allen Folgen, die das für die Patientenversorgung, den Fortschritt und den Standort Deutschland hat“, so Prof. Hasenfuß.

Ist dies ein weiterer Indikator dafür, dass die Bedeutung des „frugalen“ Ansatzes („erschwingliche Exzellenz“ / „affordable excellence“) auch in Deutschland zunehmen wird; nicht nur aber gerade in den Bereichen, wo die öffentliche Hand als Kostenträger von dieser Entwicklung betroffen ist?

(Rajnish Tiwari // 9. Dez. 2015)

Talk with the All India Radio on Indo-German Collaboration in Technology

(clock-wise: Kaushik Roy, Stephan Buse, Rajnish Tiwari and Cornlius Herstatt; at the All India Radio in New Delhi. Photo courtsey: All India Radio)

(clock-wise: Kaushik Roy, Stephan Buse, Rajnish Tiwari and Cornlius Herstatt; at the All India Radio in New Delhi. Photo courtsey: All India Radio)

Recently, on a visit to India, the External Services Division of the All India Radio (AIR) expressed interest in speaking to Prof. Dr. Cornelius Herstatt, Dr. Stephan Buse and Dr. Rajnish Tiwari, to discuss the avenues of Indo-German collaboration in the field of technology. The time of the talk could not have been more appropriate as the German Chancellor Angela Merkel was then on an official visit in India leading a large delegation. There was a keen interest being expressed in the public space about Germany and Indo-German collaboration.

The resulting interview, of about 22 minutes‘ duration, and touching on different aspects of collaboration, was broadcast on Sunday, 11th October 2015, in the program „Dateline Delhi“.

Photo & audio file courtesy: All India Radio.

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