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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New paper: „Frugal innovation and analogies: some propositions for product development in emerging economies“

Working_Paper_84A new paper that seeks to generate some preliminary insights on the use of inventive analogies in the process of creating frugal innovations. The paper has been authored by Rajnish Tiwari, Katharina Kalogerakis and Cornelius Herstatt and was presented at the recently-held R&D Management Conference (June 3-6, 2014) in Stuttgart.

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„Too good“ to succeed? Why not just try „good enough“!

High-tech, German companies are facing a curious problem: their products are reportedly “too good” for the expanding global markets

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A new paper by Rajnish Tiwari and Cornelius Herstatt with the title >> „Too good“ to succeed? Why not just try “good enough”! Some deliberations on the prospects of frugal innovations << (Working Paper No. 76, TIM/TUHH)

Abstract

High-tech, German companies are facing a curious problem: their products are reportedly “too good” for the expanding global markets. So in a way they get “penalised” for offering a superlative quality. At a second glance, though, this doesn’t seem surprising. For, succeeding in the emerging markets like India or China often requires developing market-specific products and services that enable an attractive value proposition without taking recourse to (excessive) over-engineering. Furthermore, the innovations should be able to cope with, and successfully circumvent, the given infrastructural restrictions ever so present in the rural and semi-urban areas in such economies.

[Read/download the full paper, PDF, 740 KB]

„Innovating more with less in India“

An article on the GE Look ahead blog of The Economist says, „Solar-powered ATMs and other frugal energy projects point the way to a more sustainable global future“. Continue reading