Organization of a track on Frugal Innovation and Digitalization at RADMA 2021

On July 7, the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management (TIM), via its Center for Frugal Innovation, co-organized a special track on the theme of “Frugal Innovation and Digitalization: Crossing Boundaries and Creating Impact” at the recently concluded R&D Management Conference 2021 (“RADMA”). RADMA took place in an online format in 2021 after its postponement in the previous year due to COVID19 related disruptions.

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.

Here are some slides used by Rajnish Tiwari for his opening remarks at the session.

Bahnbrechende Erfindungen oder erschwingliche Exzellenz?

Am 2. Juli 2021 organisierte die Johanna-Quandt-Stiftung anlässlich des Johanna-Ouandt-Wirtschaftsstipendiums 2021 eine Paneldiskussion mit dem Titel “Von bahnbrechenden Erfindungen und erschwinglicher Exzellenz – unterschiedliche Innovationsansätze im Dialog” und der Beteiligung des CFI. Die Diskussion fand in der Form eines Auftaktpanels für die zwei-tägige Präsenzveranstaltung in Bad Homburg mit geladenen Gästen statt. Diskutanten waren Frau Barbara Diehl (SprinD GmbH – Bundesagentur für Sprunginnovationen) und Dr. Rajnish Tiwari (Center for Frugal Innovation der Technischen Universität Hamburg, und Hochschule Fresenius, Hamburg). Die beiden Diskutanten betonten, dass es keinen inhärenten Widerspruch zwischen bahnbrechenden Erfindungen und frugalen Innovationen geben muss. Damit kann eine innovative Lösung durchaus gleichzeitig frugal und bahnbrechend sein. Denke man in etwa an die vielen Lösungen im Gesundheitsbereich (siehe beispielsweise den Vortrag von Dr. Shyam Vasudeva Rao [ab Minute 09:31] oder diesen Bericht der New York Times über iBreastExam für die Früherkennung von Brustkrebs).

In seinem Impulsvortrag unter dem Motto Living in a frugal “AGE” hebte Dr. Tiwari hervor, dass ökologisch nachhaltige und ökonomisch erschwingliche hochwertige Lösungen in den kommenden Jahren unerlässlich sind und damit den Imperativ frugaler Innovation bilden. Er verwendet das Akronym AGE für “Affordable Green Excellence”, die z.B. durch die digitale Transformation ermöglicht wird.

Den Kern seines Vortrages bildeten die Ergebnisse des am Institut laufenden ERASMUS+ Projektes “Envisioning the Future of teaching and coaching for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship” (Förderkennzeichen: 612537-EPP-1-2019-1-SI-EPPKA2-KA). Denn die erzielten Erkenntnisse scheinen auch das bahnbrechende Potenzial frugaler Innovation zu besitzen.

Empirische Untersuchungen aus diesem Projekt, die auf Literaturanalysen, Experteninterviews und mehreren Workshops basieren,zeigen, dass die digitale Transformation ein immenses, nahezu disruptives Potenzial für die Förderung der Kreativität, Innovation und Entrepreneurship besitzt, indem sie lebenslanges Lernen (Reskilling und Upskilling) in ressourcenschonender Weise, insbesondere was Zeit, Aufwand und Kosten anbelangt, ermöglicht. Lernende können sich neue Kompetenzen maßgescheinedert nach eigenen Wünschen und Bedürfnissen (“anytime, anywhere education”) aneigenen. Damit wird ein besonderer Bezug zur “affordable green excellence” hergestellt. Die Ergebnisse wurden später detaillerter auf der R&D Management Coneference 2021 vorgestellt.

Breakthrough inventions or affordable excellence?

The renowned Johanna Quandt Foundation organized a discussion panel with participation of CFI to discuss the the supposed contradiction between breakthrough inventions and frugal innovations on July 2, 2021 in Bad Homburg (near Frankfurt am Main) in Germany. The discussion was organized as the inaugural event of a 2-days workshop with award-winning journalists from Germany. The panel discussion, which also included opening statements in the form of presentations, involved Ms. Barbara Diehl (SprinD GmbH – Federal Agency for Disruptive Innovation) and Dr. Rajnish Tiwari (Center for Frugal Innovation dof TUHH, and Hochschule Fresenius, Hamburg). Both speakers agreed that there has to be no inherent and non-resoulable contradiction between breakthrough inventions and frugal innovations. On the contrary, many breakthrough inventions have a frugal character and vice versa (see, e.g. the talk by Dr. Shyam Vasudeva Rao [from minute 09:31 onwards] or this report of the New York Times on iBreastExam for early detection of breast cancer).

Dr. Rajnish Tiwari used the motto Living in a frugal “AGE” for his presentation, where the term “AGE” was used as an acronym signifying “affordable green excellence”. He emphasized that ecologically sustainable and economically affordable high-quality solutions are no more a mere theoretic “luxury” discussion. Such frugality-based solutions rather constitute an imperative in the race to meet the challenges of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in a world faced with rapdily depleting natural resources. Digital transformation, in his view, is a potent enabler for the frugal AGE.

A cornerstone of his talk was built by the results of an ongoing study titled “Envisioning the Future of teaching and coaching for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship” (ERASMUS+ project, grant number: 612537-EPP-1-2019-1-SI-EPPKA2-KA). This study shows in a particularly impressive way, why frugality and the breakthrough-character of an innovation solution can go hand-in-hand.

Empirical investigations based on mixed-methods (literature review, expert interviews, stakeholder workshops) suggest that the digital transformation possesses an immense potential to promote creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship crucial to meet the challenges of SDGs and ageing societies as it enables life-long learning in a user-friendly, resource-savvy and effective manner. Reskilling and upskilling can be achieved in a tailor-made (individualized) manner with high quality (e.g. through use of artificial intelligence, virtual reality etc.) with anytime, anywhere formats that 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, where additionally also Prof. John Bessant in his keynote addressed the need for frugal solutions.


In German: Programm des Johanna-Quandt-Wirtschaftsstipendiums 2021

Call for Papers on Frugal Innovation at EURAM 2021

Center for Frugal Innovation (CFI) at Hamburg University of Technology is happy to announce a call for papers for a conference track at EURAM 2021 in Montreal (Canada). The track will be co-hosted by CFI together with several other international partners. The conference will take place from June 16 to June 18, 2021.

T01_06 – Reshaping capitalism around Sustainability, Social innovation, and Frugality

Building an inclusive and sustainable society is currently a great challenge for enterprises, organizations, and government, especially when the societal issues such as climate change, poverty, and inequality are becoming increasingly urgent. In addition, business strategies and governmental policies must accommodate recent economic changes brought by the COVID 19. In this context, social innovation and frugality (including circular economy) represent a new promising paradigm for business and society. We encourage submissions of both empirical and theoretical papers that explore how sustainability, social innovation, and frugality contribute to reshaping capitalism, thereby moving business forward for society.

The track aims to open debates and discussion around novel conceptualization and templates, new corporation experiments, new corporate governance practices, and approaches of strategy that combine sustainability, social innovation, and frugality. It also addresses new implications for companies and for associated stakeholders, as well as recommendations for policy makers.

Proponents of the track are Linh-Chi Vo, ESDES, Lyon Business School; Christian Le Bas, ESDES, Lyon Business School; Massimiliano Mazzanti, University of Ferrara; Fernando Lopez, Stellenbosch University; Rajnish Tiwari, Hamburg University of Technology; Lucia Dal Negro, De-LAB Benefit Corporation.

Download the detailed Call for Papers as PDF

Webinar on Frugal Innovations for Engineering Students by SV Colleges, Tirupati, India on Aug. 20.

SV Colleges in Tirupati (India) are organizing a webinar on frugal innovations for engineering students on August 20, 2020 between 3:00 – 5:00 PM IST (11:30 AM – 01:30 PM CET). The webinar’s thrust area is on using frugal innovations for sustainable development “to build a better world”.

Ms. Liza Wohlfahrt from Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering in Stuttgart and Dr. Rajnish Tiwari from Center for Frugal Innovation of TU Hamburg will deliver keynotes and discuss with the participants.

The event can be followed in real time on Google Meet and YouTube.

 

Event agenda

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Registration information

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Direct link to registration

https://forms.gle/nB4JPEoXYcDV476k9