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

A small setting with 40-60 participating researchers is planned for a one-day symposium. Apart from presentation of own project results and a keynote from an industry representative, we invite scholarly contributions related to the phenomenon of frugal innovation and frugality from various associated disciplines. Aim is an interdisciplinary dialogue on the prospective relevance of this phenomenon. The symposium will be concerned with the following questions, but is not limited to these:

  • Potentials of frugal innovations for industrial countries from an economic/managerial perspective
  • Challenges concerning the implementation of frugal innovation processes
  • General framework conditions to foster frugal innovations
  • Societal relevance and implications of frugal products and services
  • Anthropological, sociological, psychological (and other) explanations and context of the phenomenon in different historical and geographical contexts

Researchers who would like to present their work at this symposium may send their extended abstracts (about 1,000 – 1,500 words) by 15 May 2016 to A full written paper is not required.

Participation in the symposium is also possible without own research contribution. There is no participation fee, a prior registration is however required. Please register here by 31 May:


Dr. Luise Fischer
Fraunhofer-Zentrum, Leipzig
Tel.:        +49 (0) 341 231039-237

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