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Frugal innovation in, by and for Europe

: Kroll, Henning; Gabriel, Madeleine


International Journal of Technology Management 83 (2020), Nr.1/2/3, S.34-54
ISSN: 0267-5730
ISSN: 1741-5276
Fraunhofer ISI ()
Frugal innovation; Europe; Definition; Process; Framework; Characteristics

In recent years, the notion of frugal innovation has gained greater prominence in both the academic sphere and in political discussion but, so far, been mostly associated with emerging or developing economies. However, frugal innovation does not only describe particular products, or, more generally, products for a particular group of very low income customers. At least as importantly, it designates a way of innovating that focuses functionalities smartly and uses resources wisely. In that, it is very much in line with needs also, and increasingly, pertinent to European markets. Most importantly, it harbours the potential of reconciling viable business models with the much needed ambitions of addressing long-term societal as well as imminent social challenges. In doing so, a particular emphasis needs to be put on quality and sustainability rather than cheapest possible prices.