Frugal Innovation

Lehrstuhl für Technologiemanagement

FAU Contact:
Brem, Alexander Prof. Dr.
Agarwal, Nivedita Dr.


With its roots in emerging economies, various "constraint-based Innovation" approaches (including "grassroots innovation", "jugaad", "catalytic innovation" and "social innovation") and especially the concept of "Frugal Innovation" have come a long way from focusing on subsistence marketplaces or "Bottom of the Pyramid" ("BoP") customers to being applied to address global challenges. 

At the Chair of Technology Management, within this research area, we primarily focus on exploring the concept of "Frugal Innovation" and related tools and methodologies, understanding its relevance in developed economies, identifying different technology transfers trends (including "reverse innovations") and new social entrepreneurship models.

In particular, we aim to answer following research questions:

  • Is "Frugal Innovation" gradually becoming a global phenomenon? 
  • How are the concepts of "Frugal Innovation" related to other concepts like "Jugaad" or "Gambiarra"?
  • Which implications do "Frugal Innovations" have on new product development and R&D Management?
  • How can businesses adapt their strategies, business models and value chain in order to succeed in reaching customers with "Frugal Innovations" globally?
  • What are the new applications of "Frugal Innovation" in light of todays’ digitalized and more resource-cautious world, and how can companies use that? 

Assigned publications

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Brem, A., & Agarwal, N. (2017). Frugal Innovation – Past, Present and Future. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 45(3), 37-41.
Brem, A., & Wolfram, P. (2017). Organisation of New Product Development in Asia and Europe: Results from Western Multinationals R&D Sites in Germany, India, and China. Review of Managerial Science, 11(1), 159-190.
Agarwal, N., & Brem, A. (2017). The frugal innovation case of solar-powered Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of Vortex Engineering in India. Journal of entrepreneurship and innovation in emerging economies, 3(2), 115-126.
Brem, A., & Kürzdörfer, T. (2016). New Product Development, R&D, and Culture: results from a multiple case study of German and Chinese innovation processes. International Journal of Product Development, 21(2/3), 144-174.
Brem, A., & Freitag, F. (2015). Internationalisation of new product development and research & development: Results from a multiple case study on companies with innovation processes in Germany and India. International Journal of Innovation Management, 19(1), 1550010.1-1550010.32.
Agarwal, N., Grottke, M., & Brem, A. (2015). Understanding Emerging Market Companies and Customers: an Empirical Study of Innovation Constructs for New Product Development. In European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (Eds.), Proceedings of the 22nd Innovation and Product Development Conference. Copenhagen, Denmark.
Agarwal, N., Brem, A., & Grottke, M. (2014). A unified innovation approach to emerging markets: Imperatives to play and win the game. In European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (Eds.), Proceedings: Innovation Through Engineering, Business & Design. Limerick, Ireland.
Brem, A., & Freitag, F. (2014). Internationalization of New Product Development: Results from a Multiple Case Study on companies with Innovation Processes in Germany and India. International Journal of Innovation Management, 19(1), 1550010-1 - 1550010-32.
Brem, A., & Wolfram, P. (2014). Research and Development from the bottom up: Introduction of Terminologies for New Product Development in Emerging Markets. Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 3(9), 1-22.
Brem, A., & Wolfram, P. (2013). Differences in New Product Development in Europe and Asia. In The International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM) (Eds.), The Proceedings of The XXIV ISPIM Conference - Innovating in Global Markets: Challenges for Sustainable Growth. Helsinki, Finland.

Last updated on 2019-09-05 at 15:36