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., & Ivens, B. (2013). Do Frugal and Reverse Innovation Foster Sustainability? Introduction of a Conceptual Framework. Journal of Technology Management for Growing Economies, 4(2), 31-50.
Agarwal, N., & Brem, A. (2012). Frugal and reverse innovation - Literature overview and case study insights from a German MNC in India and China. In B. Katzy, T. Holzmann, K. Sailer, K. D. Thoben (Eds.), Proceedings of the IEEE Xplore Proceedings of the 2012 18th International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation (pp. 1-11). Munich.
Brem, A., & Wolfram, P. (2012). Keuper, F., Schunk, H. A. (Hrsg.): Internationalisierung deutscher Unternehmen: (Book Review). Journal of Business Economics, 82(5), 585-586.
Brem, A., & Moitra, D. (2012). Learning from Failure: Case Insights into a UK-India Technology Transfer Project. In Audretsch D.B., Link A.N., Lehmann E.E., Starnecker A. (Eds.), Technology Transfer in a Global Economy, International Handbook Series on Entrepreneurship. (pp. 253-275). Heidelberg: Springer.

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