Sanghamitra is focusing on the important area of frugal innovations in medical devices designed and manufactured by small and medium firms in developing countries and how they relate to healthcare delivery. A disproportionate percentage of devices in developing countries are inappropriate and remain dysfunctional as they are designed by firms in high income countries with a focus on their home markets. Using empirical evidence from fieldwork in South Africa, she is analysing innovation characteristics of firms possessing a unique combination of technological capabilities and deep appreciation of context plus the ability to innovate under constraint. Sanghamitra aims to understand how public policy can more effectively address healthcare needs while simultaneously enabling economic growth by supporting local firms with home grown technologies. She has been a visiting PhD researcher at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and University of Johannesburg in South Africa.
Sanghamitra holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in chemical engineering from India. She also did the ISS Diploma programme on Sustainable Local Economic Development where she met her current supervisors. Prior to the PhD, she has worked twelve years in multi-stakeholder government science, technology and innovation programmes in India (Department of Science & Technology) and Oman (The Research Council). Her understanding of frugal innovation and development is shaped greatly by her initial career years in a programme on bamboo applications to enable development through technology interventions in rural India.