CFIA Research, Frugal Thermometer
Developing a systematic understanding
of Frugal Innovation ecosystems


CFIA aims to use the best knowledge and research of three top-ranking universities in the Netherlands, Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam, to develop analytical knowledge and thinking on frugal innovations.

Beyond normative and prescriptive theories

The Centre actively focuses on how the developmental implications of frugal innovations and technologies can lead to a more balanced perspective on what the phenomenon frugal innovation entails, both locally, nationally and globally. To achieve its goals, the Centre combines the development of theoretical frameworks with projects in the field, which also involve Dutch, multi-national, and African partners, companies and stakeholders. 

Looking for an overview? Check out the Kennisdossier

For a overview and highlights of some CFIA research and articles, check out the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Kennisdossier on Frugal Innovation (also available in English).


These projects have a dual objective: developing functional, marketable innovations and providing input for theories concerning frugal innovation and global development. The common element in all our projects is the ambition to contribute to developing frugal innovations and technologies aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's).