Research Agenda

The research agenda for the coming years focuses on the following related thematics. The common element in these five research streams is the ambition to contribute to technical, theoretical and empirical knowledge aimed at developing frugal innovations that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's).

The role of technology and knowledge generation

This theme takes a closer look at frugal engineering and designing, focusing on maximising functionality in a resource-constrained environment, and entails specific invention, adoption and diffusion characteristics.


How can ICT, the 4th industrial revolution, digitalisation, Internet of Things and Big Data generate new opportunities for frugal innovations?

And how will these impact upon inclusive and sustainable development? 


#frugal engineering                                           
#frugal designing                                         
#maximising functionality


The interaction of the various actors

This theme focuses on the interaction of the various actors that are involved in frugal innovation as well as issues of agency, gender and power. It also includes attention for various types of entrepreneurship and a crucial look at business models for frugal innovation. 


What is the potential for so-called poly centric innovation practices in which bottom-up and top-down innovation interact to mutually beneficial outcomes?

And how can trust be created and extended in such processes?


#business models


Institutions and governance modalities

This theme focuses on institutions and governance modalities that play an important role in facilitating or inhibiting frugal innovations. 


What is the role of National Innovation Systems and other knowledge networks? 

How do norms, institutions and (sustainability) standards influence behaviour of producers and consumers of frugal innovations?

And what roles can governments and regulation play in fostering more inclusive and sustainable frugal innovations?

How do high technology systems and infrastructures affect effectiveness of governance and regulations in general and more specifically with regard to inclusive and sustainable frugal innovations?


# knowledge networks               
# sustainable frugal innovation   
# inclusive frugal innovation      
# National Innovation Systems   
# institutions 
# governance 
# modalities
# high technology systems
# high technology instrastructures
# producer behaviour

Population dynamics

This theme focuses on how population dynamics will co-shape the uptake and content of frugal innovations in the coming decades.


This research stream includes examining
urbanisation, the formation of a new middle class in many countries around the world, and the dynamics of migration, displacement, conflict, disasters and climate change leading to massive movements of people will also generate new demand for frugal innovations.

This also includes a focus on employment creation due to producing and distributing frugal innovations, and, in combination with the first line on digitalisation, how employment opportunities are influenced by 3D printing, robotisation, fin tech, and other impacts resulting from the 4th industrial revolution. 


# urbanisation         
# the new middle class  
# migration
# displacement
# conflict dynamics
# climate change
# employment creation


The urgent need for a green transformation

This theme focuses on the urgent need for a green transformation, and moving from mass consumption and mass production to more sustainable and circular business models based on renewable resources is a challenge in which frugality thinking can contribute. 





# green transformation    
# beyond growth
# mass consumption
# circular business
# renewable resources