Who we are

The Centre for Frugal Innovation In Africa (CFIA) is a multi-disciplinary academic research centre within the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities alliance. At the CFIA we investigate frugal innovation processes and their economic, social and environmental impacts.

How can we contribute to better living
conditions and more sustainable societies?

We do this by exploring the role of innovations, more specifically innovations that aim to do more and better with fewer resources. Together with a global network of academics and partners we investigate whether and under what circumstances the perspective of frugal innovation can contribute to sustainable and inclusive development. We do so with attention to context, technology, entrepreneurship, and using local ideas, knowledge and resources.

Technological and research projects are used to investigate the development of scientifically sound frameworks that lead to a more  effective use of frugal innovations and technologies. In addition, through teaching and consulting, knowledge on frugal innovation is exchanged.






Since its foundation in 2013, the Centre has grown into a multi-disciplinary community with members from all around the world, working together to gain a better understanding of the implications of frugal innovation.

Meet our team and partners

CFIA combines the development of theoretical frameworks with projects in the field in collaboration with Dutch, multinational,  African and other international partners. Throughout the years the CFIA research group has grown into a multidisciplinary community from all around the world working together on developing a better understanding of the implications of frugal innovation. 

Team and partners

Mission and Strategy 2019-2024

For the period 2019 – 2024 our ambition is to further strengthen our position to become the global hub for frugal innovation research, education and engagement. We aim to intensify and expand collaborations with academics, students, policy makers, businesses and NGOs. Together we explore, develop, and share knowledge on frugal innovation.

More about our mission

Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Alliance

Complex social issues ask for a multi- and interdisciplinary approach. As such, we combine the best knowledge and research of three top-ranking universities. Their quality, complementarity and physical closeness offer unique opportunities for intensive structural collaboration and focus on Technology, Entrepreneurship and Development.

More about the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Alliance