'Frugal Innovation in Africa: An Academic and Policy Agenda'

Professor Peter Knorringa
  • What is frugal innovation?
  • Who are the main frugal innovators?
  • How can frugal innovation dynamize policy agendas on industrialization and local economic development in Africa?

On 22 March  2021, Professor Peter Knorringa will give a lecture as part of the Gerhard Center Webinar Series discussing these questions.

The webinar will explain frugal innovations as simple, affordable, robust innovations developed for/under conditions of scarcity, in many cases also with more careful resource use or making use of renewables.

While conventional innovations are often over-engineered and thus initially too sophisticated and expensive for middle-class and poorer consumers, frugal innovations are developed specifically for less affluent users.

A next step is to discuss three main types of frugal innovators (firms, NGOs, citizens), provide some examples, and then go into how such frugal innovations have become a focus in academic studies trying to make sense of the importance of innovation, outside of the R&D departments of large companies, in the ongoing digital revolution.

The final part of the presentation puts forward some ideas on how frugal innovation thinking can dynamize policy agenda’s on for example (agro-) industrialization and local economic development in Africa.

Details and ​​​​​registration

Date: 22 March 2021
Time: 19:00 (EET, UTC/GMT+2)
Registration link


Professor Peter Knorringa

Professor of Private Sector & Development

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