Frugal Innovation meets Dutch Horticulture

Who says that innovation has to be complex and expensive? More is not always better! With frugal innovation you can innovate in a simple, smart and affordable way while increasing the end value for your customers.

Together with the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, CFIA is carrying out a training for SME entrepreneurs and managers from Dutch horticulture, particularly from the Province of Zuid-Holland, who are also funding this initiative. The participants include growers of flowers and pot plants, as well as wholesalers of fruits and vegetables and for example a start-up on energy solutions for green houses. Peter Knorringa and especially Albert Kraaij (HHS) are involved from CFIA, helping the entrepreneurs to make their business models more frugal and thus more resilient to crisis and shocks.

The entrepreneurs work on a real case from their own company and learn how to:
- innovate in a smart, simple and concrete way and to adapt a product so that it is less complex, profitable and still attractive to customers
- apply this way of thinking to their specific case and how to proceed with the implementation
- shorten supply chains or how to introduce sustainable processes and resources

Smart innovation can open new markets for Dutch entrepreneurs in developing countries, among others. There is a great need for a middle segment between the high-quality high-tech products (from the Netherlands, for example) and the cheaper versions (from China, for example).

While the course is still running, one key take-away for the trainers has been that Dutch entrepreneurs in the agro-food sector can easily relate to the relevance of developing frugal solutions, as agro-food entrepreneurs are very used to having to deal with a variety of acute and changing scarcities.
- Prof. Peter Knorringa

The course will be concluded by a demo-day for the participants on 7 September. On this day, the entrepreneurs will get the chance to show how they have transferred their learned knowledge into practice. For future courses and the demo day solutions, please keep an eye on our website or register for the CFIA newsletter.

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