ICFI Recordings: Webinar Frugal Innovation in Africa - an academic and policy agenda

The Webinar Session "Frugal Innovation in Africa: an academic and policy agenda".  by Centre director Professor Peter Knorringa is now available on youtube.

This webinar is a part of the Gerhart Center Webinars Series; The Aftermath of the COVID-19: The Social Impact Ecosystem. The aim of these sessions is to discuss concepts that are currently not mainstream and may ( or perhaps should ) become mainstream in the aftermath of the COVID-19.

In the webinar Knorringa first provides a brief overview on frugal innovations: 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.

Secondly Knorringa discusses the 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.