Seminar: Conducting Frugal Innovation Research and Consultancy

Date:                                 Wednesday, 4 October 2017,  9:00 – 15:00

Location:                           RMIT Storey Hall, Building 16, Level 7, Seminar Rooms 1 to 4, 336–348 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Organiser:                         Global Business Innovation (GBI) Enabling Capability Platform, RMIT

Cooperation partners:       Center for Frugal Innovation, Institute for Technology and Innovation Management, Hamburg University of                                                 Technology


On this day we have the pleasure to host Dr. Stephan Buse, Deputy Director of the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management (TIM) at Hamburg University of Technology, to share his extensive experience and knowledge in the discipline of Frugal Innovation research and consultancy, at RMIT. 

What is the concept of frugal innovations?

What do the Suzuki Alto, an affordable, state-of-the art compact car; the Nokia 1100, the world’s best-sold mobile telephone; the Chotu Kool, a battery-run, portable refrigerator; and the Mac800, a portable ECG diagnostic machine all have in common? All of them can be classified as “frugal” products, which:

  • Are affordable due to substantial reduction in the total cost of ownership; 

  • Offer features that combine robustness with the ease of use;

  • Promise an attractive value proposition to satisfy needs & aspirations of customers.

Thus, frugal innovations seek to target “price sensitive, and yet quality conscious” customers in both emerging as well as developed markets. The frugal concept of getting “more for less” appears to slowly turn into an imperative for business enterprises in a globalised world that is faced with increasing resource and environmental constraints owing to growing consumption and ongoing economic crises in several (industrialised) countries.

Who should attend?

  • Academics / researchers who are keen to join the team at RMIT in conducting collaborative research and consultancy on this topic in the Australian context.

  • Industry people who are keen to learn about how Frugal Innovation could benefit their industries, and explore ways to participate in R&D projects.

To confirm your attendance, please RSVP at the latest by 25th September 2017 to Dr. Gerrit de Waal at email:


Program (4 October, 2017)

09:00        Welcoming and introductions (Prof. Adela McMurray, RMIT)

09:15        Introduction to Frugal Innovation – importance, examples, relevance (Dr. Stephan Buse, TIM)

10:00        Brainstorming on relevance of FI to Australian companies

10:30        Coffee/tea break

10:50        The Center for Frugal Innovation: Overview of Activities – Research, Teaching & Consultancy (Dr. Stephan Buse, TIM)

11:40        Frugal Innovation Research at RMIT (Dr. Gerrit de Waal, RMIT)

12:00        Luncheon

13:00        Informal group discussions / planning of Frugal Innovation research and consultancy in Australia:

  • Industry workshops

  • In-depth interviews with industry players

  • Industry survey

  • White papers

14:55        Concluding remarks and next steps (Dr. Gerrit de Waal, RMIT)

15:00        End

Note: The program is subject to change without prior notice.

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