4FRONT involved in the Study for Mapping and Scoping of Frugal and Reverse Innovation

4FRONT has started a Study for Mapping and Scoping of Frugal and Reverse Innovation together with Visionary Analytics and experts Jaideep Prabhu and Max von Zedtwitz. The project is led by Visionary Analytics. The study is conducted for the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA).

The study focuses on frugal and reverse innovation, ie., cost-constrained innovations developed for resource scarce markets, and in case of reverse innovation, later adapted to back to developed markets as low cost, highly scalable products or services.

Frugal innovation involves rethinking product development and business models to deliver goods and services that meet the essential needs of underserved populations, particularly in emerging or low-income markets and can be differentiated from other innovations based on three criteria: substantial cost reduction, concentration on core functionalities, and optimised performance level. Reverse innovation is a concept that describes the process of adapting products and services to developed markets that were first developed for low income markets. It recognizes the unique needs and constraints of emerging markets as opportunities for innovation that can lead to products and services with global appeal. Frugal and reverse innovations are closely associated with creating societal impacts and helping to achieve some of the SDGs.

The European Union (EU) and Horizon Europe Associated Countries (HEAC) have integrated these innovations within their policies, emphasizing collaboration among various stakeholders and sectors to address societal challenges. These concepts align with sustainable socio-economic objectives, including resource optimization, waste reduction, and contributions to global sustainability and social goals.

The study will explore the adoption and support of frugal and reverse innovations within the EU and HEAC framework, identifying their roles in addressing technological, industrial, and societal challenges. It will also assess the policy environment, highlighting initiatives that promote these innovations, and address the obstacles hindering their broader implementation.

The objective is to provide an overview of frugal and reverse innovation activities within Europe, their current status and support within the EU and HEAC, to develop a common terminology and to offer recommendations for policy development. The geographic scope includes the EU, HEAC, and relevant emerging markets, with a focus on innovations implemented in the last decade.

Further information:
Heidi Uitto
+358 50 5540559