Frugal Innovation Network

The project Building and promoting the Australasian Frugal Innovation Network (AFIN) is led by Dr. Gerrit de Waal and Prof. Adela McMurray from the School of Management. It was funded by the Global Business Innovation ECP within the 2019 ECP Capability Development fund (CDF).

The overarching aim of this project is to rapidly develop capability in this discipline and expand collaboration activities with more international researchers and research entities. To achieve this, an online presence had to be established for promoting and showcasing AFIN’s activities and outputs. An initial web presence was established in May 2019, with a redesign currently in progress. https://www.frugalinnovation.online/

The website also serves the purpose of raising awareness among Australian firms of the potential benefits that may accrue from pursuing frugal innovation (FI) strategies.

Researcher Engagement

Via AFIN we are able to connect with FI researchers from different parts of the world to work collaboratively on research papers, grant applications and industry contracts. A recent success was the publication of a book on Frugal innovation in January 2020 that was co-edited by Prof Adela McMurray and Dr Gerrit de Waal in which at least ten prominent FI scholars around the world contributed individual chapters.
Reference: McMurray, A.J.  and de Waal, G.A. (2019) Frugal Innovation: A Global Research Companion. UK, Routledge Publishers. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429025679

Capability Development

Through increased network activity we hope to fast-track capability development in FI, enabling us to can consult more effectively with Australasian industry. Recently, we initiated a co-tutelle scholarship with the Hamburg University of Technology and are currently in the final stages of enrolling the first co-supervised PhD student based at RMIT who will engage local industry through applied research. Hence, the relationship with TUHH’s Centre for Frugal Innovation and similar entities in Europe is extending AFIN’s knowledge and skills base.

Showcasing and promoting our capability

Through the web site we are already showcasing RMIT as the regional authority in FI research.

Books published

1. Cadeddu, S.B.M., Donovan, J.D., Topple, C., de Waal, G.A., Masli, E.K. (2019). Frugal Innovation and the New Product Development Process: Insights from Indonesia. Routledge. ISBN 9780367029319 - CAT# K405323 https://www.crcpress.com/Frugal-Innovation-and-the-New-Product-Development-Process-Insights-from/Cadeddu-Donovan-Topple-Waal-Masli/p/book/9780367029319  

2. McMurray, A. and de Waal, G.A. (Eds). (2019). Frugal Innovation: A Global Research Companion, Routledge, London. ISBN 9780367132842. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9780429025679

Book chapters

1. de Waal, G.A., Thangarajah, J., and McMurray, A. (2019). Artificial Intelligence and Frugal Innovation: A formidable alliance. In ‘Management and Business Education in the time of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – the need for rethink, retrain, redesign?’ book. Editors: Agata Stachowicz-Stanusch, Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland and Wolfgang Amann HEC Paris in Qatar). Information Age Publishing (IAP) Greenwich USA.

2. Tiwari, R., de Waal, G.A. (2019). Chapter 7: The role of Frugal Innovation in ensuring global food security. Frugal Innovation: A Global Research Companion, Routledge, UK. ISBN 9780367132842.

3. de Waal, G.A., Mention, A. (2019). Chapter 9: A Literature Review of Required Adaptations for Successful Implementation of Frugal Innovations in Emerging and Developing Markets. Frugal Innovation: A Global Research Companion, Routledge, UK. ISBN 9780367132842.

4. Akbar, S. and Subramaniam, N. (2019). Chapter 12: Linking frugal innovation and sustainable development: Leveraging corporate accountability mechanisms. Frugal Innovation: A Global Research Companion, Routledge, UK. ISBN 9780367132842.

5. McMurray, A.,de Waal, G.A. and Etse, D. (2019). Chapter 13: Frugal innovation: Organisational climate and culture. Frugal Innovation: A Global Research Companion, Routledge, UK. ISBN 9780367132842.

6. Cadeddu, S.B.M., Donovan, J.D., Topple, C., de Waal, G.A., Masli, E.K. (2019). Chapter 18: Frugal innovation Practices in Startups - The Case of a Frugal Medical Device in BOP and Middle Markets in Indonesia. Frugal Innovation: A Global Research Companion, Routledge, UK. ISBN 9780367132842.

7. McMurray, A., Weerakoon, C. and Etse, D. (2019). Chapter 19: Exploring the dark side of frugal innovation. Frugal Innovation: A Global Research Companion, Routledge, UK. ISBN 9780367132842.

Conference papers

1. Tiwari, R., de Waal, G.A. (2018). Frugal Innovations for Food Security: An Australian Case Study. ISPIM Innovation Conference - Innovation, The Name of The Game, Stockholm, Sweden.

2. de Waal, G.A., Tiwari, R., McMurray, A. (2018). Resource-Constrained Innovation: A Viable Strategy for Firms in the Australian Food Processing Industry?  Governance and Sustainability Conference, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

Future plans

In the next two years AFIN plans to recruit more research scholars and PhD students (currently two) to join the team to work on several research projects that we have earmarked. Dr. De Waal secured research leave in semester 2 of 2020 when he will focus his efforts on starting new projects and strengthening the ties with network members and industry, leading up to submitting industry and/or ARC Linkage grant applications in the near future.

As FI is a transdisciplinary field of study with the environment and sustainability as strong undertones, AFIN shall furthermore attempt to identify research opportunities where FI can potentially contribute to alleviate the COVID-19 crisis in Australia and neighbouring countries.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer