The Center for Frugal Products and Manufacturing Systems (ZFP), a joint initiative of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, is now helping companies develop so-called frugal innovations. These are lean, smart and robust solutions that can open up new and cost-sensitive markets. Frugal innovators successfully bridge the gap between high quality and low price by focusing on – and reducing to – the essential. ZFP helps companies tap the market opportunities for such innovations. This covers all aspects of the process, ranging from strategic considerations and training in the methodology of frugal innovation to the concrete business of developing frugal products, services and business models. In addition to assisting with such projects, the ZFP also offers seminars, keynote presentations and interactive workshops not only at Fraunhofer IAO and Fraunhofer IPA but also on the company’s own premises.
IAO and IPA scientists use a range of case studies and portable exhibits to illustrate examples of the successful development of frugal innovations. In parallel, work is now under way to establish frugal innovation labs, which will offer a creative space for work in this field.