Innovation for a Better World

INNOVATION FOR A BETTER WORLD - ADVANCED SOLUTIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Pilot collaboration between the Austrian Development Agency and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency on frugal innovation in Austria and the Western Balkans

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Frugal innovations rely on a “do more with less” approach to provide high-quality, resource-light and affordable products and services in response to the specific needs of a target group. When designed effectively, frugal innovations can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by addressing issues that are often underserved by markets and institutions, through resource-efficient solutions that are affordable and easily available to a large number of people.

Gaining a deep understanding of the issue at hand is an essential and complex aspect of developing successful frugal innovations. To tackle this challenge, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) have teamed up to explore how to best support projects that aim to address a problem through frugal innovation.

Their joint project “Innovation for a Better World – Advanced Solutions for Sustainable Development” looks into the feasibility and implementation possibilities of a new funding scheme for frugal innovation in the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia). It consists of a year-long series of workshops investigating and prototyping collaborations between organizations from Austria and the Western Balkans that contribute to the SDGs through projects inspired by the principles of frugal innovation.

CURRENT OPPORTUNITIES

ONLINE INFORMATION SESSIONS

October 8th 2020
October 29th 2020
November 19th 2020.

Join the online information sessions to: 

Learn about frugal innovation and its potential for the region
Find out more about the project and funding opportunities
Ask questions directly to representatives of ADA and FFG
Get feedback on project ideas
Network with potential partners

FUNDING CALLS

Ready to apply? ADA’s Business Partnership scheme and FFG’s Impact Innovation funding calls are accepting applications for projects that contribute to the SDGs and are in line with the principles of frugal innovation.

PROJECT NEWSLETTER

To find out more about the project, frugal innovation and upcoming events, sign up to our project newsletter.

ONLINE INFORMATION SESSIONS

Each online information session is structured around a guiding theme that was selected following interviews with stakeholders from the Western Balkans, but welcomes participants from any sector and impact topic.

DRAFT AGENDA

Introduction to frugal innovation

Presentation of the “Innovation for a Better World” project

Questions & answers with ADA and FFG

Networking

October 8th 2020
14:00 -16:00 CET

 Environmental sustainability: Climate action & adaptation

 

Application deadline
October 2nd 2020

October 29th 2020
14:00 -16:00 CET

Social innovation: Leave no one behind

 

Application deadline
October 25th 2020

November 19th 2020
14:00 -16:00 CET

Digitalization: Technology in service of impact

 

Application deadline
November 15th 2020

Invitations to join the events will be sent following a short application and selection process.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

In order to secure a high-quality exchange and networking experience, we can only offer a limited number of spots for each event.

What is frugal innovation?

In the context of this project, frugal innovation is understood as an approach which delivers “affordable excellence” tailored to the needs of an underserved market: “Frugal innovations seek to create attractive value propositions for their targeted customer groups by focusing on core functionalities and thus minimizing the use of material and financial resources in the complete value chain. They substantially reduce the cost of usage and/or ownership while fulfilling or even exceeding prescribed quality standards.” (Tiwari, Fischer and Kalogerakis (March 2016)).

**Full citation: Tiwari, R., Fischer, L. and Kalogerakis, K. (2016): “Frugal Innovation in Scholarly and Social Discourse: An Assessment of Trends and Potential Societal Implications”, joint working paper of Fraunhofer MOEZ Leipzig and Hamburg University of Technology in the BMBF-ITA project, Leipzig and Hamburg.

Who should join the online workshops?

  • Startups, social enterprises, SMEs, corporates, NGOs and other organizations which want to solve a local problem using frugal innovation.
  • Applications from any field or sector are welcome to apply
  • Priority will be given to organizations from the Western Balkans and Austria. As the long-term focus of the program is not restricted to the Western Balkans, applications from other regions will also be considered.

Is there an application deadline for the online events?

October 8th 2020: Environmental sustainability: Climate action & adaptation

Application deadline: October 2nd 2020

October 29th 2020 | Social innovation: Leave no one behind

Application deadline: October 25th 2020

November 19th 2020 | Digitalization: Technology in service of impact

Application deadline: November 15th 2020

Do I need to work on a frugal innovation project in order to join the online events?

No, you don’t need to be currently working on a frugal innovation project in order to join, but you should be interested in exploring the topic.

For example, this could mean:

  • You want to learn more about frugal innovation
  • You have a project idea and you want to explore whether it is eligible for funding
  • You are aware of a problem in your region and you would like to explore frugal innovation as a solution

Do I need to apply for funding in order to attend the online events?

No, you do not need to apply for funding in order to attend the online events.

I am ready to apply for funding with a project on frugal innovation. Should I join the online events?

You don’t have to attend the events if you would like to apply for funding. However, the information sessions are a good opportunity to ask questions to representatives of ADA and FFG, so we recommend that you join.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

 Are you working on defining a problem that could be addressed using frugal innovation? Are you elaborating an impactful solution for the Western Balkans region and are in need of financial support to further develop your idea? Are you ready to kick-off your project and are looking for funding to start rolling-out your project?

As part of the pilot project, ADA and FFG are opening two existing funding calls to projects that create positive impact through frugal innovation principles.

AUSTRIAN RESEARCH PROMOTION AGENCY (FFG)

 

Impact Innovation

Grant covering 50% of project costs, maximum EUR 75000

AUSTRIAN DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (ADA)

 

Business Partnership

Grant covering 50% of project costs, maximum EUR 500000

Contact

If you have questions about the funding opportunities, please email respective organisations:

ADA: [email protected] (Private Sector & Development unit)

FFG: m[email protected] (Mag. Matthias Weichhart Social innovations, Digitization)

If you have questions about the virtual events, please email:

Impact Hub Vienna: [email protected] (Alina Moldovan, Project Manager)

Project Partners

The “Innovation for a Better World - Advanced Solutions for Sustainable Development” project is mandated by ADA and FFG. It is implemented by Impact Hub Vienna together with a consortium of partners composed of Advantage Austria (Austria), 288 Grad Consulting (Austria), Center for Social Innovation (ZSI) (Austria) and Smart Kolektiv (Serbia).