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Frugal Innovation by Citizens for Citizens

Project description

Frugal innovation by citizens for citizens

Citizen science is blooming across scientific disciplines. It can greatly benefit researchers, citizens of diverse backgrounds, policymakers and society along the entire research and innovation chain. The EU-funded FRANCIS project will leverage citizen science for the development of frugal innovations (FIs) that bring about affordable high-quality solutions. The project will do so by running open innovation challenges that bridge geographical distances and social backgrounds for the development of FIs with citizens from developed, developing and emerging countries. Specific attention will be given to the inclusion of marginalised groups such as the elderly, large families and people with a minimalistic lifestyle, all of which are often neglected by the economy and society.


"The need for affordable high-quality solutions, so-called Frugal Innovations (FI), has never been more obvious than in the current global health crisis. This is also the time, where Open Innovation (OI) shows its full potential for their development. Just consider the various online challenges aimed at the development of frugal ventilators. These online challenges not only manage to tap into the creative potential of experts from around the globe but also help these experts to find their perfect macht of teammates for the job at hand and assist them in technical matters by offering industry coaching.

FRANCIS will use the ability of OI online challenges to bridge geographical distances and social backgrounds for the development of FI with citizens from two developed countries as well as four emerging ones. While most OI online challenges today target students and start-ups, FRANCIS will address society at large, the ""everyday joe/jane"", including marginalized groups such as the poor, the elderly, large families and people with specific lifestyles (""minimalists""). The consortium believes that their contribution, though often neglected by economy and society alike, is of major value for new product development, especially when aiming at Frugal Innovation.

To ensure their successful inclusion, FRANCIS will finetune the online platform and the communication material used in the challenges to the citizens' needs. Scientists will assist them in idea development, students will help with practical problems. Companies provide guidance during the challenges and ensure the FI's successful scaling at their end. Besides capturing the costs and benefits of the FI and assessing their impacts, FRANCIS will also run behavioural insights tests to learn more about the motivation and support needs of Citizen Frugal Innovators."

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 1 017 690,00
80686 Munchen

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Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 1 017 690,00

Participants (6)