Frugal Engineering & Technological Innovation

We focus on the roots of ”constraint- based innovation” approaches to study how it can be used in the next generation of technology innovations using a frugal engineering approach.

Identify and develop technological innovations

What is the phenomenon?

Technological innovations dominate our everyday lives. But the process of which technology will prevail and how is usually not (precisely) predictable. In addition, developing countries are increasingly becoming the hot spot for innovations.

With their roots in emerging markets, various innovation approaches have made it into western markets under the catchword frugal innovations. From the original focus on emerging markets or "bottom of the pyramid" ("BoP") clients, these are now applied to develop global solutions.

What is known about it?

Technological innovations are driven by new business models, and can be anticipated through methods in the early phases of the innovation process. The competition of new technologies is getting tougher and tougher, and new approaches are needed.

Frugal engineering creates innovations that break with the "more and more, better and better" or "over-engineering" paradigm that is widespread in research and development. Simple, technically sophisticated solutions are to be created in order to open up new (price) segments. This is to be achieved with various approaches. These include in particular "localisation" with a global focus, new development vs. adaptation, use of new technologies and price and marketing strategy.

Frugal Innovation and Its Implementation - Leveraging Constraints to Drive Innovations on a Global Scale

Topic-specific publications

  1. 2023

    1. Pedroso, I. D., Soares, M. A. F., de Aguiar Dutra, A. R., Cubas, A. L. V., de Andrade Guerra, J. B. S. O., & Brem, A. (2023). Frugal innovation development for sustainability: The case of extractivism of the Butia catarinensis in Brazil. Journal of Cleaner Production, 412, 137318.
  2. 2022

    1. Ebolor, A., Agarwal, N., & Brem, A. (2022). Sustainable development in the construction industry: The role of frugal innovation. Journal of Cleaner Production, 380, 134922.
    2. Brem, A. (2022). Zur Relevanz betriebswirtschaftlicher Forschung in der Corona-Pandemie: die Rolle der BWL als Wissenschaft. Der Betriebswirt, 63(1), Article 1.
    3. Dąbrowska, J., Almpanopoulou, A., Brem, A., Chesbrough, H., Cucino, V., Di Minin, A., Giones, F., Hakala, H., Marullo, C., Mention, A.-L., Mortara, L., Nørskov, S., Nylund, P., Oddo, C. M., Radziwon, A., & Ritala, P. (2022). Digital transformation, for better or worse: a critical multi-level research agenda. R&D Management.
  3. 2021

    1. Arribas-Ibar, M., Nylund, P., & Brem, A. (2021). The Risk of Dissolution of Sustainable Innovation Ecosystems in Times of Crisis: The Electric Vehicle during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Sustainability, 13(3), Article 3.
    2. Agarwal, N., Oehler, J., & Brem, A. (2021). Constraint-Based Thinking: A Structured Approach for Developing Frugal Innovations. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 68(3), Article 3.
    3. Brem, A., Viardot, E., & Nylund, P. A. (2021). Implications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak for innovation: Which technologies will improve our lives? Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 163, 120451.
    4. Malik, A. A., & Brem, A. (2021). Digital twins for collaborative robots: A case study in human-robot interaction. Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, 68, 102092.
    5. Brem, A., Kongar, E., Eckert, C., Santiago, L. P., & Daim, T. U. (2021). Editorial: Publishing in Peer-Reviewed Journals. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 68(1), Article 1.
    6. Brockhoff, K., & Brem, A. (2021). Forschung und Entwicklung - Planung und Organisation des F&E Managements (6th ed.). De Gruyter Oldenbourg.
    7. Nylund, P. A., Brem, A., & Agarwal, N. (2021). Enabling technologies mitigating climate change: The role of dominant designs in environmental innovation ecosystems. Technovation, 102271.
    8. Bettenmann, D., Giones, F., Brem, A., & Gneiting, P. (2021). Break Out to Open Innovation. MIT Sloan Management Review, Winter 2022(63208), Article 63208.
    9. Wang, N., Xie, W., Ali, A., Brem, A., & Wang, S. (2021). How do individual characteristics and social capital shape users’ continuance intentions of smart wearable products? Technology in Society, 101818, Article 101818.
    10. DEGLER, T., AGARWAL, N., NYLUND, P. A., & BREM, A. (2021). SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION TYPES: A BIBLIOMETRIC REVIEW. International Journal of Innovation Management, 25(09), Article 09.
    11. Brem, A., & Nylund, P. A. (2021). Maneuvering the bumps in the New Silk Road: Open innovation, technological complexity, dominant design, and the international impact of Chinese innovation. R&D Management.
  4. 2020

    1. Markmann, C., Spickermann, A., von der Gracht, H. A., & Brem, A. (2020). Improving the question formulation in Delphi-like surveys: Analysis of the effects of abstract language and amount of information on response behavior.
    2. Agarwal, N., Chakrabarti, R., Prabhu, J., & Brem, A. (2020). Managing dilemmas of resource mobilization through Jugaad: a multi-method study of social enterprises in Indian healthcare. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal.
    3. Henninger, P., Brem, A., Giones, F., Bican, P. M., & Wimschneider, C. (2020). Effectuation vs. Causation: Can Established Firms Use Start-up Decision-making Principles to Stay Innovative? International Journal of Innovation Management, 24(01), Article 01.
    4. Bican, P. M., & Brem, A. (2020). Digital Business Model, Digital Transformation, Digital Entrepreneurship: Is There A Sustainable “Digital”? Sustainability, 12(5239), Article 5239.
    5. Agarwal, N., Chung, K., & Brem, A. (2020). New technologies for frugal innovation. In A. J. McMurray & G. A. de Waal (Eds.), Routledge Studies in Innovation, Organizations and Technology (Vol. 1).
    6. Bican, P. M., & Brem, A. (2020). Managing innovation performance: Results from an industry-spanning explorative study on R&D key measures. Creativity and Innovation Management, 29(2), Article 2.
    7. Wimschneider, C., Agarwal, N., & Brem, A. (2020). Frugal Innovation for the BoP in Brazil – An Analysis and Comparison with Asian Lead Markets. International Journal of Technology Management, 83(1/2/3), Article 1/2/3.
  5. 2019

    1. Giones, F., Brem, A., & Berger, A. (2019). Strategic decisions in turbulent times: Lessons from the energy industry. Business Horizons, 62(2), Article 2.
    2. Managing innovation: internationalization of innovation. (2019). In A. Brem, J. Tidd, & T. Daim (Eds.), Technology Management (Vol. 34).
    3. Nylund, P., Ferras, X., & Brem, A. (2019). Strategies for activating innovation ecosystems: introduction of a taxonomy. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 47, 60–66.
    4. Agarwal, N., Brem, A., & Dwivedi, S. (2019). Frugal & Reverse Innovation for Harnessing Emerging Markets Potential - the Case of a Danish MNC. International Journal of Innovation Management.
    5. Giones, F., & Brem, A. (2019). Crowdfunding as a tool for innovation marketing: technology entrepreneurship commercialization strategies (T. Francois & Y. Hyungseok, Eds.; Vol. 3).
    6. Digital Entrepreneurship - Interfaces Between Digital Technologies and Entrepreneurship. (2019). In R. Baierl, J. Behrens, & A. Brem (Eds.), FGF Studies in Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
    7. Daim, T., & Alexander, B. (2019). Introduction: Managing Mobile Technologies - An Analysis from Multiple Perspectives. In T. Daim & A. Brem (Eds.), Series in R&D Management (Vol. 3, pp. xvii–xix).
    8. Managing Mobile Technologies - An Analysis from Multiple Perspectives. (2019). In T. Daim & A. Brem (Eds.), Series in R&D Management (Vol. 3).
    9. Brem, A. (2019). Das Neue in der Betriebswirtschaft: Ansätze zur qualitativen Forschung und Konzeption theoriegenerierender Forschungsstrategien (Vol. 21, pp. 25–38).
    10. Baierl, R., Behrens, J., & Brem, A. (2019). Introduction. In R. Baierl & A. Brem (Eds.), FGF Studies in Small Business and Entrepreneurship (pp. 1–12).
    11. Hofmann, M., & Giones, F. (2019). Entrepreneurship as an Innovation Driver in an Industrial Ecosystem. In R. Baierl, J. Behrens, & A. Brem (Eds.), Digital Entrepreneurship: Interfaces between Digital Technologies and Entrepreneurship (pp. 99--121). Springer - FGF Studies in Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
    12. Daim, T., Brem, A., & Tidd, J. (2019). Introduction - Managing innovation: what do we know about innovation success factors? In A. Brem & T. Daim (Eds.), Series on Technology Management (Vol. 33, pp. cv–xix).\_0001
    13. Managing Medical Technological Innovations. (2019). In T. Daim & A. Brem (Eds.), Series in R&D Management.
    14. Brem, A., & Freitag, F. (2019). Internationalisation of new product development and research & development: Results from a multiple case study on companies with innovation processes in Germany and India. In A. Brem & T. Daim (Eds.), Series on Technology Management (pp. 27–58).\_0003
  6. 2018

    1. Agarwal, N., Chakrabarti, R., Brem, A., & Bocken, N. (2018). Market driving at Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP): An analysis of social enterprises from the healthcare sector. Journal of Business Research, 86, 234–244.
    2. Agarwal, N., Brem, A., & Grottke, M. (2018). Towards a higher socio-economic impact through shared understanding of product requirements in emerging markets: The case of the Indian healthcare innovations. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 135, 91–98.
    3. Brem, A., & Elsner, R. (2018). Make-or-buy decision processes for technology-intensive components: Insights from the consumer goods industry. International Journal of Innovation Management, 22.
    4. Wolfram, P., Agarwal, N., & Brem, A. (2018). Reverse Technology Transfer from the East to the West – Evidence from R&D sites of Western Multinationals in China. European Journal of Innovation Management, 21, 443–455.
    5. Agarwal, N., & Brem, A. (2018). Overcoming market constraints in emerging markets: Lessons from social enterprises in the Indian healthcare sector. (J. W. Sons, Ed.).
  7. 2017

    1. Agarwal, N., & Brem, A. (2017). The frugal innovation case of solar-powered Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of Vortex Engineering in India. Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies, 3, 115–126.
    2. Brem, A., & Wolfram, P. (2017). Organisation of New Product Development in Asia and Europe: Results from Western Multinationals R&D Sites in Germany, India, and China. Review of Managerial Science, 11, 159–190.
    3. Timmermans, J., Yaghmaei, E., Stahl, B. C., & Brem, A. (2017). Research and Innovation Processes revisited: Networked Responsibility in Industry. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 8, 307–334.
    4. Ro, Y., Brem, A., & Rauschnabel, P. A. (2017). Augmented Reality Smart Glasses: Definition, Concepts and Impact on Firm Value Creation. In M. Jung (Ed.), Progress in IS (pp. 169–181).\_12
    5. Brem, A., & Viardot, É. (2017). Revolution of Innovation Management: Internationalization and Business Models (A. Brem & E. Viardot, Eds.; pp. 1–13).
    6. Agarwal, N., & Brem, A. (2017). Frugal Innovation – Past, Present and Future. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 45, 37–41.
    7. Giones, F., & Oo, P. (2017). How Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding Are Redefining Innovation Management. In A. Brem & E. Viardot (Eds.), Revolution of Innovation Management (pp. 43--70). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
    8. Jahanshahi, A. A., & Brem, A. (2017). Sustainability in SMEs: Top Management Teams Behavioral Integration as Source of Innovativeness. Sustainability, 9.
    9. Agarwal, N., Grottke, M., Mishra, S., & Brem, A. (2017). A Systematic Literature Review of Constraint-Based Innovations: State of the Art and Future Perspectives. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 64, 3–15.
    10. Huettner, C., & Brem, A. (2017). Innovation in Business Education: The New Way of Learning at the adidas Group Learning Campus. International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 21, 299–328.
  8. 2016

    1. Gurses, K., Giones, F., & Mehta, K. (2016). Death by success: The international diffusion and the subsequent deinstitutionalization of the TPO practice. SMS Annual Conference.
    2. Brem, A., & Kürzdörfer, T. (2016). New Product Development, R&D, and Culture: results from a multiple case study of German and Chinese innovation processes. International Journal of Product Development, 21, 144–174.
    3. Brem, A., Viardot, É., & Chen, J. (2016). 创新管理的演变: 国际背景下的发展趋势 (I. C. übersetzt.von.der.Tsinghua.University.Press, Ed.).
    4. Muenzberg, C., Hammer, J., Brem, A., & Lindemann, U. (2016). Crisis Situations in Engineering Product Development: A TRIZ based approach. Procedia CIRP, 39, 144–149.
  9. 2015

    1. Agarwal, N., Grottke, M., & Brem, A. (2015). Understanding Emerging Market Companies and Customers: an Empirical Study of Innovation Constructs for New Product Development (M. European.Institute, Ed.).
    2. Vahs, D., & Brem, A. (2015). Innovationsmanagement: Von der Idee zur erfolgreichen Vermarktung (5th ed.).
    3. Chiriaev, S., Rubahn, H.-G., & Alexander, B. (2015). Innovationsforskning på Mads Clausen Instituttet.
    4. Agarwal, N., & Brem, A. (2015). Strategic business transformation through technology convergence: implications from General Electric’s industrial internet initiative. International Journal of Technology Management, 196–214.
    5. Brem, A., & Freitag, F. (2015). Internationalisation of new product development and research & development: Results from a multiple case study on companies with innovation processes in Germany and India. International Journal of Innovation Management, 19, 1550010.1-1550010.32.
    6. Yaghmaei, E., & Brem, A. (2015). Case study research to reflect societal and ethical issues: Introduction of a research implementation plan for ICTs. Computers & Society (Online Edition), 45, 306–312.
    7. Brem, A., & Vollrath, O. (2015). Management von Innovationen: Hintergrund und Status quo des Innovationsmanagements im Mittelstand (W. Becker & P. Ulrich, Eds.; pp. 80–105).
    8. Fodor, M., & Brem, A. (2015). Do Privacy Concerns Matter for Millennials?: Results from an empirical Analysis of Location-Based Services Adoption in Germany. Computers in Human Behavior, 53, 344–353.
    9. Maier, M. A., Korbel, J. J., & Brem, A. (2015). Innovation in Supply Chains: Solving the Agency Dilemma in Supply Networks by using Industry 4.0 Technologies. International Journal of Communication Networks and Distributed Systems, 15, 235–247.
  10. 2014

    1. Horn, C. F., Ivens, B. S., Ohneberg, M., & Brem, A. (2014). Prediction Markets: A literature review 2014. The Journal of Prediction Markets, 8, 89–126.
    2. Brem, A., & Maier, M. A. (2014). Lebensphasen von Communities of Practice: Eine Fallstudie (T. Kliewe & T. Kesting, Eds.; pp. 111–124).\_7
    3. Wolfram, P., Schuster, G., & Brem, A. (2014). Intellectual Property Strategies of Multinational Companies Patenting in China (F. I. IAT.Universität.Stuttgart, Ed.; pp. 745–749).
    4. Brem, A., & Freitag, F. (2014). Internationalization of New Product Development: Results from a Multiple Case Study on companies with Innovation Processes in Germany and India. International Journal of Innovation Management, 19, 1550010-1-1550010–1550032.
    5. Frutos, S. M., Giones, F., & Miralles, F. (2014). Social Media engagement as an e-commerce driver, a consumer behavior perspective. In Á. Rocha, D. Fonseca, E. Redondo, L. P. Reis, & M. P. Cota (Eds.), 2014 9th Iberian Conference on Information Systems and Technologies (CISTI) (June; Issue June, pp. 1--6). IEEE.
    6. Brem, A., Gerhard, D., & Voigt, K.-I. (2014). Strategic Technological Sourcing Decisions in the Context of Timing and Market Strategies: An Empirical Analysis. International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management, 11, 1450016-1-1450016–1450023.
    7. Wolfram, P., & Brem, A. (2014). Internal Markets for Innovation: Case Study Results of Blockades at Affiliates’ Level in Developed Markets (F. I. I. U. Stuttgart, Ed.; pp. 824–835).
    8. Horn, C., & Brem, A. (2014). Getting and keeping a competitive edge: Where next for innovation management? Strategic Direction, 30, 20–22.
    9. Brem, A., & Wolfram, P. (2014). Research and Development from the bottom up: Introduction of Terminologies for New Product Development in Emerging Markets. Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 3, 1–22.
    10. Ammon, T., & Brem, A. (2014). Von Gutenberg zu Steve Jobs: Herausforderungen und Lösungen der Business Model Innovation dargestellt am Beispiel von (Fach-)Verlagen (S. Daniel.R..A., Ed.; pp. 319–347).\_12
  11. 2013

    1. Brem, A., & Ivens, B. (2013). Do Frugal and Reverse Innovation Foster Sustainability? Introduction of a Conceptual Framework. Journal of Technology Management for Growing Economies, 4, 31–50.
    2. Brem, A. (2013). Wissensmanagement in der F&E: Ergebnisse einer Benchmarking-Studie. Business and Innovation, 4, 50–57.
    3. Brem, A., & Wolfram, P. (2013). Differences in New Product Development in Europe and Asia (P. I. M. (ISPIM) The.International.Society, Ed.).
    4. Vahs, D., & Brem, A. (2013). Innovationsmanagement: Von der Idee zur erfolgreichen Vermarktung (4th ed.).
    5. Horn, C. F., Ivens, B. S., & Brem, A. (2013). Prediction Markets for Business Forecasting: Results from Laboratory-Studies and a Case Study. 1–17.
  12. 2012

    1. Brem, A., & Tidd, J. (2012). Perspectives on Supplier Innovation (A. Brem & J. Tidd, Eds.; Series on Technology Management, Vol. 18, pp. 677–687).
    2. Zeller, A., & Brem, A. (2012). Innovation Management in German Retail Banking - Using a Customer Council to Generate New Concepts.
    3. Brem, A. (2012). Innovation und Innovationsmanagement - Begriffe und Inhalte.
    4. Agarwal, N., & Brem, A. (2012). Frugal and reverse innovation - Literature overview and case study insights from a German MNC in India and China. 1–11.
    5. Brem, A., Huizingh, E., & Viardot, É. (2012). Special Issue on the Using Innovation to Achieve Long-Term Sustainable Positions in Markets.
    6. Brem, A., & Moitra, D. (2012). Learning from Failure: Case Insights into a UK-India Technology Transfer Project (pp. 253–275).\_14
  13. 2011

    1. Brem, A., Sherif, M. H., Katzenstein, L., Voigt, K.-I., & Lammer, D. M. (2011). Research and Development, Innovation and Marketing: How to Convince Internal and External Stakeholders of Technological Innovations (M. Hülsmann & N. Pfeffermann, Eds.; Vol. 1, pp. 193–208).\_14
    2. Brem, A., Gerhard, D., Gudd, C., & Lettl, C. (2011). Innovationskommunikation - Theorie und empirische Untersuchung der externen Kommunikation von Innovationen über das Internet und sozialen Medien.
    3. Brem, A., & al. (2011). Innovationsportfolio-Management - Theorie und Praxis des Managements von Innovationsportfolios.
  14. 2009

    1. Brem, A., Schindler, M., & Voigt, K.-I. (2009). The Influence of Corporate Foresight on the Companies Innovation Process.
  15. 2008

    1. Brem, A., Scheiner, C., Voigt, K.-I., & al., et. (2008). From Technology Management to Product Development - Insights from the German Automotive Industry.
    2. Gerhard, D., Brem, A., & Voigt, K.-I. (2008). Product Development in the Automotive Industry: Crucial Success Drivers for Technological Innovations. International Journal of Technology Marketing, 3, 203–222.
  16. 2007

    1. Brem, A. (2007). Make-or-Buy-Entscheidungen im strategischen Technologiemanagement – Kriterien, Modelle und Entscheidungsfindung.
    2. Brem, A., & Voigt, K.-I. (2007). Innovation Management in Emerging Technology Ventures: The Concept of an Integrated Idea Management. International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, 7, 304–321.
    3. Neusser, C., Brem, A., & Philippi, F. (2007). Projektmanagement in kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen: Hintergrund, Ergebnisse und Lessons Learned (D. Lange, Ed.; pp. 670–679).
    4. Brem, A. (2007). Definition and Sources of Innovation in Europe and Asia: A Matter of Perspective?


This image shows Alexander Brem

Alexander Brem

Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. pol.


This image shows Ferran Giones

Ferran Giones


Deputy Director

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