LDE-minor: Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development


Joint Minor Erasmus University Rotterdam, TU Delft and Leiden University 



N.B. This is a selection minor. Applications close 14 April 2022 at 13:00hrs.

Frugal innovation is about innovation processes that take account of and aim to overcome resource constraints in communities and societies. Think of societies or communities where poverty prevails and/or settings of overexploitation of resources, which leads to environmental degradation and climate change. Frugal innovations aim to optimised performance in combination with reduced use of resources whilst maintaining and/or improving functionality and affordability. Academics and policy makers increasingly see frugal innovation as a promising way to overcome global constraints in, for example, access to health, energy, water, and food. And more generally, frugal innovation is ascribed potential to contribute to global societal challenges and themes such as sustainability, inclusion and poverty reduction.

In the minor you will critically examine the widely acclaimed potential of frugal innovation to contribute to processes of local and global sustainable transformation to the benefit of people, planet and prosperity. In this multidisciplinary minor you will become familiar with current academic and policy debates on frugal innovation. Through literature studies, class tutorials, discussions, guest lectures by practitioners, laboratory work, excursions, and more offered by Leiden University, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Delft University of Technology, you will explore frugal innovation through various lenses, including development, technology and entrepreneurship.

You will not only discover the theory of frugal innovation, you will also apply your knowledge in practice through a field assignment during which you will be engaged in real life research on and/or design and development of a frugal innovation. This assignment allows you to combine your own study background with the knowledge and skills you acquired during the first part of the minor.

Read more about alumni experiences and frugal innovation via: The International Centre for Frugal Innovation

Special aspects

The minor is a complete 30 EC package. Subjects offered in the first 15 EC block, aim to prepare students for their individual field assignments in the second 15 EC block. When applying for this minor students must be aware that it is strongly recommended to follow and complete the full 30 EC minor. EUR students who can only do a 15 EC minor, but are interested to follow this minor are advised to contact their studies coordinator to explore the possibilities to follow the full minor.

For further information on the minor and how to register please see the Leiden University e-prospectus: https://studiegids.universiteitleiden.nl/studies/9072/frugal-innovation-for-sustainable-global-development#tab-1

and visit the International Centre for Frugal innovation (ICFI).

For contact and inquiries please send an e-mail to: minorfrugalinnovation@asc.leidenuniv.nl For attention of Dr André Leliveld and/or Madi Ditmars.

Join us during one of our online information sessions. Click here to view the dates and times


This LDE minor is a selection minor and applications must be submitted between 1 – 14 April 2022 at 13h00. Late applications will not be considered.

EUR students must register through Osiris before they can apply.

An application consists out of a completed Online Application Form and a CV.

A maximum of 40 students, equally distributed between the three universities will be selected.

Frequently asked questions


For attention of Dr André Leliveld and/or Madi Ditmars.


International Institute of Social Studies
Studiepunten (EC)

Leiden University

TU Delft

Erasmus University Rotterdam

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