Minor LDE-minor: Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development



Are you up for a multidisciplinary challenge? Do you want to combine theory and practice and do you like an adventure abroad? Are you interested in learning about a frontier innovation manifestation, and exploring how this this could contribute to sustainable global development? Would you like to apply your academic knowledge to practical case studies and real-life situations, including an eleven weeks field assignment abroad? If you are answering these questions affirmatively, you are the ideal candidate for this Leiden-Delft Erasmus (LDE) minor!

The LDE minor ‘Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development’ (30 ECTS) offers in-depth insight into how and under which conditions frugal innovation can contribute to sustainable global development. Frugal innovation refers to the (re)design of products, services and systems to making them affordable for low-income people without compromising on utility and ease of use. It integrates social, entrepreneurial and technological skills. Frugal innovation is increasingly seen as a promising way to overcome constraints in, for example, (access to) health, energy and water for people who live and work in adverse or resource constrained environments, worldwide. It could possibly contribute to global societal challenges and themes, for example sustainability, reduction of poverty and inclusion.

Learning objectives

In this minor you will learn how frugal innovation can be defined and analyzed; what frugal innovation implies for technology, entrepreneurship and development, and under which conditions it can contribute to the realization of sustainable global development.  You will get the opportunity to bring the acquired knowledge into practice by working in a multidisciplinary team on a field assignment abroad in selected countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The minor is organized by the LDE Center for Frugal Innovation in Africa (CFIA) and is open to all third-year bachelor students of Leiden University, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Delft University of Technology, regardless of study and disciplinary background. We think the minor is in particular attractive for students in anthropology, development sociology, area studies, international relations, economics, medical studies, development studies, law, health, housing, water, business studies, housing studies, industrial design, civil engineering, and technology and innovation (management) studies, and/or for students who want to link their study to or become engaged in tackling concrete societal challenges. We are looking for a high diversity of interests and backgrounds, in order to have strong cross-disciplinary teams in the field.

The minor is a 30 ECTS minor, and when registering for this minor students must be aware that they have to follow and complete the full 30 ECTS. Students from studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam who can only do a 15 ECTS minor but are interested to follow this minor are strongly advised to contact their studies coordinator to explore the possibilities to follow this 30 ECTS Minor.

The minor is a LDE selection minor. A maximum of 30 students (10 from each university) are allowed to enrol. The minor is a LDE selection minor. A maximum of 30 students (10 from each university) are allowed to enrol. Your registration should come along with a motivation letter.

For further information on the minor and how to register please click:


or visit the CFIA website:


For contact and inquiries please send an e-mail to: minorfrugalinnovation@asc.leidenuniv.nl, attn. Dr André Leliveld and/or Ms. Maaike Westra

Contact information

More information follows.

Studiepunten (EC)

Leiden University

TU Delft

Erasmus University Rotterdam


EUR students can apply through Osiris Student during the regular minor application period (1 April up to 15 April). It is possible for EUR students to complete the minor for 15 EC. EUR students can also choose to complete the minor as a whole for 30 EC. The extra 15 EC is extra curricular. To include the extra 15 EC in your Bachelor program, EUR students need to ask permission from their Exam Board. If placed, you need to be registered as a student at TU Delft and Leiden University.

TU Delft/Leiden University students can apply via the regular application procedure at their own university.