Who We Are

TRCFS-JNU is an initiative for academic collaboration to expand theoretical research on frugality and explore its application in the fields of technological, regulatory, organizational and institutional innovations.

What We Do

The Transdisciplinary Research Cluster (TRC) on Frugality Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (TRCFS-JNU) aims to study issues and concerns of frugal innovation from the points of view of a number of disciplines such as economics, law, ethics, management, and environmental governance. The Cluster’s goal is to achieve a whole new perspective on frugality by critically engaging and integrating the vantage point of each of these disciplines. Until now, in our view, the frugal innovation scholarship has shied away from explicitly engaging itself with these domains, even though it has hinted at a strong potentiality of such an engagement by broadening the agenda of frugal innovation research over time. The agenda of frugal innovation research today does not only confine itself to low cost simple affordable innovation by the largest multinational, but also includes in depth study of the dynamics behind numerous designs and innovations at the grassroot levels by various marginalized communities, social enterprises and other non-profit organizations. The agenda also includes intentions of engaging in the debates and discussions on sustainability and inclusivity by trying to relate to activities such as ‘do it yourself’ and ‘sharing economy’. Such an agenda raises pertinent questions not only relating to policy and management but also relating to regulation and ethics in an eminent way. This opens up the opportunity of cross talk between these disciplines and fostering the scholarship on frugal innovation research in an important way. For us, a wholesome understanding of frugal innovation scholarship needs a serious engagement with each of these disciplines. We think that without aiming for developing an integrative perspective of frugality we cannot comprehensively understand and appreciate the real value and virtue of being frugal. The Cluster is set up with seed funding from the LDE Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa. We also offer a platform for academic collaborations by inviting researchers from different fields and institutions to join the cluster.