In the early 2000's, an earthquake shook the city of Gujarat; creating an atrocity affecting hundreds of thousands in India. Many lost homes, access to sufficient food sources, and unfortunately massive casualties. There were cry's for some sort of help for the country in the wake of other such disasters, and hope that it can hinder any damage earthquakes or that any other natural disasters may cause. After all, how can the civilians get access to food that is not only clean and plentiful, but available to use at all times for the people in disarray. In comes a young entrepreneur, with an idea that fully captures the essence of frugality: a fridge.
This fridge is built from clay, and doesn't even require electricity to function; creating an easy, sufficient access to storing food. In the wake of any disaster, this form of frugal innovation will serve its purpose and reduce casualties to a far more reasonable level.
Hence, frugal innovations; though done at a smaller scale; could in fact be much more significant and useful than radical innovation in my opinion. There is great awareness and interest on reducing cost and increasing efficiency in enterprises and countries alike, and frugal innovation can provide just that. Below-the-radar inventions that satisfy local issues at a low-cost initiative can serve great purpose for countries in disarray like India. Without the need of massive investments and press, this young entrepreneur provided a solution for thousands without adequate access to food. This can be extended to various other counties going through problems and certain constraints, and frugal innovation can heed these boundaries and provide solutions through the available resources.
Though radical innovations can provide significant contributions, it also requires significant investments and is not always feasible to implement given certain circumstances. On the other hand, frugal innovations can be implemented practically anytime and much sooner; providing a solid solution to problems when bounded by specific circumstances like that faced in India. India will soon dominate in size, reaching third largest country in the world. This form of frugal innovation invested in by India, a large influential country, can provide large incentives to other countries; developing and developed; for similar implementations when faced with issues. This could prove to be a medium for further development in this area, as many countries could have this incentive which has proven effective.
Even in North America, countries should put this awareness to good use. Lackluster economic growth could lead to an increased demand for frugal innovations and processes. They could be faced with increasing demand, and must be prepared and aware of frugal innovation incentives. Furthermore, new available technological platforms are providing innovations at a lower cost. These countries thus have more opportunities for frugal innovators and innovations to prosper. This can even be extended to an aging population, where frugal innovations can help provide services and support for healthcare at much lower investments and costs; improving societal care if successful. An incentive worth considering to say the very least.