Sunday, 4 January 2015

Frugal Innovation: on BBC Radio 4's In Business

This blog has looked at the idea of 'frugal innovation' before:
Futures Forum: Jugaad: The Rise of Frugal Innovation
Frugal innovation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And it's an idea that's taken off:
4 CEOs Who Are Making Frugal Innovation Work - Harvard Business Review
Frugal innovation: the businesses getting creative in the face of scarcity | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian

First break all the rules: The charms of frugal innovation

Apr 15th 2010 | From the print edition

GENERAL ELECTRIC'S health-care laboratory in Bangalore contains some of the company's most sophisticated products—from giant body scanners that can accommodate the bulkiest American football players to state-of-the-art intensive-care units that can nurse the tiniest premature babies. But the device that has captured the heart of the centre's boss, Ashish Shah, is much less fancy: a hand-held electrocardiogram (ECG) called the Mac 400.

The device is a masterpiece of simplification. The multiple buttons on conventional ECGs have been reduced to just four. The bulky printer has been replaced by one of those tiny gadgets used in portable ticket machines. The whole thing is small enough to fit into a small backpack and can run on batteries as well as on the mains. This miracle of compression sells for $800, instead of $2,000 for a conventional ECG, and has reduced the cost of an ECG test to just $1 per patient.

In Chennai, 200 miles (326km) farther east, Ananth Krishnan, chief technology officer of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), is equally excited about an even lower-tech device: a water filter. It uses rice husks (which are among the country's most common waste products) to purify water. It is not only robust and portable but also relatively cheap, giving a large family an abundant supply of bacteria-free water for an initial investment of about $24 and a recurring expense of about $4 for a new filter every few months. Tata Chemicals, which is making the devices, is planning to produce 1m over the next year and hopes for an eventual market of 100m.

First break all the rules | The Economist

This evening on BBC Radio 4, Peter Day gave it a closer, up-to-date look:

21st Century Unlimited

Listen in pop-out player
New ways of doing business are making people think hard about how companies function. Peter Day hears how these alternative economies work, and what they might do.
Producer: Sandra Kanthal.

Related Links

BBC Radio 4 - In Business, 21st Century Unlimited

And here are a couple of rather interesting bits from the programme:

What was the Waves Hackerthon this summer in Paris?

Paris to Berlin hackathon by orangepartner 
Paris to Berlin Hackathon | 48 hours of open innovation
Paris to Berlin hackathon - Vidéo Dailymotion
Protei at the WAVE exhibition in Paris, Cite des Sciences – Scoutbots

It has a lot to do with  the sharing economy:

An Innovation Lab for the Sharing Economy Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Today saw the launch of the Sharing Economy Review, a very welcome process that has brought together many different conversations, demands and ideas that have been bubbling away for some time; including those that were kick-started at Number 10 last year.

An Innovation Lab for the Sharing Economy | Nesta
Regulating Innovation in the Sharing Economy | P2P Foundation
The Sharing Economy And The Future Of Finance | TechCrunch

And what about that hospital in Bangalore?

Frugal innovation: Devi Shetty's Narayana Hrudayalaya to conduct heart surgeries at world's cheapest rates - Economic Times
Devi Shetty's Narayana Hrudayalaya can perform heart surgery for US$800 | South China Morning Post
BBC News - 'Production line' heart surgery

And back to the lab:

The Bio-hackerspace La Paillasse is a group of passionate people about biology, each with his or her own area of expertise, interest and dedication. Some are from the computer side (read geeks), some others are PhDs, researchers, professionals and students from the biology side and some others are designers, artists, engineers, all of them want to see new exciting concepts and create interesting projects using biology as a primer. The Biohacklab is the first biology research lab in France open to anybody.

La Paillasse - HackerspaceWiki
La Paillasse
la Paillasse Saône: an eco-hacklab in Lyon | Espace de liberté et d'expérimentation de projets citoyens innovants
[Event] Crowdfunding, biohacking and Open Science with Craig Rouskey @La Paillasse (Sept 12th) | HackYourPhD

And what about all that heat coming out of your computer (and its server)?

The Chinese character for "house"

BBC News - Heating buildings using computers
Qarnot computing | Climate-KIC | Climate-KIC
Climate-KIC | The EU’s main climate innovation initiative

Lastly, one of the biggest ideas underpinning this frugal technology is the circular economy:


Home - Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Futures Forum: The Circular Economy
Circular economy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Futures Forum: The Circular Economy ... and looking after our water at a local level

See also:
Futures Forum: Steady-state economy... Post-growth economy
Futures Forum: Jeremy Rifkin and the Collaborative Commons
Futures Forum: The 'sharing economy' in the news...
Futures Forum: The Story of Stuff: "You cannot run a linear system on a finite planet indefinitely"
Futures Forum: The 'sharing economy', 'resilience' and 'nudging': Evgeny Morozov on "The rise of data and the death of politics"
Futures Forum: The antidote to Stuffocation: "Sharing, lending, bartering, swapping and gifting networks can all play a part and creating things can be done collaboratively."


SpectateSwamp said...

To share and pass along info you need to have great control of your digital data. If your app doesn't have a random option. Then it isn't the best. Mine can randomly select and play GROUPINGS of Video segments, audio, pictures and Large font text.

Nobody shares knowledge better than this

Abottpollard said...

Thanks for sharing!!