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Cambridge webinar on frugal innovation announced following record high of global R&D spending


Business executives will be given an insight into driving innovation with limited resources in an upcoming webinar on ‘Frugal Innovation’ from Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education, part of the University of Cambridge.

Professor Jaideep PrabhuThe hour-long webinar, which takes place on Tuesday 15 July at 13:00 (GMT+1), will be hosted by Professor Jaideep Prabhu, Director of Cambridge Business School’s Centre for India and Global Business, and also co-author of Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth, which has been highly acclaimed by a number of global business figures and organisations including Saatchi and Saatchi, Renault-Nissan, the Financial Times, the BBC and The Economist.

Frugal innovation, also known as ‘jugaad’, originates from the developing world and is based on the concept of ‘doing more with less’, a notion that the Western world is beginning to explore.

For the record-level $638 billion that Western firms spent on R&D in 2012/13, Jaideep believes there was not a steady enough stream of ground-breaking innovations to come out of the top spending industries to justify capital investment as a credible source of innovation.

Jaideep will echo parts of his book and provide examples of some of the world-leading organisations that already actively practice frugal innovation, including GE, GSK, IBM, Nestle, Pearson, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Renault, Siemens, Tata Group and Unilever. The underlining theory is that a harsher economic landscape has resulted in firms no longer being able to rely on the more traditional methods that have sustained innovation efforts including expensive R&D projects and highly-structured innovation processes.

Jaideep explains:

In the webinar we we will look at how a few path-breaking organisations are adopting frugal innovation techniques in response to downward pressures on household and government budgets in the developed world, and increased competition from low-cost rivals from emerging and developed markets alike.

Participants will also be able to interact during the webinar including a Q&A session at the end.