About Us

Our Purpose

The Frugal Innovation Network was founded by the Team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Gassmann at the Institute of Technology Management at the University of St.Gallen (ITEM-HSG) and the BGW AG in 2017 after more than 9 years of research activities in this field. It is our intention to bring together all relevant individuals, stakeholders and organizations in the field of frugal innovation to build a global knowledge community. In this context we will continue to explore frugal innovation in the areas of strategic business development and innovation management, both from an academic and a practitioner’s perspective.

Our Expertise

With several years of research, we have a vast experience on innovations within a resource-constrained environment primarily located in emerging and developing markets. Our efforts aim at both developers and customers of these innovations. Since 2015, we are conducting a large scale industry research project supported by the Swiss government. In this research project, we investigate frugal innovation per se and more specifically the frugal innovation value chain in cooperation with 8 internationally leading companies as well as a multinational strategy consultancy. During this project we developed a framework that serves as a best practice guide for firms throughout the entire value creation process of a frugal innovation – starting from the initiation going all the way to the service delivery in the target market. Further, we have established an extensive case data base of frugal innovations across all sectors and global markets. All cases are based on a combination of primary and secondary data. To be able to understand this new phenomena more in depth it is crucial to extend not just on the number of cases but also the amount of data points.



Awareness Raising

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ThinkTank & Project Support


Education & Capacity Building


Prof. Dr. Oliver Gassmann

is professor of technology and innovation management at the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland, and Director of the ITEM-HSG. He serves on international boards in industry, engineering and consulting and has coached several Fortune 500 companies in the area of innovation. His research focuses on the core question of how to lead innovation for competitive advantage.

Lukas Neumann

is a doctoral candidate and research associate at the ITEM-HSG since 2015. His research focus lies in frugal innovation. He manages a publically funded research project with international companies as well as a multinational strategy consultancy. He regularly conducts field research with various companies in emerging markets, such as Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

Dr. Christoph Meister

is the managing director of the consulting company BGW AG based in St.Gallen, Switzerland. As the fomer Holcim Head of Innovation Manager (2014) he has hands-on experiences and is passionate to share his learnings and support other organizations in becoming more innovative.

Prof. Dr. Christoph Wecht

is professor for management at the New Design University (NDU) in Austria and is one of the founding partners of the BGW AG. He works as a consultant, coach and speaker and publishes articles and books relevant for both academia and practice. After finishing his studies in engineering, he worked in Austria, Germany and the US, where he also completed an MBA.

Karin Klöti

works as a consultant at BGW AG. She studied International Affairs and Governance at the University of St.Gallen and worked part-time at the ITEM-HSG. Her background enables her to look at frugal innovation from a different perspective.