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Knowledge transfer for frugal innovation: where do entrepreneurial universities stand?

Knowledge transfer for frugal innovation: where do entrepreneurial universities stand? Frugal innovation has gained prominence based on its potential contribution to sustainable development and the new opportunities that it offers to low-income customers. This paper aims to analyse the strategic knowledge transfer practices implemented by an entrepreneurial university for fostering frugal innovations within an emerging economy.Design/methodology/approachThis study adopted a case study methodological approach. The selected case was the University of Campinas (Unicamp), one of the leading universities in Brazil in terms of research quality and technology transfer. The study built upon 14 interviews with key informants and secondary sources of data (official and public documents).FindingsThe findings highlight the multidimensional dynamics of frugal innovations arising from university–industry relationships. Key dimensions considered include the internal capabilities of universities to foster frugal innovations and connect them to markets, the surrounding innovation ecosystems in which the university is embedded and the overarching institutional framework.Research limitations/implicationsThe analysis of strategic management practices for frugal innovation requires an evolutionary perspective, but the findings lacked sufficient longitudinal information for a formal evaluation. Also, as our empirical analysis is based on an in-depth case study of one university, further validation in other contexts would be necessary.Practical implicationsThis study offers new insights regarding the effectiveness of university-business collaboration partnerships for developing frugal innovations in emerging economies. Policymakers should promote societal programs enhancing the active participation of all agents involved in the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem. University managers should understand the challenges and the opportunities behind the adoption of an inclusive and societal orientation.Social implicationsBy adopting frugal innovation practices, universities can enhance their contribution of meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.Originality/valueThe literature on frugal innovation has emphasized the importance of networking between different types of firms, NGOs and governments, but the role of universities in frugal innovation remains mostly unexplored. This study addresses this gap by exploring how entrepreneurial universities participate in frugal innovations to meet societal challenges. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Knowledge Management Emerald Publishing

Knowledge transfer for frugal innovation: where do entrepreneurial universities stand?

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References (88)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1367-3270
eISSN
1367-3270
DOI
10.1108/jkm-01-2020-0040
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Frugal innovation has gained prominence based on its potential contribution to sustainable development and the new opportunities that it offers to low-income customers. This paper aims to analyse the strategic knowledge transfer practices implemented by an entrepreneurial university for fostering frugal innovations within an emerging economy.Design/methodology/approachThis study adopted a case study methodological approach. The selected case was the University of Campinas (Unicamp), one of the leading universities in Brazil in terms of research quality and technology transfer. The study built upon 14 interviews with key informants and secondary sources of data (official and public documents).FindingsThe findings highlight the multidimensional dynamics of frugal innovations arising from university–industry relationships. Key dimensions considered include the internal capabilities of universities to foster frugal innovations and connect them to markets, the surrounding innovation ecosystems in which the university is embedded and the overarching institutional framework.Research limitations/implicationsThe analysis of strategic management practices for frugal innovation requires an evolutionary perspective, but the findings lacked sufficient longitudinal information for a formal evaluation. Also, as our empirical analysis is based on an in-depth case study of one university, further validation in other contexts would be necessary.Practical implicationsThis study offers new insights regarding the effectiveness of university-business collaboration partnerships for developing frugal innovations in emerging economies. Policymakers should promote societal programs enhancing the active participation of all agents involved in the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem. University managers should understand the challenges and the opportunities behind the adoption of an inclusive and societal orientation.Social implicationsBy adopting frugal innovation practices, universities can enhance their contribution of meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.Originality/valueThe literature on frugal innovation has emphasized the importance of networking between different types of firms, NGOs and governments, but the role of universities in frugal innovation remains mostly unexplored. This study addresses this gap by exploring how entrepreneurial universities participate in frugal innovations to meet societal challenges.

Journal

Journal of Knowledge ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 8, 2021

Keywords: Sustainable development; Emerging economies; Brazil; Entrepreneurial university; Frugal innovation; Entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems; Social innovation approach; Strategic knowledge transfer management

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