New Global - co-creating frugal and reverse innovation in complex global systems

Research summary

The world needs hands on solutions to wicked problems such as climate change, resource scarcity and poverty, and we need to nd the pathways that enable such solutions to emerge.

To maintain competitiveness in the future, Finland needs to improve it’s capacity to innovate and collaborate in new ways, to provide holistic and sustainable solutions to global challenges, both in emerging markets as well as disruptive new approaches to service provision in Europe.

New global studies frugal and reverse innovations in complex global systems.


• Impact of inclusive renewable energy business models on structural inequality
• Role of impact investment in sustainability
• Circular economy business models in different institutional settings
• Participatory and co-creation processes in hierarchical cultural contexts
• Systemic sustainability of frugal innovations
• Technical functionality of frugal energy solutions
• Reverse innovation in Finland
• Pathways for innovations, understanding capabilities and supportive ecosystems

More information

Research publication
Project information

Research info

Research title
New Global - co-creating frugal and reverse innovation in complex global systems

Research timeline
1.1.2014 - 1.12.2018

business model circular economy developing development ecosystem energy frugal global inclusion inclusive business innovation Sustainability sustainable water

Asia Latin America Africa

Chile, Finland, India, Kenya, Tanzania, United Republic Of

Aalto University
Helsinki, Finland

Funding instrument
Business Finland, European Union Funding, European Union Funding

Head of research
Sara Lindeman

Research team
Minna Halme, Teija Lehtonen, Jarkko Levänen, Helena Sandman, Emma Nkonoki, Tatu Lyytinen, Anne Hyvärinen, Sini Numminen, Sini Suomalainen, Marleen Wierenga, Marko Keskinen, Peter Lund, Olli Varis

We study pioneering frugal innovation business cases globally • Energy: ABB, Accuser, Boond Engineering, G2, Husk Power Systems • Water: Ahlstrom, Grundfos, Kemira • Housing: Elemental Chile We initiate, support and develop new innovation processes • Corporation, Start-up, University: Case Nanomaji water filters in East Africa • Development cooperation platform for innovation: Case forestry sector development in Tanzania • Local public sector process to innovation: Case planning urban densification in Stone Town city, Tanzania • Local private sector process to innovation: Case solar micro grids in rural India We benchmark innovation facilitation practices globally • Co-Lab Chile: Social Innovation platforms • Unicef Innovation We engage with Finnish companies and a wide range of actors globally • Discussions with 300+ Finnish companies • Early phase innovation work with St1 Biofuels, KPA Unicon, Kemira, Ahlstrom, Alshain • Global network with Universities, incubators, impact funders, local authorities and NGOs, e.g. KTH Sweden, UDSM Tanzania, ARDHI Tanzania, TU Delft, Tec de Monterrey Mexico, PUC Chile, University of Waterloo, Team Finland actors, Miti Banda Tanzania, Ministry of Energy in TZ, TAREA TZ, Kenya Water Trust Fund Services, Unicef Innovation, CCI Tanzania, City of Stone Town, African Architecture Matters.

Contact information
Sara Lindeman
+358 40 0161776
Open link

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