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Hamburg University of Technology
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“Doing well by doing good”

Grassroot Innovations at TIM/TUHH

[ For any enquiries, please see contact ]

In January 2007 the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management at Hamburg University of Technology (TIM/TUHH) launched a research project called “Global Innovation”. The purpose of the research project has been to systemically examine and explore the not-yet-fully-realized innovation potential in emerging yet knowledge-rich economies like India. Researchers led by Prof. Cornelius Herstatt, Dr. Stephan Buse and Rajnish Tiwari have paid extensive attention to “frugal innovations”, i.e. affordable and good-quality products for high-volume markets at the “Bottom of the Pyramid”. Examining chances and challenges of India as a prime destination for outsourcing/ offshoring of research & development (R&D) by multinational firms has been another key item on their research agenda.

Their recent research focuses on fostering innovation potentials in rural areas, where “grassroot innovations” often enable development of robust, affordable and environmentally sustainable products in sync with the local conditions and able to cope with the given infrastructural deficits. Based on activities of the Honey Bee Network of Prof. Anil Gupta TIM/TUHH seeks to build cooperation between India-based grassroot inventors and German firms, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The main objective is to examine how Germany’s technological and marketing know-how can support grassroot inventors to successfully commercialize their inventions. At the same time, German companies would benefit from the improved access to new market segments.

For this purpose TIM/TUHH, together with the German-Indian Round Table (GIRT) Hamburg, is organizing a symposium on the theme of grassroot innovations during the India Week in Hamburg. The symposium with participation of Prof. Gupta and other renowned experts will take place on 20th October 2011.

At present, there are two on-going major studies running, where grassroot innovations build a cornerstone of the research being carried out as doctoral thesis projects:

Furthermore, we have just completed a study on the phenomenon of grassroot innovations, titled "Emerging Patterns of Grassroots Innovations".

[ For any enquiries, please see contact ]