New Prince Claus Chair appointment dr. Saradindu Bhaduri: ‘Frugal Innovation for Development and Equity’

The Hague, 7 September 2015

As of the 1st of September 2015 dr. Saradindu Bhaduri will hold the new Prince Claus Chair (PCC) for a period of two years. His thematic focus will be on Frugal Innovation for Development and Equity’, a topic on which dr. Bhaduri holds an excellent academic record.

Frugal Innovation is a new field of innovation studies concerning a mode of design and doing business that brings relatively sophisticated products, services and systems within the reach of relatively poorer consumers in resource-constrained environments. The challenge is not simply to provide stripped down versions to poorer consumers, but instead to provide value-sensitive innovations without sacrificing user value. Such frugal innovations need to fit local circumstances and cultures and are increasingly co-produced in polycentric networks of innovation, which link entrepreneurs, designers, financiers, manufacturers and distributors from various parts of the globe.

Dr. Bhaduri is a promising Indian academic with an excellent track record in research on frugal innovation ‘by and for the poor’, with a focus on informal sector innovations which matches the spirit of the PCC chair with its focus on development and equity. Dr. Bhaduri has an extensive network in his field of studies and is therefore able to connect researchers across borders and support the exchange of knowledge and experience from the Frugal Innovation hotbed India, to other emerging markets.

Dr. Bhaduri is currently based at the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. During his term as chairholder, Dr Bhaduri will reside for two periods of about three months at the ISS in The Hague. He will do field research in India and in Africa, and he will contribute to teaching on frugal innovation. Dr. Bhaduri will cooperate extensively with researchers from the Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa, one of the joint multidisciplinary centres of Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Dr. Bhaduri will visit The Hague for a first period this fall to further plan his research agenda and prepare his inaugural speech, which will be held in  the spring of 2016.

Prince Claus Chair
The objective of the Prince Claus Chair is to continue the work of Prince Claus (1926-2002) in development and equity. Utrecht University and the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam alternately appoint an outstanding young academic from a developing region to the Prince Claus Chair. The Chair was established in early 2003 for the advancement of research and teaching in the field of development cooperation.

International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)

ISS is an international institute for research and education in the field of development studies. ISS is located in The Hague and is part of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Between 300 and 400 graduate students, mainly from the ‘Global South’, study at ISS each year. ISS is also home to a large community of PhD researchers.

Centre for Frugal Innovations in Africa (CFIA)

The CFIA is one of the joint multidisciplinary research centres of Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam. The centre’s research aims to identify the conditions under which frugal innovations are more likely to improve the lives of consumers and producers at the Middle and Base of the global socio-economic Pyramid.

For more information about the chair, please contact:
Linda Johnson, Secretary to the Curatorium of the Prince Claus Chair,

For more information about the content of the 2015-2017 term, please contact:
Prof. dr. Peter Knorringa, Director of the Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa,