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Frugal Innovation in Practice


Admission requirements

The course is only open to students that are enrolled in the LDE Minor Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development.


The Frugal Innovation in Practice comprises of a challenge-based field assignment. These field assignments relate to the domains within the International Centre for Frugal Innovation which, among others, include water, energy, health, agro-food, and urban living environments. Students will work on assignments that can be research or more practically oriented. Divided into multidisciplinary teams of three or four, ideally with one student from each participating university (Leiden, Delft, Erasmus), students bring together and integrate their knowledge base with that of the others.

All groups will focus and work towards an intervention activity which will be decided between the student groups, the organisations within the challenge and the minor team.

The field assignment can be conducted abroad, in the Netherlands or a combination of these. The options to travel will be determined though by Leiden University as specified on their Health and Safety website.

If going abroad, students have to finance their own travel, accommodation and living costs, unless (part of) the costs is covered by the assignment providers. The costs involved during the stay abroad are to a large extent country and context specific but between 2,500 and 3,000 Euros is a realistic estimate of the costs involved.

The field assignment is conducted between 1 November 2022 and 27 January 2023. This includes a preparatory stage, the actual implementation, and the finalisation. As with the rest of the course, the field assignment requires a fulltime commitment.

Course objectives

Objective: To experience Frugal Innovation realities and integrate own knowledge base with that of the others.

Outcomes: After this module students are able to:
1) Apply and extend the knowledge and skills acquired during the theoretical part of the minor in a specific context and practical assignment;
2) Define and shape the contribution of own field in solving a specific problem of frugal innovation;
3) Collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds;
4) Foster an open mind and attitude that is sensitive to different cultural contexts;
5) Communicate and present on frugal innovation to academic and non-academic audiences.


A detailed timetable will be provided in Brightspace (Leiden University) in the minor syllabus.

Mode of instruction

Coaching and mentoring

Assessment method

Quality of output and outcomes of the Field Assignment (50%)
Group and individual performance capabilities (50%)
Further details to be provided in Brightspace (Leiden University)
Resit: Where practical same subtest as the first, within given timeframe.


Leiden University Brightspace LMS will be used for:

  • Announcements

  • Course information

  • Documents

  • Discussions

  • Grades

  • Calendar

  • Reading list

Reading list

All links and references to prescribed and recommended scientific and professional papers available in Brightspace (Leiden University). Strive to mostly use library and open source online publications.


Registration via uSis is mandatory.

Information about uSis website

Registration for courses and exams


Course Coordinator: Dr. André Leliveld

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Not applicable.