How could standardization support the production and diffusion of frugal innovations?

Par Bernard Haudeville, Dominique Wolff

In this contribution, we focus on the role of technical standards – product certification or process certification – in the production and diffusion of frugal innovation. The rapid development of the phenomenon of frugal innovation, including reverse innovation, directly affects the competitiveness of firms in the most advanced countries by reducing or, in some cases, by destroying the advantage of an accumulated inventory of knowledge. It is therefore also important for the sustainability of their competitiveness that appropriate answers are found. In this paper, we show how the production of new technical standards could contribute to support the production and the diffusion of frugal innovations and we assess different options to achieve it. The two main options are the extension of the existing and related domains of standardization and the creation of a new field build around the concept of frugality.
JEL Codes: O31, O33


  • technical standard
  • frugal innovation
  • reverse innovation
  • certification
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