Engineering and Frugal Innovation chair

The industrial research chair for Engineering and Frugal Innovation was created in 2015 until late 2019, as part of the Université Paris-Saclay organization. It constituted a knowledge hub for the development and dissemination of expertise and industry experience in the field of frugal innovation (in other words, “simple” innovation, involving no unnecessary complexity) and optimal creative engineering that reconciles economic and societal objectives, synonymous with “sustainable” innovation.


The chair acts as a coordinator between the academic, scientific and business worlds via projects, meetings, conferences and workshops. It works towards a paradigm shift in industry, where frugality is no longer imposed (as it is in emerging countries) but is embraced and becomes synonymous with flexibility, agility and step-change.

Around ten researchers are currently involved in the work of the chair (created in 2015) in the technology disciplines of the institutions that oversee it (AgroParisTechTélécom ParisInstitut d’Optique Graduate School) as well as in the field of economics and social sciences. Université Paris Saclay sees the work of the I3F chair as contributing actively to closer links between research and industry.

I3F is supported by Fondation d’entreprise Carrefour.

Three research themes

  • Frugal engineering(reducing complexity),
  • Open innovation and accompanying ecosystems(organizational frugality, innovation democratization),
  • Global innovation anchored in local communities(frugality as a vehicle for proximity in supply and demand markets).