TUM.Idea - Innovation for Development Alliance

How can we transfer frugal innovation principles to a local scale and exploit global impact? How can frugal innovations stimulate entrepreneurship in developing countries to become a sustainable solution for fighting poverty? How can frugal innovations cope with the extraordinary pressure coming from the current pandemic?

Interdisciplinary research network for Frugal Innovation

TUM.Idea is one initiative among only a few that explores novel ways for universities to contribute to the economic, social, and environmental development in the global South and the global North.TUM.Idea aims to implement this pioneering role for accelerating and scaling frugal innovation & engineering with and last and tangible impact. The Technical University of Munich has with its research profile and study programs an outstanding role to play in actively contributing to the current epochal change. TUM.Idea bundles the diverse expertise within TUM across all disciplines and locations in the interdisciplinary research for Frugal Innovation by working and teaching on an improved understanding of Frugal Innovation, by driving new research projects in the areas of Medical, Energy/Water/Food and Mobility.


Our Vision

We use our knowledge for good.

An awakening between disciplines shall create social impact by overcoming current challenges in the Global South. TUM.Idea, Innovation for Development Alliance, strives to build a multidisciplinary coalition of partners to

  • empower people to design & create their own technology solutions to contribute to sustainable development
  • make the enormous innovative potential of one of the best universities in the world accessible to solve societal challenges
  • to create collaborative projects and environments across faculties and industries for frugal innovation and technology transfer

Our Mission

TUM.Idea is a knowlege hub for sustainable development projects to

  • build bridges to leverage science & technology for lasting impact
  • make TUMs unique technological expertise and innovation competence available to society
  • accelerate Frugal Innovation & Sustainable Entrepreneurship to improve the quality of life for underserved communities around the globe
  • provide an inspiring platform of network that is required for breakthrough solutions and actionable outcomes to emerge and address the major challenges of our time


TUM.Idea is an interdisciplinary approach with the vision 

  • to create social impact and overcome poverty challenges in the Global South
  • to provide a platform and translate world-class research into a sustainable future
  • to initiate collaborative projects and environments across faculties and industries for frugal innovation and technology transfer