The challenges run in FRANCIS will follow three phases. Each phase will end with a selection process based on a vote.


The industry partner mentoring the challenge as well as two External Advisory Board members (an expert on Frugal Innovation and an expert on Sustainable Entrepreneurship) will do the voting (other voting committee members may be added). Voting criteria will include


  1. the quality of the Frugal Innovation idea (soundness of concept)
  2. its market fit (including cost-effectiveness/affordability for target end consumers) and
  3.  its potential economic, environmental and social sustainability


At the beginning of each challenge, FRANCIS will launch a call for Frugal Innovation ideas. The project expects about 250 citizens from the four target countries to register for participation in this call. Citizens can either register as a so-called “Driver” that develops an idea (alone or together with teammates) or as a so-called “Enabler” that supports the development of ideas by assisting in requirements analysis and feedback provision.

The first phase, and first call, will end with the identification of 12 to 20 Frugal Innovation ideas (and teams). The Drivers will now have a fixed period of time to develop their ideas into concepts, supported by a grant. FRANCIS will then launch a second call for the second phase that is limited to the first call winners. The second phase, and second call, will end with the selection of four to five of concepts that will receive a grant. The Drivers of these concepts, i.e. the grant recipients, will have a fixed time period to further detail their concepts and design a simple demonstrator. All concepts and demonstrators will be presented at an official event (award ceremony). The industry partner mentoring the challenge may take up one or several of the concepts and develop them further into marketable products.

BSH FRANCIS Challenge 1

Challenge 1

The scope of the first challenge will be the application area of the culinary world and home care. Focused target groups are troubled families, minimalistic living people and elderly people living alone. Target market countries are Turkey, Germany, and India.

Helioz FRANCIS Challenge 2

Challenge 2

Please reach out to us for more info.

Process of Challenges

FRANCIS Challenge process

Contact Us

Project Coordinator

Liza Wohlfart
Fraunhofer IAO

Communication and Dissemination Manager

Venkata Gandikota