At the Universe Foundation, where I work, we are just starting up a new project in collaboration with the Danish Industrial Foundation – it’s called SMART.
The idea is to assist and follow a handful of Danish 5 medium sized companies as they try to lower their costs and prices in order to adapt to an increasing pressure on prices in the European market.
What’s important is that the reduction in cost should not cause a reduction in utility and satsifaction for the end-user. Ideally, we are looking for ways to increase the experience quality in new wasy that do not add cost.
From our research over the past year with “suitable” innovation in Shanghai and with “frugal solutions” in India and in the West, we have learned that it’s very hard for companies to move downwards in prices – particularly for established companies, that are operating in the main export markets in Europe, where price used to be less of an issue.
We are trying hard to lower the threshold for the companies to get started, so were are specifically not attempting radical innovation, but rather applying a systematic, incremental approach of understanding customers needs exactly and modifying products to deliver just the utility and quality that really matters to end-users.