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Student entrepreneurs develop frugal innovations

07 December 2012

The Eco-Water Solutions team answering questions after their project pitch

A water filtration system for irrigation, a cooling system in office buildings that eliminates air-conditioning, a fast and frugal fish processing system - these are some of the projects pitched as part of the inaugural Frugal Innovations Take-Off event on 3 December.

Aimed at building solutions for specific pre-selected problems in the emerging Asian markets, the Institute for Engineering Leadership's (IEL) Frugal Innovation Lab is a module under the NUS Division of Engineering and Technology Management.

NUS students from the Faculty of Engineering, School of Business and across the University work together on focused projects. They can be undergraduates, graduates or PhD students.

Helmed by Visiting Professor Luda Kopeikina, the course allows budding entrepreneurs to leverage on NUS technologies to create successful scalable businesses which deliver value to the emerging economies in Southeast Asia.

During a presentation on the Frugal Innovation Lab, Prof Kopeikina, who is Head of the Enterprise Development Lab at IEL, shared that she "came to Singapore because I do believe that it is very much the time to start creating jobs in the West and in the East simultaneously".

"We hope that we can get the Faculty of Engineering and all of NUS in this effort to leverage our technology and smarts to create a lot of enterprises over the next couple of years," added the serial entrepreneur and investor.

The team behind Eco-Water Solutions plans to adopt the microfinance strategy to market their brackish water filtration solution for irrigation to farmers in India and China. The S$4,000 portable and easy-to-operate filtration system has already garnered partners including SKS Microfinance and International Development Enterprises.