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Frugal Innovation Hub

About Us

The Frugal Innovation Hub, at core, fulfills Santa Clara University's comprehensive and holistic Jesuit mission while simultaneously actualizing the School of Engineering as a humanitarian-technology leader in the Silicon Valley.

The program is positioned with the resources, strategic alignment, and impetus to become the nucleus of humanitarian technology development, research, and implementation on a global stage.

The Frugal Innovation Hub is already a critical bridge between real world needs and School of Engineering (SoE) students and faculty. Executed to fulfill its full potential, the program promises to seamlessly marry SCU's deep commitment to social impact with the SoE's promise to generate world class engineers that have been cultivated with the capacity to be leaders in developing solutions for humanity's most significant challenges. Accomplishment of this goal would organically stem from the implementation of several key proposals the FIH team has generated, such as the formalization of longer term partnerships with strategic Silicon Valley corporations and foundations, as well as defining more structure around the tangible contribution FIH can make for faculty research, scholarship, and teaching.


Since 2011, Humanitarian projects in the School of Engineering have involved:






Cities Throughout California


Humanitarian projects


Faculty Members


Undergraduate Students

Core principles of our work

Thanks to our five years of experience working with organizations and communities all around the world,  we understand that in order to create sustainable and scalable solutions we need to follow the following core principles:

  • connect with the 'need' knowers (people connected to end-users of a technology solution),
  • aimed to maintain project continuity (Faculty members take ownership of projects to smooth transition between multiple project teams),
  • empower the locals (technology and knowledge needs to stay locally)
  • develop deep expertise (each 'sub'-lab within FIH specializes in a particular industry vertical or subject area to allow for thought leadership),
  • design appropriate technology (It is not about more technology but appropriate technology)

If you work for a social benefit oriented-organization and have been struggling with a particular challenge you think can be addressed with a technology solution, if you're a student who wants to apply your knowledge and skills to contribute to real world social impact, if you're a faculty member who wants to advise projects with partners that can field test your prototypes... please reach out to us for more information!

Our Core Competencies

Here at the Frugal Innovation Hub, we use the Frugal Innovation design strategy to solve problems, putting the needs and context of the customers first. We facilitate the development of appropriate, affordable, adaptable, and applicable technologies for emerging markets by using our frugal core competencies while designing and deploying projects.

Contact Us


Santa Clara University
School of Engineering
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053

Guadalupe Hall, Bldg. 455, 3rd Floor

(408) 554-2334

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