Santa Clara University

Frugal Innovation Lab

News & Events


'Hack for the Homeless' 2014 was a raging success - many useful applications came out of the event and the judges from local Silicon Valley companies were all impressed!  Find out more here:

The Mobile for Humanity (M4H) program sponsored by Cisco has been launched online! Find it here:

The Frugal Innovation Lab has partnered with Vodafone Americas Foundation to progress the 'Mobile for Social Benefit' industry sector as a whole through the development of case studies.

The Frugal Innovation Lab Blog can be found at

  • Radha Basu, Director of the Frugal Innovation Lab, attended the UN Social Innovation summit and spoke to the general assembly on two panels:  Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Technology For Good.  She also led a workshop on Technology and Women's Empowerment along with Assistant Secretary for women and youth in the UN.  
  • In late May, the Frugal Innovation Lab hosted nearly 250 guests during their open house to celebrate the lab's 1 year anniversary with the School of Engineering.  Guests included representatives from Cisco, InVidia, Qualcomm, HP, Samsung, as well as individuals from the Industry Advisory Board, Leavey Business School, College of Arts and Sciences, various social enterprises, and - our very own - Fr. Engh.
  • Silvia Figueira, Natalie Linnell (Math/CS), and the 11 undergrads in their course Mobile Projects for Social Benefit were featured in the CTA's newsletter <> on the development of an app to help homeless individuals and very-low-income families.
  • The Frugal Innovation Lab in partnership with CSTS received a grant from Cisco to move forward with producing cloud-based mobile solutions, including a webinar for social enterprises to educate and engage entrepreneurs in thinking about potential solutions for their enterprises.
  • June Sugiyama, Director of the Vodafone Americas Foundation, was hosted by the Frugal Innovation Lab to discuss various projects relating to mobile technology solutions for theemerging world.
  • Radha Basu (Director of the Frugal Innovation Lab) was interviewed for an online video series being filmed by the Markkula Center about ethical issues concerning the Internet and emerging mobile technologies.
  • The Frugal Innovation Lab hosted Q-Bank to discuss potential project collaborations in conjunction with other universities and corporations worldwide.
  • Great story on FIL in SCU FYI;
  • Silvia Figueira (computer engineering) and Natalie Linnell (Math/CS) visited Community Technology Alliance in San Jose and started a collaboration to develop mobile apps for homeless individuals and low-income families. Silvia also started collaboration with social enterprise Maana Mobile to develop financial mobile apps for underserved communities in South Africa.
  • Unyoung (Ashley) Kim (bioengineering) and her students, Sammy Pontrelli and Ian Nova, presented their work “Novel Cellulose Paper Device Towards Affordable, Equipment-free, and Specific Detection of Bacterial Pathogens" at the 245th ACS National Meeting in New Orleans, LA. 
  • The Frugal Innovation Lab is rapidly expanding their collaboration with HP, allowing for mentorship opportunities for students working on projects with the Lab and generating project ideas for Senior Design of '13-'14.
  • The Frugal Innovation Lab is moving forward with a 3D printing partnership with Pravin Jain (engineering management), leveraging joint capabilities to encourage students to design in the context of this 'new' technology.
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    Articles that feature the Frugal Innovation Lab, and publications by FIL staff, teams, or faculty.

Frugal Innovation Lab |  Bannan Labs Building 404
500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053
1-408-554-2334 |