Frugal Biomedical Innovations


The Frugal Biomedical Innovations (FBI) Program is a multi-disciplinary initiative established to facilitate co-design, development and deployment of innovative medical technologies that improve healthcare access for patients in remote and low-resource contexts. 

FBI harnesses the principles of “frugal innovation” to accelerate research and education focused on frugal biomedical innovations that serve communities that need it most. This is made possible through the program’s three major pillars: 

Education                                                    thumbnailgroupshot.jpg

Enriching student experiential learning through practical training in frugal medical device design, prototyping and deployment in partner communities; providing a valuable competitive advantage for career advancement in the medical device industry.



Technology Development

Supporting advancement of frugal biomedical innovation to accelerate development and testing of prototypes for implementation and commercialization. 


Providing resources to help researchers understand healthcare needs in relevant contexts, develop partnerships with multinational medical device companies and cultivate linkages with teams in remote and low-resource settings to scale innovations.   

Impact: The FBI program aspires to advance medical prototype devices to field testing in partnership with collaborators and healthcare providers in Indigenous communities in remote locales in Canada and in under-resourced communities in Africa. 



FBI In the News:

Designing frugal medical devices among projects receiving Western strategic grants

Frugal Biomedical Innovations Info-session and Catalyst Grant

Need a walker? These Western University engineers have made it easier, cheaper to build your own

A microscope that makes diagnosing malaria easier and cheaper

CBC Radio: Print your own walker

Western students developing a low-cost, sustainable solution for diagnosing malaria

Western team creates open-source medicine autoinjector

Funding fuels medical technology

Collaboration is key for Frugal Biomedical Innovations program

Western backs biomedical innovations for remote and low-resource communities

Meet the innovators creating affordable tech for low-resource communities

Less is More

Bridging the 10/90 Gap Frugal Innovation

Margaret Mutumba turns advocacy into action 

Western Engineering Duo Secures Second Place at Canadian Engineering Competition

Western Engineering champions innovations in healthcare research


Research Opportunities:

Undergraduate Summer Research Projects

Catalyst Grant Application for Researchers


Interested in the Frugal Biomedical Innovations Program?

Fill out our Expression of Interest Form here! 

Contact Us:margaret-mutumba.png

Margaret Mutumba, MPH, PhD

Program Director


Phone: 519-661-2111 x.87125