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We travel across the globe and meet the people behind the most fascinating environmental, health and technological innovations in a bid for sustainable solutions to our changing world. Every other Sunday at 8.40 pm.

DOWN TO EARTH

DOWN TO EARTH

Latest update : 2014-05-29

India: Universe of frugal innovation

When India launched its first missile bound for Mars last November, the endeavour was considered as much a financial accomplishment as a technical milestone. The Indians had somehow managed to keep the cost of the mission to 55 million euros, or one-tenth of the price paid by American space agency NASA a few weeks later.

This kind of low-cost solution is an example of a growing trend in India that has become known as ‘frugal innovation’ or in other words ‘doing more with less’. It often involves technological or engineering ideas with the unnecessary frills stripped out.

This week Down to Earth heads to the Indian state of Gujarat to follow Professor Anil Gupta. He has been travelling across the country for more than 20 years in search of unsung innovators who have found creative, affordable solutions to local problems. His Honey Bee Network is renowned for connecting grassroots entrepreneurs and bringing their inventions to the world.

By Mairead DUNDAS , Marina BERTSCH , Juliette LACHARNAY , Johan BODIN , Anna-Gaëlle Brault

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Archives

2014-09-21 environment

Global warming: A drowning planet

Rising sea levels are an inevitable consequence of global warming. Scientific research indicates that sea levels worldwide have been rising at a rate of 0.14 inches (3.5...

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2014-06-22 water

Microplastics: The planet's tiny threat

Tiny plastic particles, barely visible, are infecting the world's sea and oceans, where they're being eaten by fish and other aquatic species before making their way up the food...

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2014-06-09 technology

Biomimicry: Hacking nature

Biomimicry is the science of mimicking life. Have millions of years of evolution churned out all the answers?

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2014-05-25 technology

Japan: Robots that care

This week, Down to Earth explores Japan's efforts to embrace robots to fill the gap left by a growing shortage of manpower.It's no secret that Japan is facing a demographic...

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2014-05-11 Sustainable development

Japan: Fukushima fallout

It's more than three years since an earthquake and tsunami crippled Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant and authorities are still battling to contain the fallout.

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