Frugal digital innovation

Changed on 06/11/2020

In a world where resources are becoming scarce and environmental pressure has reached its limits, innovating for a more sustainable world has become a necessity, especially in the digital sector.

application mobile Ambiciti : les téléphones captent le niveau du bruit ambiant et l’utilisateur a accès aux mesures prises pendant son trajet.
© Inria / Photo C. Morel


Whether relating to energy, time or capital, the frugal approach seeks to consider how we can make better use of digital technology and develop our ability to “do more with less,” while accelerating innovation.

At Inria, research teams have made the goals of energy transition and more frugal digital innovation a central part of their thinking. Although these digital tools are often seen as too resource-intensive and harmful to the environment, they also represent a tremendous opportunity, in particular AI, to help accelerate processes and energy optimization.

Whether used to rationalize the energy consumption of software and processors, develop optimization tools for complex database management or recover heat energy generated by data centres and inject it back into urban heating networks, frugal applications are wide-ranging and can have a meaningful impact.


At Inria, the research teams at Inria have integrated the objective of the energy transition and a more frugal digital environment at the heart of their thinking.


Isabelle Chrisment

Isabelle Chrisment (Resist project-team): forecasting energy needs

Mecsyco's simulation platform can be used to forecast future usage scenarios, and therefore the energy or infrastructure needs of an "intelligent" city, in order to choose the right equipment and make the necessary investments.

Romain Rouvoy

Romain Rouvoy (Spirals project-team): to reduce the energy consumption of software

At a time when datacentres now account for more than 10% of worldwide energy requirements, the question of software-specific consumption is more topical than ever. This is precisely the subject on which Romain Rouvoy, a lecturer and researcher in the Spirals project-team, has focused his research on reducing the energy consumption of software and frugal application design.

Other project-teams are working on the subject:

Airsea, Ange, Biocore, Cardamom, Clime, Eva, Lemon, Rits, Sage, Steep, Tosca