Ugani improves low-cost prosthetics for developing countries via Innovation Boosting project

Ugani improves low-cost prosthetics for developing countries via Innovation Boosting project

Ugani Prosthetics is a Flemish social startup whose mission is to bring down the prices of prosthetics. This makes them more broadly accessible for people in low-income countries. Lean management, supply chain optimization, frugal innovation, and digitalization are some of the techniques used to accomplish this goal.


A prosthetic consists of several components. At the bottom, there is an artificial foot, followed by a connector, a shin pylon, another connector, and then the socket, which is the connection with the residual limb. Ugani already improved the socket by using 3D technology, scanning the limb and then 3D printing a custom socket. This technique lowered the price and the delivery time while increasing the comfort for the patient.

Next up was the shin tube with its connectors on both sides. Today, these are sold by many international players at prices ranging from hundreds to thousands of euros. After some early brainstorming within the Ugani team, they called on the expertise of Flanders Make to help out in the further development in an Innovation Boosting project, supported by the VLAIO (Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship) grants.


Ugani got in contact with our coworkers from Flanders Make@VUB, specializing in the design, innovation, and development of human-robot interactions in general, while also applying this knowledge in prosthetic devices. This was a good fit with Ugani to further develop the prototype from their 30 years of experience.

As our engineers started sifting through existing research, the Ugani team left for Benin to better understand the local needs and production environment.

Innovation Boosting

This success concludes the Innovation Boosting project we did together with Ugani, but we are already looking forward to the next steps. Innovation Boosting is an initiative of Flanders Make with financial support of VLAIO to support companies with activities in Flanders in the execution of their innovative ideas. Through a feasibility study, Flanders Make helps companies to obtain better founded insights into the possibilities and feasibility of an innovation envisioned by the customer. The focus of such a short trajectory is on preparatory research and possibly on testing. In a later follow-up trajectory, the idea can be further developed into a working product or process. 

Interested in an Innovation Boosting traject?

Are you interested in the Innovation Boosting principle? Then be sure to contact us and we will look at the possibilities together!

Dennis Janssen, Communication Officer

Dennis Janssen is a Communication Officer at Flanders Make. With a broad fascination for technology and science, he gladly delivers interesting news from inside the research centre.