The significance of co-creation design in ASPIRE Project Collaboration

“The co-creation model is necessary to innovate because it facilitates the adoption process and increases the relevance of the addressed challenges”

Elizabeth Hoffecker, Principal Co investigator of ASPIRE

During the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s visit to Guatemala, members of Universidad del Valle (UVG) had the opportunity to interview Elizabeth Hoffecker, Principal Co investigator of the Achieving Sustainable Partnerships for Innovation, Research and Entrepreneurship (ASPIRE) project. Hoffecker shared her enthusiasm for this project which aims to link academia with innovation and entrepreneurship projects with global impacts.

Hoffecker stated that the collaboration between MIT and UVG started before the project, since both institutions participated in a co-creation design summit back in 2017 at Sololá, Guatemala. “When USAID made the call for co creation projects, we had this collaboration experience, so when we reviewed the world list of universities we have worked with, UVG was at the top of the list as the best positioned and ready for this type of projects”.

When asked about the importance of the co-creation methodology, which is essential for the ASPIRE project, the academic indicated that in order to innovate, it is necessary to involve the end user and interested parties from the conception of the problem, to increase adoption and guarantee that the proposal is useful and meets local requirements.

Finally, she highlighted the need to have results of the diagnostics of the UVG innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems that are currently being carried out, and will be available as of September 2022, in order to understand the current strengths, assets and challenges to define the strategy and priorities for the next four years of the ASPIRE project.

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