Francisco Urrutia de la Torre
Research, innovation and engagement transfrormations at ITESO, the Jesuit University in Guadalajara, Mexico
ITESO the Jesuit University in Guadalajara, Mexico, has been transforming itself in order to build research, innovation and engagement agendas, and aiming new ways of organizing institutional life, problem-solving collaboration and society-building. A recent example of this transformation was the creation of ITESO’s Center for High-Impact Social Innovation, where our University leads the work of five research centers so as to contribute with enterprises, government and non-governmental organizations in order to face social and societal challenges. Another example are projects such as “Zero-hunger in Jalisco”, where ITESO has applied social innovation approaches to expand the impact of the food-banks, which benefit around 100 thousand people living below the breadline, in collaboration with 80 researchers and students from ITESO, Tec de Monterrey and the Jalisco Research and Technological Assistance Center. A third project is “Clean water and agroecology”, which includes the joint effort of ITESO and two federal research centers towards the design, construction and social build-up of alternatives for the sustainable management of sewage water. Governmental support allowed ITESO to double its income for research and engagement projects from 2016 to 2018. More important than income has been these projects’ contribution to the increment of the University’s public value, in terms of the social and environmental benefits of investment in science, technology and social innovation activities. This increment will prove to be financially sustainable in the long-term if ITESO keeps up government and foundations’ collaboration with its academic and engagement efforts.