The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s D-Lab, the Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC), and the Centre for Integrated Research and Community Development Uganda (CIRCODU) to host an International Development Design Summit for cookstoves innovation in East Africa. The summit that started on 1st to 19th August 2016 was an intense, three-week, hands-on design experience to co-create and improve technologies to address the health and environment challenges faced by the three billion people who cook food with traditional cookstoves or open fires.

IDDS Cookstoves brought together participants from East African countries with user-centered, design and innovation expertise, research and development findings, manufacturing know-how. Participants worked with testing facilities like CREEC, as well as engaged with local communities and cookstove users to aid the design process, which is informed by feedback on both performance and usability of the stoves.

iddsParticipants of the summit posing with the US Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac

“As a supervisor and CEO of my enterprise I am now so much better informed on how cookstove testing is done,” said Betty Ikalany, CEO of Appropriate Energy Saving Technologies (AEST) Limited Uganda. “Attending the Summit has helped put me in a better position to better support my team, and I’m already exploring new ideas to redesign and improve the performance of my company’s cookstove.”

This was an opportunity for CREEC to train participants on how to develop scalable technologies that are high performing, affordable and designed to meet user needs.  This workshop also helped catalyze an innovative mindset, so stove entrepreneurs like Betty and others see opportunities to improve their technologies and processes.

Throughout the Summit, participants worked closely with local community members to learn more about how challenges in Kampala may be addressed with low-cost technologies and systems. From that knowledge, participants built and tested different cookstove prototypes to address problems presented by the community. At the close of the summit, the prototypes were shared with the community for further use and testing.The closing ceremony of the Summit took place at the Kulika Training Centre with the U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac as the guest of honour.

With state of the art laboratories, CREEC will continue to test various prototypes as they continue to undergo improvement.Participants will also continue to have access to networks, training, and funding opportunities to continue the innovation through the IDIN Network.

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