Maria Pineda Escobar's PhD research aims to gain a better understanding of the pending question of the connection between frugal innovation and sustainability. In doing so she aims to specifically study small and medium local enterprises, which correspond to a sub-group of frugal innovation actors that has been largely overlooked by frugal innovation research.
Maria is a researcher and consultant specialized in issues related with innovation, inclusive business and sustainability in Base of the Pyramid (BoP) markets, with a particular focus in developing and emerging countries. She describes herself as a pracademic, being actively engaged with both academia and practice, and building bridges between both. For more than eight years she has been a full time researcher with the Faculty of Business, Management and Sustainability at Politecnico Grancolombiano University in Colombia. Maria is also a senior consultant with the Spanish “Centro de Alianzas para el Desarrollo” Global CAD and with CECODES, the Colombian chapter of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Additionally, Maria is a member of the National Committee of Inclusive Business of Colombia (CONNIC) and of the International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development experts network.
Maria has been visiting scholar with various universities across the world, including research stays in the Czech Republic, Canada, Germany and South Africa. Most recently she has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright visiting researcher scholarship to conduct a research stay with the Frugal Innovation Hub of Santa Clara University.