Strength in Numbers for Technology DevelopmentFri, 09/01/2017 - 15:10
Q: How is CIDETEQ growing its infrastructure to support more projects oriented to the automotive industry?
A: CIDETEQ is growing at an accelerated pace, both in number of projects and infrastructure dedicated to research in electrochemistry. We have several technological specialties that are recognized worldwide and which are internationally competitive. These have allowed us to participate in the automotive and aerospace industries, as well as the food sector and in water-treatment operations.
We inaugurated new facilities in April 2017, which represent an addition of 1,200m2 to our existing infrastructure. These 14 new laboratories will surely be an added advantage for our operations in the automotive sector because they will boost our capacity to accept new projects. We have designed our new laboratories in a way that will foster interaction between students from different majors, boosting creativity in the development of new solutions for the industry. Our goal is to eliminate all work barriers among research groups so all our researchers can actively participate in technology development for the automotive industry.
Q: CIDETEQ is working on new compressing technologies for hydrogen applications. What automotive applications do you foresee?
A: Nanomaterial science is becoming more relevant each day in different science and research areas. Scientists working on electricity generation through fuel cells are no strangers to this condition. At CIDETEQ, we are working on the development of new nanomaterials with unique properties that will allow us to use industrial waste as fuel to generate clean electricity.
This and other technologies must evolve from joint efforts between the public and private sectors. There are already automotive companies working to produce hydrogen fuel cells on a mass scale to power their own products in the future.
Q: What development plans does CIDETEQ have for the recently established inerTec OTT office?
A: The new Technology Transfer Office inerTec OTT brings together seven R&D centers: CIATEC, CIATEQ, CIDESI, CIDETEQ, CINVESTAV, CIQA and COMIMSA. This initiative has the goal of generating wealth and value through the collaboration of its participants. The idea is to have an open innovation program that combines the experience and complementary knowledge from these centers to develop 179 solutions with a high-technological transfer potential. This is a novel work model in Mexico. The end goal of the OTT office is to consolidate a wider technological offer in the country and offer advanced solutions to potential clients.
Q: How involved will this new R&D conglomerate be in innovation projects for the automotive industry?
A: Our priority now is to consolidate this new effort and build our capabilities to be prepared for the future. All R&D centers must work with decisiveness and intelligence on joint projects under a consortium scheme, which in the end will allow us to strengthen the competitiveness of automotive companies participating in all levels of the production chain. In the end, this will have a positive impact on the country’s economic development and the substitution of auto part imports. This project is the first real effort from CONACYT to develop an integrated R&D center network and it is a stepping stone toward a brighter future for Mexico in research activities. inerTec OTT will also boost intellectual property activities by offering consulting in areas related to confidentiality, as well as registry and protection.
Q: How will inerTec boost technological development and integration among local companies?
A: We visualize many advantages for local companies that will result in more and better technology-development projects. We want to have a closer relationship with the manufacturing sector, offering the knowledge and imagination of our researchers to improve products and processes. Companies must understand that innovation is a constant activity that allows them to maintain a competitive position in the market.