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Triple-Helix Industrial Clusters and Social Progress

By Pedro Gracia González - Industrial Cluster of Aguascalientes


By Pedro Gracia González | President - Wed, 06/08/2022 - 13:00

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A society is made up of diverse public and private sectors, which contribute to the complete development of society, hence the importance of the implementation of a cluster under the triple-helix scheme private sector or industry, university, and government that together enrich a common project, resulting in the generation of employment, talent development, and the vision for sustainable development in the state and the region.  

In 2020, even during the global crisis, the Aguascalientes Industrial Cluster emerged as a vision of business leaders, entrepreneurs, and the State Secretary of Economic Development who understood the dynamics of the newly created "Central-Bajío-Occidente Alliance," where all its members, except Aguascalientes, had well-structured and representative clusters from the entire industry, including OEMs and Tier 1, 2 and 3 companies, that allow them to attract opportunities and growth to companies and the state economy.

Clusters have the objective of increasing collaboration and linkage between companies and institutions, generally bringing together a group of industries and other companies as suppliers, distribution channels, and services. The interesting thing about the Aguascalientes Industrial Cluster is that it is not only made up of companies from the same industrial sector but also the automotive, aerospace, biomedical, logistics, information technology and innovation, as well as universities and institutions of professional and technical education, and the government of the state, which is represented by the secretary of economic development. Together, they build a vision that allows the provision of common objectives, generating synergy to address the challenges and opportunities that arise. This is called a triple helix.

The importance of the Industrial Cluster of Aguascalientes becomes more relevant in the framework of the "Aguascalientes Plan 2045," in which economic development is a priority of the strategic objectives, specifically in point No. 5 in the “Industrial Cluster” section and influencing points 6, 7 and 8 in the "Investment and Employment" "Logistics Center" and "Economy" sections.

One of the challenges has been the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, where the associates' transnational companies of the Cluster shared their protocols with the state government and other local companies to generate a unique contingency plan, which made it possible to re-establish the supply chain as soon as possible. As a consequence, it was possible to avoid further damage to the economy of the industry and avoid larger personnel cuts. Later in the pandemic, and collaboratively, vaccination days were carried out within the companies to guarantee the protection of employees, saving time in transportation and reducing absences, the consequences of which affect plant productivity. A total of 53,230 first doses, 100,620-second doses, and 140,550 booster doses were administered.

working with talented and busy people, due to their management positions, it is important to have a good organization, which is the reason projects in the Cluster are divided into seven committees:

1) Talent: with the objective of promoting the tools that ensure the organizational development of the companies that make up the Cluster, with the aim of generating trained human talent, which allows them to respond optimally to the challenges, based on the synergy generated by the three axes of the cluster. A study on the accuracy of careers with the real needs of the industry is currently being developed, for universities and industries seek to achieve relevance between careers and company demands since many graduates are not qualified for the sector they may end up working in. Through some modifications to the curricula, the real demand for attitudes and skills can be met, especially by highlighting soft skills, such as oral and written communication, problem-solving, and time management.  

2) Innovation: leading the exploration capacity of the companies in the search, identification, development, and implementation of new ways of doing things.

Developing together tools and methodologies that allow continuous improvement, in 4 strategic lines: Planet Sustainability and Environment, Industry 4.0, New Technologies Incubator and Information Observatory, and Development of New Products.

3) Supplier development: whose objective is to develop and consolidate the industrial ecosystem of Aguascalientes and the region, sustainably raising the level of competitiveness of its supply chain, preferably the chain of our State, through shared principles and values such as continuous improvement.

4) Conscious leadership: to promote transcendence through collaboration so that companies can obtain the “Great place to work” or “ESR” Certification, Institutionalization, Congruence, and alignment in the code of ethics and Increase openness to tenders between Partners.

5) Globalization: to manage the union with national and international organizations and institutions that participate in the business ecosystem, which represents a mutual competitive advantage for the members of the Cluster. Under the strategic lines of Identity, vocation and Branding, Alliances, Participation, and Support.

6) Technical and legal: To design high-impact projects and analyze the problems of the state and the region to make innovative proposals to the government and bring together the private sector to promote growth opportunity objectives.

7) Infrastructure: to identify the topics of interest, common and necessary with respect to the infrastructure that is needed to carry out present and future operations in an optimal, efficient and effective manner.

Drawing on the “Cluster Role in Industry 4.0 – A Pilot Study From Germany,” Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal incorporating the Journal of Global Competitiveness concludes that [1]“clusters offer conducive environments facilitating the emergence, testing and development of Industry 4.0-specific solutions. To sustain the support of its partners, the Cluster’s orchestrator must maintain an appropriate balance between value creation and value capture. [2]“They provide a favorable knowledge environment, simplify and increase the efficiency of the business processes and organize the policymaking in this area.” In a post-pandemic knowledge-based economy, success may lie in distributed ecosystems of complementary firms cooperating for the common good.

In conclusion, the triple-helix industrial clusters are crucial to establishing alliances and commercial synergies, innovation through competitiveness, analysis and actions for talent development, and the creation of new companies or products that always lead the city or region to exponential development in a positive way.

[1] Götz, Marta. (2020). Cluster role in industry 4.0 – a pilot study from Germany. Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal. ahead-of-print. 10.1108/CR-10-2019-0091.

[2] Götz, Marta. (2020). Cluster role in industry 4.0 – a pilot study from Germany. Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal. ahead-of-print. 10.1108/CR-10-2019-0091.

Photo by:   Pedro Gracia González

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