A Point of Contact for Software and IT Investment in MexicoBy Jan Hogewoning | Mon, 01/11/2021 - 09:41
Q: How do you help IT companies build their presence across the country?
A: The council was founded in 2006. The vision was to be the representative body of regional IT clusters. At the moment, there are 22 IT clusters in the country and each is represented in the council. We have a horizontal rather than a hierarchical structure, with every member having equal participation. The council’s role is to be the interlocutor between the different IT clusters and represent the IT sector before the Ministry of Economy, various industry chambers and the national media.
We constantly promote IT developments and strengthen the sector at a national level. The council, through its participating clusters, has almost 800 registered tech companies as well as 425 other companies. These registered associates have their services and products verified by third parties. The idea is that we can showcase the abilities of the Mexican IT sector. We help bring these services and products to the market through a platform called Digital Services Mx. This is not just for associates of all the clusters that we represent. It is also populated with companies from the Mexican Association for IT Industries (AMITI). The platform makes use of geo-localization, which allows users to see where they can find products and services. With this platform, we try to stimulate the adoption of IT technologies in different sectors and different states of the country. There are technology and digital transformation solutions for all nontech sectors, including micro businesses. The council also has alliances with large tech companies, such as SAP, Cisco and KIO. They keep us updated with the latest trends in solutions and products so our associated companies can work with that.
Q: What particular technologies are at the base of innovations in the Mexican IT sector?
A: There are 17 centers of industrial innovation integrated with IT clusters around the country. For example, the innovation center in Nuevo Leon is focused on artificial intelligence and it is developing products and service models based on this technology. Other regions have a focus on IoT, blockchain, Industry 4.0 or other technologies. In Colima, there is an innovation center geared specifically toward innovation in agro-tech. Regional clusters are seeking mutual collaboration to strengthen their innovation efforts.
Q: What is your relationship with the government?
A: The government today is like an enabler of connections. For example, we had a meeting with the Confederation of Industrial Chambers (CONCAMIN) that the Ministry of Economy helped us set up. In many ways, the Ministry of Economy plays an important role in connecting strategic sectors and players.
Q: What alliances do you have with organizations overseas?
A: The council actively seeks collaboration with clusters abroad. We have an alliance with Pro Peru, a cluster in Peru. In Colombia, we have a very interesting alliance with a network of clusters. We have a relationship with a cluster in Costa Rica and others in the US, in San Diego and Arizona.
Q: What role does the council play in attracting foreign investment?
A: Most foreign investors who want to know more about IT in Mexico are referred to us. We let them know what each region has to offer. For example, two months ago, a company was deciding whether to settle in Queretaro, Guanajuato or Aguascalientes. We connected them with the Ministers of Economic Development in each state and through collaboration with different agents, the ministries were able to showcase their states. Ultimately, the company chose Aguascalientes. The council acts as a way to connect investors with opportunities.
The National Cluster Council mxTI (Consejo Nacional de Clústers mxTI) represents 22 regional IT and software clusters in Mexico. The council helps to connect IT with other sectors and aims to foster collaboration in innovation.