STORY INLINE POST
The region of El Bajio in Mexico, comprising mainly (depending on the source) the states of Queretaro, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi and Aguascalientes, has attracted a fair share of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in recent decades. In recent weeks, Holland House Mexico, recognizing the relevance and potential of the region for Dutch companies, organized its first event in Queretaro. There are already many Dutch companies installed in the state, but there’s a lot of room for growth and this trend is expected to continue in the near future.
The topic of the event was Strategies for the Triple Helix link in Queretaro, with the goal of bringing together representatives of the state government and local academic institutions, as well as representatives of our members in the Bajio region, to share the programs and initiatives that have been put in place to support the development and establishment of a thriving business environment.
At HHM, we are convinced that cooperation between government, academia and private companies is crucial. The triple helix model appeared during the 1990s because “The need was felt for a broad multi-faceted relationship between organizations, to carry innovation forward and bring new products to market in the stringent international competitive climate of the ‘90s.” .
During the event, we had the participation of representatives from the Ministry of Sustainable Development (SEDESU). Driven by an environmentally focused approach, SEDESU Queretaro has the main objective of making Queretaro an equitable, sustainable, competitive economy based on innovation. For this reason, the efforts of this dependency intend to achieve its mission through four strategic axes: investment attraction, regional development, support for Queretaro companies, and financial education. All actions are carried out within a sustainability framework, as can be seen with the inclusion in the Development Program for the State of Queretaro Sustainable Goals (44 and 45), with the objective of moving the state toward a circular economy and lowering carbon emissions. SEDESU is among the agencies implementing plans and decarbonization strategies in various economic sectors, along with a clear trajectory that establishes a goal of reducing Greenhouse Gases (GHG) in the long term and evaluates technologies, infrastructure and the investments that will be needed from the present to a specific moment in the future to achieve it.
The opening speaker was Genaro Montes Díaz, Deputy Minister of SEDESU, followed by Miguel León, Director of the Climate Change & Ecology Center - SEDESU Queretaro., Both representatives highlighted the importance of the collaboration between government and private companies to the development of Queretaro. Finally, Alejandro Sterling, Director of Industry Development at SEDESU Queretaro, mentioned that Dutch investment in the state of Queretaro this year alone has accounted for over MX$5 billion (US$275 million).
Understanding the importance of developing adequate programs and infrastructure to train Queretaro’s youth, the academic sector also took part in the event, with institutions of the state represented by the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Campus Queretaro and the Autonomous University of Queretaro (UAQ). The first speaker was Edgardo Pérez Hermosillo from the TEC. Perez Hermosillo talked about the challenges that universities in the 21st century face with the evolution of educational models and educational technologies, managing and understanding the needs of “digital native” students, renewing study programs with a focus on challenge-based learning and the development of multidisciplinary skills.
Alberto de Jesús Pastrana Palma, Director of Innovation at the UAQ, mentioned that, as the biggest university in the state, in 2018, the university decided to create the Innovation Directorate to support entrepreneurship projects by their students and to offer legal support in regard to intellectual property matters. According to some specialized sources, intellectual property rights (IPR), especially patents, help to increase innovation and technology diffusion. IPR protection helps firms to undertake R&D and recoup associated costs related to innovation. With this, UAQ is working toward incentivizing innovation in the state of Queretaro by offering to register patents with much more accessible fees.
Bringing together representatives from these three sectors to create synergies is in line with the main objectives of Holland House Mexico. We consider this event a first step in a new effort to continue organizing events in other states outside Mexico City to contribute to the development of strong ties between local governments, academic institutions and our members, incentivizing cooperation and network building.