REGIONS OF INNOVATION IN LATIN COUNTRIES

Built a Biotech Ecosystem in Guanajuato, Mexico

IIn 2008 Guanajuato’s Ministry for Sustainable Economic Development invited LatIPnet to design and implement the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Initiative (TTCI). This initiative has successfully operated along several lines of action in order to strengthen Guanajuato’s regional system of innovation and to generate economic development opportunities through technology licensing deals, strategic alliances, and start-up formation

LatIPnet has helped researchers at the National Polytechnic Institute’s Advanced Research and Studies Center (CINVESTAV), located in Irapuato, to license its technology and to initiate collaborative R&D projects with large companies leading the chemical and biotechnology sectors such as Pioneer/DuPont and BASF. Due to these efforts Pioneer/DuPont signed a multimillion dollar research collaboration agreement with CINVESTAV.

LatIPnet team worked with researchers across Guanajuato to help them obtain international patents for their discoveries. LatIPnet helped identify, draft and register in the United States Patent and Trademark Office 13 patents in several scientific specialties, including agro-bio, nanotechnology, new materials and education. Additionally, 3 patents were registered internationally through the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

LatIPnet has organized several encounters where researchers, businessmen, and government officials from Guanajuato have been able to meet leading researchers and executives working in prestigious organizations from around the world. These encounters have included representatives from global companies such as CISCO, DuPont, HP, and BASF as well as researchers from the prestigious research center SRI International. Through these encounters actors in the state of Guanajuato have been able to learn about global technology and market trends, generating valuable deals and partnerships.

Instrumental in the launching several technology-based companies in global markets.

LatIPnet has been actively involved with the launching of several technology-based companies with high potential in global markets. It is expected that these companies will serve as catalysts in the development of new technologies and new companies in both the biotech and nanotech sectors, propelling the regional economy towards high value-added economic activities. Among them are:

Brinergy: innovative water technology solutions.

Simply Agave: integrated value chain of agave sweetener.

StelaGenomics: rational, eco-friendly control of weeds for modern high-yield agriculture.

These companies have been privately funded and have offices and facilities in Mexico and in the United States. StelaGenomics has hired over 20 researchers and recent graduate professionals in Mexico and Argentina and has been awarded the prestigious Gates Foundation Award. Simply Agave is already a profitable company and has extensively expanded in the US. Brinergy has been established in Spain, and is jointly developing and testing water technologies with collaborators in the US from Stanford University, Lawrence Livermore National Labs, NASA and several innovative water companies based in California such as Aquas Technologies and zNano.

Aligned the Regional Economy of the Canary Islands, Spain, with Global Technological Trends.

The Canary Islands, a Spanish territory located off the west coast of Africa, were particularly affected by the global economic crisis. The economic downturn had a great impact on the regional economy which is heavily dependent on the 10 million tourists that visit the Islands each year. Regional leaders decided to take advantage of this difficult situation to redefine the economic course of the Islands and promote projects that would allow them to participate more actively in the knowledge economy. In the last few years the Islands have acquired significant research and development capabilities in several fields. They house two universities, oceanographic institutes, agriculture research centers, and one of the most important astrophysics institute in the world thanks to the clarity of the Islands’ skies. In this context regional leaders decided to align their economy with the global technology and market trends, with the goal of promoting new knowledge-intensive companies with products and services that can be easily scaled to global markets.

To support the efforts of the regional leaders, LatIPnet helped the University of La Laguna and the local business chamber to organize a series of four videoconference sessions with global experts in several technological fields and industries. Around 200 people participated in each conference in the series, including researchers from local universities, local businessmen and the general public.

The conferences presented first-hand accounts of R&D efforts and regional economic development in Silicon Valley and explored business opportunities in the following fields:

  • Information and communication technologies.
  • Biotechnology.
  • Cleantech.

This activity helped to raise awareness about the need to redirect the economic course of the Islands and to define a shared strategic vision and actions. In particular, two startup accelerators are launched in Canary Islands in 2015 with leading global collaborators, the Smart-Space Accelerator based in Tenerife, and the Smart-Water Accelerator based in Gran Canaria.