Emerging Technology Innovation Poles
Chapter 4: Mexico: The Challenge to Create Regional Innovative Environments
INTRODUCTION Mexico, as an industrializing nation, faces significant challenges in its efforts to develop successful innovative environments. This chapter begins with a review of the historical perspective that reveals the creation of scientific and technological capabilities as well as missed opportunities and numerous obstacles which have hampered the country in attaining its full potential, and shows that even those already acquired capabilities have disappeared in some cases. This is followed by an analysis of the country’s existing national innovation system (NIS) which provides convincing evidence that technologybased firms (TBFs) and research centers (RCs) are the main agents for promoting innovation. These two types of institutions have ties to the educational system and the complementary hybrid organizations that function as sources of knowledge and expertise, and they serve as bridges to the production sector. In spite of their critical role, the public incentives that have been enacted to encourage and support these institutional elements have not been adequate to offset the financial risks inherent in supporting innovation. The science park and technology incubator mechanisms that were supported by government policies during the 1990s were not sustained, and as a consequence, by the year 2000, Mexico had only one science park and six incubators left, all in a relatively precarious state of operation. This study has identified six knowledge regions or technology innovation poles (TIPs) that span several areas of the country. In order to facilitate comparisons of these six TIPs with the selected US and Canadian cases, they have been consolidated...
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