for the Future investing in World-Class Innovation Centers
With the arrival of the first maquila companies to Ciudad Juarez in the 1960s, the city quickly went from a border town famous for its nightlife, bars, and tourism, to the capital of Mexico’s manufacturing industry. Juarez has long been recognized internationally for its highly qualified workforce, not only in light manufacturing production but also in various technical, engineering (supervision and design), and management roles. Today, it is looking towards the future by investing in world-class research and development centers established by private companies and academic institutions.
As one of the main attractors of foreign investment to the area, American Industries Group works with private companies, government, and academia in establishing and investing in R&D centers where countless patents have been developed and registered that have revolutionized automotive manufacturing in Mexico and the world, as well as medical devices, IT and textile industries, among others. It has also collaborated with the Chihuahua State Government on a new program known as “Chihuahua Futura.” This initiative focuses on development and investment in four main sectors: electro-mobility; industry 4.0; agro-industry and high-value agro-industrial products; as well as habitat and quality of life.
Three main research, development, and innovation centers are leading the efforts to pursue these goals to create a more diverse, sophisticated, and competitive economy in the region: the Center for Innovation and Integration of Advanced Technologies (CIITA), Artificial Intelligence Center (CIA), and the Spark, Innovation and Technological Development Park.
Founded with an initial investment of MXN 240 million, the Center for Innovation and Integration of Advanced Technologies (CIITA) aims to conform an innovation ecosystem based on direct binational ties and collaboration to carry out projects for clusters and companies located in the region known as Borderplex, which includes the border towns of El Paso, Texas, Las Cruces, New Mexico and Ciudad Juarez. The center is a driver for vertical and horizontal integration, the establishment and development of medium and high tech Mexican companies, and the attraction of foreign investment.
The mission of the Artificial Intelligence Center is to develop educational, innovation, and entrepreneurial programs of study and projects focused on generating applied knowledge by leveraging artificial intelligence technologies to promote competitiveness and increase quality of life in the region by forming ties between industry, academic, public and social sectors. Some of its main projects focus on smart farming, climate intelligence, Industry 4.0, designing and developing devices using technology such as Internet of Things (IoT), strategic skills for Society 5.0, and cybersecurity.
The Spark Technology Park is located in the northern area of Chihuahua city founded as a space for establishing a business ecosystem where companies can share knowledge and innovation. The goal is to increase competitiveness in the state and city of Ciudad Juarez on both a national and international level with facilities that will have space for up to 4,000 engineers to work once construction on the first phase is completed. This innovative megaproject represents an opportunity for local and international industry to establish technology transfer offices in various areas, including embedded software and packages, the Internet of Things (IoT), engineering and design, and the development of mobile device applications.
These three research, development, and innovation centers, which unite the forces and interests of many industries and economic sectors, are transforming Ciudad Juarez’s economy and increasing its productive capacities. They will also generate better-paying jobs and increase competitiveness in the areas of technology and knowledge, placing Ciudad Juarez on the international map. With the support of the community, academia, and public and private organizations, it has evolved from being based on tourism, to the maquila industry, and with these centers is now poised to be at the forefront of technology with its future-froward focus, offering talent not only for manufacturing processes but knowledge-based labor.
By Juan Iván Álvarez Chabre | Cd. Juarez Regional Director | American Industries Group®
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