Queretaro state has emerged as a model in Mexico and the world for the triple helix model of innovation and development. Over the last 40 years, this model has made it possible for Queretaro to achieve some of the highest levels of consistent growth in the country (4% in recent years), consolidate seven industrial clusters in diverse industries, and develop the infrastructure, safety, and quality of life to attract over US$17.3 billion in foreign direct investment from 1999 to 2019. One example of the synergy created through this model is in the aerospace industry, where Queretaro has successfully leveraged its foundation over 50 years of industrial culture to catapult the state to the forefront of the sector in Mexico.

What is the triple helix model, and how has it been implemented in Queretaro?

Known as the triple helix model of innovation, the concept refers to the coordinated efforts between academia (educational institutions), industry, and the government to promote economic and social development. It establishes a framework where the traditional roles of each entity begin to overlap and complement one another in a way that lifts society as a whole.

On the one hand, government plays the role of organizer, creating the proper conditions and infrastructure to allow for development and providing incentives for training programs and specialized schools. On the other, business and academia work together to develop programs that provide students with the specific skills and knowledge to meet industry needs.

aerospace manufacturing industry in Mexico

To do this, training institutions carry out industry-specific skills needs analyses, then build study plans based on these. Business also benefits significantly from the technology, innovation, and human talent solutions academia can provide, creating further synergy and advancement. These strong ties that have been developed over the decades have established the basis for a knowledge society in Queretaro, allowing for the growth and strengthening of the community and the international companies in Mexico operating in the state.

This is especially key in the aerospace manufacturing industry in Mexico, which needs highly specialized personnel. Thanks to the triple helix model, Queretaro has established an aerospace cluster that generates over 10,000 jobs in the state and enables it to offer a wide variety of complex industrial processes for the over 80 companies currently operating in the state in the sector. Among these  aerospace companies in the State are 2 OEMs, 26 tier 1 and 2 companies, 5 MROs, and five special processes centers supported by 12 research centers and seven specialized academic institutions. The alliances created by the triple helix model in the aerospace industry alone have resulted in a 200% growth in the sector from 2006 to 2016.

Other industries that have also benefitted from this model include the automotive industry in Mexico, which makes up 34.4% of the state’s manufacturing GDP and has created over 70,000 jobs in this sector. Another sector where this has been key is in Industry 4.0, with companies including GE and Continental developing and using cutting edge technologies such as industrial internet, autonomous vehicles, and vehicle software.

automotive industry in Mexico

The state is also a leader in productivity, producing $241 pesos per hour compared to the national average of $162, allowing it to reach an average GDP growth of 5.3% in 2019 and the second-highest average yearly GDP growth from 2011-2019. All this has also made it a leading state in quality of life, with a thriving international community, wide offering of leisure activities, including 2 polo clubs, 12 country clubs, 5 luxury malls, and 10 golf courses. It also has excellent healthcare, with over 38 private hospitals, 4 general public hospitals, and a variety of specialty centers.

The state of Queretaro offers a unique advantage to companies needing specialized personnel, not only in aerospace but also in other sectors, including home appliances and automotive manufacturing in Mexico. For companies looking to start up operations in Mexico, a provider of shelter services, such as American Industries, can help analyze the benefits of this region and others and provide cost estimates to find out how to best leverage economic and human resources through these synergies and relationships.


By Jorge Baca | Queretaro Regional Director | American Industries Group®
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