Working with alumni from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jalisco’s Innovation Secretary is opening four high-tech laboratories in Guadalajara Mexico.
The “Internet of Things” is coming to Guadalajara Mexico.
The emerging technologies that let everyday objects talk to one another are the focus of one of four new laboratories that Jalisco’s Secretary of Innovation, Science and Technology Jaime Reyes Robles said is under development in the city. The labs, which are being launched with help from an alumni group from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will give Guadalajara entrepreneurs a place to test and fine tune their ideas and turn their creative visions into reality.
The alumni group has formed a Mexican non-profit company called the MIT Enterprise Forum México . It will have an office in Guadalajara’s Software Center, which is already home to many high-tech, innovative companies.
Guadalajara Into Internet of Things
As for the Internet of Things, it could allow surgeons to employ medical devices that provide information about a patient’s condition; items in stores could tell manufacturers exactly how much inventory is available; and shoppers could learn what food they have in their refrigerators even when they’re away from their homes.
“It’s connecting the physical world with the Internet,” said Jose Pacheco, a co-founder of MIT Enterprise Forum México. “I see this as having eyes all over the place.”
It might sound a little creepy, but it’s certainly where technology is headed. Reyes Robles said it represents the future, and Guadalajara wants to be a part of it.
Another of the labs Reyes Robles discussed, a center for rapid prototyping and advanced manufacturing, is already ready for use at the Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Zapopan after a 16-million-peso (US $1.2 million) investment.
The final two labs are one for large-scale data analysis and another for advanced genomics and synthetic biology. All are planned for creation by 2016.
Ricardo Godinez, also a co-founder of MIT Enterprise Forum México, said both he and Pacheco plan to stay closely involved with all four labs. Godinez and Pacheco’s Mexican company is a chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum, a global network that helps entrepreneurs find access to cutting edge technology and cash to get their ideas off the ground.
Through the enterprise forum, innovators around the world can build connections with businesses near the prestigious university. In turn, Boston-area entrepreneurs can collaborate with creative minds from around the world.
MIT Enterprise Forum México is the organization’s first chapter in the country, and it will provide a hub for entrepreneurs throughout Latin America. The chapter is unique, Godinez said, in that they actually formed a Mexican company in a representation of their commitment to the area.
Guadalajara has a robust ecosystem of innovators, with companies devoted to software and mobile application development, along with multimedia and animation studios. This creative environment led Godinez and Pacheco to pursue the location for the chapter. There are also many talented Mexican Americans in the United States who have an interest in building ties with entrepreneurs in their home country, Godinez said.
Reyes Robles expressed optimism that the presence of the MIT Enterprise Forum in Guadalajara will help smaller and medium sized tech companies thrive in the city. For such startups it can be difficult to get off the ground, put their ideas to the test, find investors and bring products to market.
The new labs will provide a way for them to build momentum behind their vision. When Reyes Robles talks about the progress his office has made with Godinez and Pacheco, his excitement is palpable. The Office of the Secretary of Innovation, Science and Technology is a new one—only recently put into place by Governor Aristóteles Sandoval—but it seems clear that Reyes Robles is eager to show that he’s ready to make a difference.
Dale Quinn is a freelance journalist based in Guadalajara, Mexico. He’s most recently written about technology, real estate and security issues faced by international companies. His work has appeared in The Financialist, an online magazine published by Credit Suisse, and in the Institutional Real Estate Inc.’s Americas letter. Before moving to Mexico, he worked as a business reporter for the Arizona Daily Star, where he covered the housing crisis in the wake of the financial meltdown.