fumec annual report 2013

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This document of FUMEC presents 10 success cases of innovative Mexican companies that are gaining markets in niches with high growth potential such as: information technologies, health, manufacturing, biotechnology, mobiles and food; as well as successful cases of education for innovation in Mexico.


  • Annual Activities Report 2013

    Science, technologyand innovationfor development

  • 2014 The United States-MexicoFoundation for ScienceFundacin Mxico-Estados Unidospara la Ciencia

    San Francisco 1626 - 205,Colonia Del Valle, 03100, Mxico, D.F.Printed and made in Mexicowww.fumec.org

    Editorial Coordination: Rosario TaracenaEditorial Assistance: Jessica Borth, Eleane Prooand Yamania OlivDesign: Dinorah Mosqueda

  • Index

    1 Presentation

    2Innovation for


    3 New Binational


    4 Board of Governors

    5 Origins of FUMEC

    6 Message from the Chairman of the Board of Governors

    7 Message from the Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors

    8 Message from the CEO

    10 Business Support Programs

    17 Success Cases

    27 State Innovation Agendas

    28 Collaboration with Colombia

    30 MUSEIC

    32 FOBESII

    4 Education for


    5 Other Activities

    6 Complementary


    35 INNOVEC

    39 CECYTEQ

    42 Binational Collaboration in Health Care

    43 20 Anniversary of FUMEC

    44 Collaboration with the Mexican Academy

    of Sciences

    46 Directory

    47 Financial Information

    48 Offices

  • 6Warren J. BakerChairmanPresident Emeritus of the California Polytechnic State University

    Juan Silanes Vice-Chairman President of the Silanes Bioclon Institute

    Francisco Barns de CastroImmediate Past ChairCommissioner of the Energy Regulatory Commission

    Karl RggebergTreasurer

    Thomas BowlesExecutive Director at New Mexico Computing Applications Center

    Jos Luis Fernndez ZayasDirector of the Mexican Institute of Electrical Research

    William HarrisPresident and CEO of Science Foundation Arizona

    Silvia HernndezPresident-Associate of Public Strategy Consultants

    Board ofGovernors

    Cristina Loyo VarelaGeneral Director of the National Laboratory on Advanced Computer Science

    Nestor MontoyaAdvisoratthefinancialservicescompany TIAA-CREF

    Bernard RobertsonSenior Vice President at DaimlerChrysler Corp.

    Leopoldo RodrguezAdviser of various enterprises

    Cipriano SantosSenior Scientist at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories

    Mary WalshokAssociate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs at the University of California, San Diego

    Misael Uribe EsquivelPresident of the Board of Administration of Grupo Mdica Sur

    Guillermo FernndezSecretary of the BoardCEO of FUMEC

  • 7Origins of FUMEC

    The United States-Mexico Foundation for Science (FUMEC) is a non-gov-ernmental organization created during the preparations for the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement, through a binational agreement aimed at promoting and supporting science and technology collaboration between the two countries.

    The North American congressman, George E. Brown, Jr., played a key role in the formation and consolidation of FUMEC. As Chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology of the House of Representatives of the United States, Brown defended the need to strengthen binational ex-changes in these areas and took steps in the United States which yielded an initial contribution of close to 11 million dollars to integrate the Endowment Fund, an exceptional occurrence among the support that the US grants to non-governmental organizations.

    Congressman Brown was a tireless promoter of science and technology. After his death in 1999 he left an important legacy that was reflected in im-provements to United States science and technology programs highlighting collaboration with other countries in the field.

    Two important players for the formation of FUMEC were the scientific advisors to the Presidents of both countries, Guillermo Sobern Acevedo in Mexico and Alan Bromley in the United States, who were responsible for organizing work groups and ensuring a commitment from the two govern-ments to create the foundation, which was formally established as an organ-ism with legal status in the two countries from 1993.

    Continuing with the spirit of collaboration which distinguished the work of Congressman George E. Brown Jr., FUMEC seeks to be a coordinating body of binational efforts, through the identification of opportunities, cre-ation of synergies, integration of programs with goals of binational interest and the search for results in the areas in which it works.

    I believe our countries have a common destiny and scientific cooperation is part of that destiny.

    Congressman George E. Brown Jr.

  • 8FUMEC was created over 20 years ago and Congressman George E. Brown, Jr. was the prime mover for the development of FUMEC stating that our countries have a shared path and scientific cooperation is part of it.

    As FUMEC begins its third decade it is clear that what Congressman Brown believed then is still true. However, the world has changed signifi-cantly and the opportunities for FUMEC to foster cooperative initiatives in advanced engineering, technology development, innovation and entrepre-neurship are stronger than ever today. The cornerstones for success with these initiatives are education and research.

    In May 2013, Presidents Barack Obama and Enrique Pea acknowledged the importance of implementing bi-national programs and launched the Bilat-eral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research (FOBESII) and the Mexico-United States Council for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MUSEIC).

    FUMEC is playing an important role in both programs with three mem-bers of the Board of Governors co-chairing FOBESII Innovation and Technol-ogy Working Group, MUSEIC Technology Commercialization Sub Committee and providing leadership to expand the NSF Industry University Cooperative Research Initiative model fostering partnerships between our countries.

    These new programs emphasize the importance of education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as an essential element for economic development. STEM education is one of the areas of focus and expertise of FUMEC. The Foundation works cooperatively with other orga-nizations to promote successful STEM educational models from the United States in Mexico.

    The other key cornerstone to support economic development and global competitiveness is research. Through joint research and development programs FUMEC will foster innovation, entrepreneurship, increased com-mercialization of new technologies, joint ventures, and joint workforce devel-opment in scientific and technology fields in both Mexico and the US.

    2013 was an important year for the Foundation as it celebrated its twen-tieth anniversary in Mexico along with government officials, business leaders and other allies. I am proud to be part of FUMEC because it works coop-eratively to improve the quality of life. The excellent results achieved by the Foundation inspire us to continue promoting the application of science and technology to pave the way for improvements in health, education, the envi-ronment, and the economy.

    Sincerely, Warren Baker

    Message from the Chairman of the Board of Governors

  • 9The new framework for binational cooperation in competitiveness and in-novation that arose from the High Level Economic Dialogue between the presidents of Mexico and the United States in 2013 is especially important to FUMEC.

    In this scenario, particular importance is given to the binational produc-tion chains with which FUMEC already works, building partnerships with bodies such as the American Chamber and with American companies in sectors including information technologies, automotive, aerospace and health technologies, seeking to improve regional competitiveness in high value tech-nology, like software engineering and development.

    FUMEC is an organization which is recognized by both the Mexican busi-ness community and United States companies operating in Mexico. Its na-tional and international acceleration programs, TechPYME and TechBA, have helped many companies to integrate into regional innovation networks, and to acquire new capacities and relationships to become leaders in the coun-try's most productive sectors.

    Fur thermore, FUMEC's experience in CONACYT's State Innovation Agendas project is opening up new ways to work with state govern-ments, universities and the business community, gaining better insight into their needs to help them better ; but, above all, driving innovation at state and regional level so that the country's effor ts are converted into prosperity for all.

    We are very happy to see that the scope of FUMEC has been expanding, with the emergence of new prospects for bilateral collaboration, emphasizing competitiveness and seeking alliances between companies, universities and government.

    Sincerely,Juan Silanes

    Message from the Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors

  • 10

    Message from the CEO

    A few years after its creationduring the negotiations of the North Ameri-can Free Trade AgreementFUMEC started programs focused on promot-ing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, and on helping technology businesses to increase innovation and competitiveness in the region.

    These programs developed and opened the door for the Foundation to facilitate the creation of networks between government, industry, academy and civil society in Mexico, and also with organizations and companies from the United States and Canada. These networks are a major support in the new framework of binational collaboration established by the presidents of our countries through the High Level Economic Dialogue, particularly for the FOBESII and MUSEIC programs.

    In addition, in 2013 we faced important transformations in Mexico, such as the change in operating regulations of the National Entrepreneurs Insti-tute, which have meant adjustments to the TechPYME and TechBA programs. The new conditions have also opened fresh perspectives for the Microsys-tems program and our STEM education programs.

    During the year, we have further approached state governments, business organizations and universities from both countries, and we foresee a very promising outlook for the development of the Foundation and will work to adapt FUMEC strategies to the new circumstances, with the guidance and support of our Board of Governors.

    In this Report 2013, we present the success cases of companies, entrepre-neurs and projects in which FUMEC has been involved. These achievements are the result of the synergies with different organizations and the efforts of a great team of people who drive the Foundation's programs.

    Sincerely,Guillermo Fernndez de la Garza

  • Innovation for Competitiveness

  • 12

    Today, more than ever, the world economy is intimately tied to what happens in scientific and technological development. Today, more than ever, new ideas and our ca-pacity to make them a reality have an enormous potential for changing the lives of millions of people all over the planet, and improving national econo-mies.

    We live, unquestionably, in a knowl-edge economy, led by those countries which, for decades, have made driving innovation a priority, that is, the process of converting ideas into products and services to satisfy the needs of people, organizations and companies.

    We are already living in the inno-vation age, but in the case of North America, there is a sharp contrast be-tween what happens in Canada and

    the United States, countries with a long tradition of driving innovation, and what happens in Mexico, where there is still much ground to cover and where we still have to join forces for the so-called Mexican momentcharac-terized by the huge capture of foreign investment towards key industriesto help strengthen national institutions and mechanisms that support innova-tion for large, and particularly, small and medium-sized enterprises.

    FUMEC and the boost to innovative companies

    FUMEC is an organization that has worked for over 20 years to narrow the innovation gap that exists between Canada, the United States and Mexico.

    One of the environments in which the Foundation has achieved most success is the boost to small and me-dium-sized innovative enterprises in Mexico, through programs that lever-age the best practices of the United States and Canada, and are designed to detonate the potential of these compa-nies and help them to grow both inside and outside the country.

    The FUMEC programs targeted to technology SMEs have been rated by the Organization for Economic Coop-eration and Development (OECD) as best practices in several of their busi-ness support analyses in Mexico. The most recent is The Local Dimension of

    Today, the important thing is to innovate

    FUMEC has been successful in boosting innovative small and medium-sized enterprises in Mexico.

  • 13

    SME and Entrepreneurship Issues and Policies in Mexico, a document that highlights the acceleration services that FUMEC offers to Mexican SMEs, and its ties to international business sup-port programs.

    FUMECs business programs emerged just over 15 years ago, when the Foun-dation began to integrate the best ex-periences of supporting SMEs coming from the United States and Canada. These experiences were a valuable framework which has been enriched by working directly with the enterprises.

    In 2004, following an analysis of the best experiences of supporting inno-vative companies internationally, and together with the Mexican Ministry of Economy, we launched the Internation-al Technology Business Acceleration Program, TechBA, which has taken over 600 Mexican technology enterpris-es into international markets in its 10 years of operation.

    In parallel, the TechPYME National Acceleration and Boost to Innovation Networks program has identified and helped more than 1400 technology enterprises in state programs, help-ing them to consolidate a competitive value offer.

    The administrations of Presidents Vicente Fox and Felipe Caldern al-lowed the development of these pro-grams with resources so that enter-prises could receive FUMEC support and access specialized advice and inno-vation networks that enabled them to strengthen and grow. President Enrique Peas government marked a change in this dynamic and today it is the com-panies, associations and state govern-ments who must apply for support from the National Entrepreneurs Insti-tute (INADEM), which opens tenders,

    evaluates the proposals and allocates resources to the applicants.

    FUMEC has continued to work under this new scheme, helping com-panies, associations and state govern-ments to present their projects, many of which are already running. The Foundation also continues to collabo-rate with the states in local programs to support enterprises and drive local economies.

    FUMECs value proposal to companies

    FUMEC supports the growth of Mex-ican technology SMEs through four programs: TechPYME, TechBA, Mi-crosystems and a Food and Agri-Busi-ness Incubator, which provide help to evaluate the potential and opportuni-ties of companies, and develop with them their capacities, integral develop-ment, innovation and internationaliza-tion strategies.

    FUMEC offers companies access to innovation networks formed by actors who support their development, such as: clusters, business chambers, universi-

    TechBA has taken over 600 Mexican technology enterprises into international markets over its 10 years of operation.

  • 14

    ties, research centers and state and fed-eral government entities, among others. These networks facilitate the creation of business ecosystems where compa-nies can grow productively and innova-tively in their states, and at national and international level.

    FUMEC programs focus their work on strategic niches with the potential to generate new development opportuni-ties, as shown below.

    The strategy to drive and strengthen innovation networks and help compa-nies to enter or migrate towards stra-tegic niches with high growth potential,

    Strategic Niches Identified by FUMEC


    Medical devicesClinical trialsNew drugsHealth IT

    NutraceuticsManufacturing processes

    Embedded systemsFPGAS

    Cloud computingMobile technologiesMultimediaAdvanced manufacturing

    Advanced manufacturing

    Advanced manufacturingMaintenance and repairAirport services

    Clean technologies(air, water, soil)Alternative energies





    Health Technologies

    Food technologies



    has fostered the development of hun-dreds of SMEs which have learned to do business with a global outlook.

    TechPYME: National acceleration and driving of innovation networks

    As a national acceleration program, TechPYME identifies and helps Mexican technology companies with innovation potential to strengthen internal capaci-ties, support migration towards strate-gic niches, trigger innovation capacity and refine business strategies.

    In alliance with state governments and business associations and clusters, TechPYME promotes the integration of innovation networks and develops the capacities and potential of local tech-nology-business ecosystems related to the niches in which FUMEC works.

    The service this program provides to businesses covers the evaluation of their potential and needs, coordination with training specialists and the applica-tion of business tools such as, cash flow, technology roadmaps, development or redefinition of business plans, certifi-cation assistance, intellectual property guidance, analysis of opportunities, and the preparation of innovation projects, among other services. The TechPYME work model is shown below.

    During 2013, the program contin-ued its work to strengthen technolo-gy-business ecosystems collaborating with different players to create produc-tive environments for companies.

    One example is the collaboration which TechPYME maintains with the Mexiquense Council for Science and Technology (COMECYT) to support companies from the State of Mexico in

    TechPYME has identified and assisted more than 1400 technology enterprises, helping them to consolidate a competitive value proposition.

  • 15

    TechPYME Service Model

    sectors such as: food, health, automo-tive, information technologies and clean technologies.

    Another example is TechPYMEs collaboration with the InteQsoft infor-mation technologies cluster in Quere-taro to design an internationalization model for small enterprises with funds from the World Bank and the Ministry of Economy. This program, with Tech-BAs support, helped to identify ten enterprises with potential to penetrate global markets, and offered them ad-vice on value offer, market analysis and competitiveness as well as opportuni-ties and business models.

    Development of Strengthening Programs

    Action Planby Company

    Results in new products, new markets, access to innovation project funds, partnerships, new business culture, estimation of sales impact.




    Business tools

    Linkage to support programs


    Innovation workshops

    Presentation of projects in tenders

    Intellectual property

    Technological monitoring


    Technology consulting

    Certification consulting

    Interaction with techonology and business networks



    Networking events

    TechBA integration

    Opportunity analysisworkshop

    In addition, the TechPYME program has collaborated productively with the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) and Nacional Financiera (Nafin) in order to support inventive, techno-logical and business activity in Mexico, and promoted the registration of in-dustrial property with high scientific and technological value. As part of that collaboration, FUMEC helped the orga-nization of the Expo Ingenio 2013, an event pushed by the IMPI that sought to promote the meeting of technolo-gy generators, entrepreneurs and the players working for the countrys eco-nomic growth.

  • 16

    TechBA: Internationalization of Mexican Technology SMEs

    TechBA facilitates the international ac-celeration of Mexican Technology SMEs with an innovative value offer and the potential to compete in global markets, through specialized support in world innovative business ecosystems.

    TechBA has eight offices in cities with highly active economies, such as: Silicon Valley, Austin, Seattle, Arizona, Michigan, Montreal, Vancouver and Ma-drid. Each office has experts in the stra-tegic niches identified by FUMEC and local innovation networks that promote the accelerated growth of companies.

    Expert advice on global markets and local partnerships generated by TechBA allow companies to learn new ways of doing business, which translates

    into competitive sales for their com-panies and improved value offers. The TechBA work model is shown below.

    TechBA also supports the creation of companies with global vision since its inception. In 2013, TechBA along with CONACYT and the United States Embassy to Mexico conducted the Bootcamp Invent your Future, which sought to give Mexican entrepreneurs the opportunity to convert their ideas into business and present them to in-vestors, potential clients and experts in the international market.

    More than 400 projects registered for the Bootcamp during the invitation process, of which 160 had the opportu-nity to take the on-line course Prepar-ing for Innovation from the University of Texas. Subsequently, an evaluation committee selected 15 finalists, who

    Performance in a global environment



    Local operation

    Attraction ofnew clients

    Development ofnew products

    Global innovativecompany



    Local incubation

    Innovation space


    The TechBA Model

  • 17

    received direct guidance on the devel-opment of global business, and the op-portunity to present their projects to investors at Expo TechBA Austin.

    In addition, TechBA, in conjunction with the Universidad Autnoma del Estado de Morelos (UAEM), organized a second bootcamp called UAEM Potential in which 46 entrepreneurs participated with 42 innovative science and technology projects.

    Food and Agri-Business Incubator

    Arising from activities begun with the United States Department of Agricul-ture to facilitate the incorporation of food safety technologies, and to sup-port rural producers of processed foods, FUMEC integrated a Food and Agri-Business Incubator, a people-cen-tered program dedicated to providing tools for personal, family and commu-nity development. The incubator helps the creation of enterprises that con-tribute to the resolution of priorities in food safety, the fight against malnutri-tion, and obesity.

    This program trains, advises, strengthens and links micro and small enterprises with support institutions to achieve their incorporation into pro-duction chains, which helps to generate new opportunities and improve quality of life.

    The Incubator serves two groups: High Impact Companies and Social Economy Companies. Its service model is shown on the right.

    During National Entrepreneur Week 2013, the Incubator received more than 300 applications from en-trepreneurs seeking guidance to start a business, of which 24 high-impact

    projects were selected. In total, the In-cubator helped 40 entrepreneurship projects in 2013.

    Mexican Microsystems Consortium

    The Mexican Microsystems Consor-tium (CMM in Spanish) was created by FUMEC in 2007 with the aim of pro-moting scientific research and techno-logical development in microsystems in Mexico, in order to improve the sci-entific and technological capacities of Mexican companies and increase their competitiveness.

    The Consortium works as a stra-tegic coordinator for the production, government, academic and research sectors. In doing so, it promotes the development of a business ecosystem based on microsystems in order to contribute to positioning Mexico as a developer of innovative solutions for products and processes that can be marketed both nationally and globally.

    Through the CMM, the Foundation

    Model: Food and Agri-Business Incubator





    Quality and competitivenessmanagement systemNetwork

    Pre feasibilityBusiness planTax ID and Articles of Incorporation

    DiagnosticsLife planEvaluation of ideasSWOT

  • 18

    has worked with more than 100 Mex-ican electronic, food processing, ro-botics and industrial automation com-panies, primarily helping companies to integrate emerging technologies and to develop innovative products.

    The primary services offered to companies by CMM are project man-agement and technological innovation, consulting for knowledge sharing, stra-tegic foresight and monitoring studies, development of technology roadmaps, training and certifications and links be-tween industry and academia.

    Between 60% and 70% of the tech-nological developments that CMM has supported have generated intellectual property such as patents or software copyrights. About 250 engineers from industry and academia have been trained on issues related to embedded systems and FPGA technology, and the certification of 35 electronic design en-gineers has been accomplished.

    Of all the projects supported by CMM, 80% of the proposed techno-

    logical developments are linked with a university or research center.

    Furthermore, 40% of companies participating with CMM have created new products that feature distinctive elements in the market (energy saving, smaller size, reliability, functionality, etc.) and most of them are on the doorstep of being positioned in the market.

    Success cases of innovative companies

    Our business support programs have generated a large number of success cases, either for the kind of innovation they have brought to the market, the sales volume they are generating, or the way the company has been able to develop its capacities in a highly special-ized niche. The following pages present ten such cases of companies helped by FUMEC and which are growing and gaining market share thanks to the Foundation.

    The CMM has worked with more than 100 Mexican companies to integrate emerging technologies and to develop innovative products.

  • 19

    Obesity Control Center: a nations challenge to lose weight

    Few Mexican doctors have appeared in United States media as much as Ariel Ortiz, director of a Tijuana clinic called the Obesity Control Center (OCC), which successfully treats patients from the United States.

    While the clinic has offered excel-lent services for 13 years, Dr. Ortiz has such presence that his image has ap-peared in shows like Oprah Winfrey, Fox News, The Doctors and magazines like Newsweek.

    But, beyond the success of his busi-ness, Dr. Ortizs worries extend to his countrymen. My biggest concern is that Mexico is the most obese country in the world and no one is developing education programs to change that in childhood and adolescence.

    In 2012, with FUMECs help, the OCC team worked on a roadmap to organize the implementation of its de-velopment projects, and this simple ex-ercise enabled the company to visualize a new way to grow.

    When I introduced myself to FU-MEC, I said, Look, but if the most obese country in the world is Mexico, not the United States, Ortiz recalled, then we see there is a great need for weight management services and that its a poorly served area.

    Today, one of OCCs priorities is to broaden his clinic work in Mexico, so FUMEC helped him to conduct a di-agnostic analysis of infrastructure and equipment, with the goal of getting

    certified by the General Health Coun-cil, which he hopes to achieve in March 2014. This will enable him to compete with the best hospitals in the country and work in cities such as Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.

    Another line of work is the use of Obalon, a patented non-surgical weight loss method. It involves a cap-sule which enters the stomach and ex-pands, occupying the space normally filled by more food.

    In addition, the company developed a smartphone app which facilitates pa-tient follow-up, keeping an account of what they eat, monitoring signs and symptoms and offering recommenda-tions. Vitaleph brand food supplements are yet another line of work, helping to avoid malnutrition in patients.

    However, the OCCs most ambi-tious project is a video-based educa-tion program for social networks, which

    Today we see ourselves as a company that educates a nation and fights the number one disease in the country.

    Doctor Ariel Ortiz and his team in a surgery. Photo courtesy of the company.

    intends to change the eating habits of Mexicos overweight population. To do so, the company has set up a recording studio which is already working.

    Before meeting FUMEC we saw ourselves as just a bariatric surgery company and today we see ourselves as a company that educates a nation and fights the number one disease in the country, says Ortiz.

  • 20

    Biaani: mobile services for small and medium-sized enterprises

    Shortly afterwards, FUMEC again extended an invitation for the compa-ny to visit the new TechBA site in Van-couver, and Lpez moved to Canada in the hopes of finding new opportunities. Once in Vancouver, Biaani matured the idea of a product to fill small-business orders through smartphones.

    Called WalkBiz, the application manages the sales-purchase process of products and services, allowing the cli-ent to see available products, place or-ders and find the closest branch, while the business owner can receive notifi-cations, consult balances and manage transactions.

    Although the stay in Vancouver served to advance the product, it was not until they attended the Bootcamp Invent your Future that they put all the pieces of the puzzle together to get it onto the market. The Bootcamp helped us define how to work on in-novative products to reduce risks and

    Betting on innovation has never been easy. This was learned in the last few years by the Biaani Consulting team, a mobile applications company which, with FUMECs help, has developed two very innovative products: one to monitor sleep patterns and the other to help small business sales.

    For some years, Enrique Lpez, the director of Biaani, has known that he wanted to turn his business around and venture into new areas. Our first plan was to develop systems for companies, and we did that; but then we thought we could apply that knowledge to the development of our products and it could be a better business, he remem-bers.

    Searching for support, Lpez discov-ered FUMECs Mobile Leadership pro-gram, which invited him to Blackberrys Dev Com to present his proposal for an app to monitor snoring. The app re-ceived an award for its creativity, which encouraged Lpez to develop it.

    Biaani staff at a meeting. Photo courtesy of the company.

    ensure that the product is accepted in the market, commented Lpez.

    For this entrepreneur, the Founda-tions services enabled him to make the changes he dreamed of. FUMEC gave me the opportunity to broaden my business outlook, made me see that we have the capacity, knowledge and sup-port to achieve it, says Lpez.

    The commitment to this new prod-uct is reflected in the investment that Biaani has made; today, a third of his employees work on promoting it. The application is currently available by di-rect purchase and soon a network of distributers will be expanding the client base of those who benefit from it.

    WalkBiz is going to represent a paradigm shift from how people are used to interacting with their suppliers, and what we now see as innovative, we hope will become an everyday thing, Lpez explains.

    FUMEC gave me the opportunity to broaden my business outlook and made me see that we have the capacity and support to achieve it.

  • 21

    Xivalju: Delicious beverages from Mexico for the global market

    Xivaljus business is to captivate palates with delicious drinks and, to do that, the company develops around 200 flavors every year, of which only 5 or 10% reach the market. Some drinks that have been through this filter are traditional Mexi-can punchwhich is sold only during the Christmas seasonhorchata and caf de olla (a widely known type of coffe in Mexico).

    We have created a lot of different products and, little by little, people have adopted and understood them. Our idea is to have Mexican products and be proud to see them in restaurants and cafes because sometimes they are appreciated more in other countries than here, comments Juan Carlos Pri-eto, director and founder of the com-pany.

    The State of Mexico company be-gan in 2008, taking advantage of the experience of Prieto father, a chemical engineer with a flavor company where the entrepreneur learned the basics of developing new products. That experi-ence, along with his marketing training, resulted in a company that manufac-tures powdered drinks and sells them to customers like Costco, Cinpolis, Starbucks, and Kentucky Fried Chicken, who take them to the final consumer.

    Xivalju offers these clients unique beverages, especially developed for their market; but the company also has a wide range of products targeted to cafes, restaurants and bars, which are

    sold through distributors. In 2012, the company began to

    work with FUMECs TechPYME pro-gram with the idea of improving its processes and obtaining HACCP and FSSC 22000 certifications, which estab-lish international food standards.

    Certification has allowed Xivalju to improve sales and broaden its client base. The certifications have helped us reach clients we had not approached, they have helped us win clients confi-dence and the diagnostics to improve our processes, comments Prieto.

    Another defining feature of the company is its passion for innovation and so it works to ensure its drinks pro-vide health benefits. One such prod-uct is its green coffee, which is high in antioxidants and calorie-free, has a great taste and leaves a feeling of sati-ety. In all the research we have found that green coffee helps the metabolism because it keeps you awake, helps you

    Xivalju team. Photo courtesy of the company.

    The certifications have helped us reach clients we had not approached, they have helped us to win the clients confidence.

    look after your weight and gives you energy, assures the entrepreneur.

    The demand for Xivalju products has grown steadily in the last few years; it expects to open a new plant in 2014 and intends to grow 200% the same year. And given that it has received requests from countries including the Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia and Po-land, internationalization looks like the next step.

  • 22

    Buildbinder: a powerful tool for managing construction projects

    More than 20 years ago, architect s-car Nez devised software to give his company, NK Consultora y Servicios para la Construccin, a means to man-age and monitor its projects. I never thought about marketing it, but in 2007, several clients wanted to buy it or rent it, and then the seed was sown and with my brother Luis, I started to explore whether it had potential, he recalls.

    Thus emerged Buildbinder, a cloud system to manage construction projects. The big data and business intelligence solution provides important collabora-tion capacities so that all participants in a project collaborate efficiently.

    In 2010, the urge to discover whether his software was marketable led Nez to the TechBA program in Silicon Valley, with which he worked for three years. I went to a couple of work-

    shops that were just what I needed to start the research and decide whether to invest in it. That was the best help: knowing the potential of what I wanted to create, he explained.

    At the end of 2011, with the mar-ket analysis he conducted with Tech-BA, Nez and his brother decided to develop the product. This implied giving it multi-user, multi-company and multi-project capabilities, and account management capability to guarantee that its information is secure, he com-ments.

    From 2011 to date, Buildbinder has been tested by a number of friendly cli-ents and early adopters who helped to improve it and detect difficulties which could arise when used by end clients.

    The tool will be on sale in the Unit-ed States in March 2014 and is expect-

    ed to serve close to a thousand clients in the first year, including general con-tractors, construction project manag-ers, investors and financiers. The aim is to cover 5% of the market in the Unit-ed States, which would imply selling 3.7 billion dollars per year.

    Although Buildbinder is a product for the North American market, the technological development is done in Mexico. We want it to be a product from Mexico for the world, and every-thing required for the development of systems, support and service at special-ized levels is done in Mexico, he ex-plains.

    To achieve this, the company has a team of nine people in its Develop-ment Center in Chihuahua and a team of four in the United States who take care of administrative aspects and give direct customer service.

    The mentors and networking of TechBA gave us the knowledge to de-velop what has become a spin-off and a product with a high potential for suc-cess. Now we need to complete the stage of getting it on the market, and keep on improving it, the entrepreneur concluded.scar and Luis Nez at the TechBA office in Silicon Valley.

    The best help was to understand the potential of what I wanted to create.

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    Silanes Bioclon Institute: Saving lives with the help of antivenoms

    When a company has a niche prod-uct, it must also have an equally spe-cialized strategy to expand its mar-kets. This is what the Silanes Bioclon Institute has been doing with the support of TechBA Madrid, since this Mexico City Company is dedicated to developing antivenom pharmaceu-ticals for spider bites, scorpion stings and snakebites.

    Bioclon sells five products in Mexi-co: two snakebite antivenoms, two an-tivenoms for different types of spiders and antivenom for scorpion stings, the latter being their main product and which is also sold in the United States.

    In 2009, this company contacted TechBA Madrid with the goal of ex-panding its operations in Europe, Afri-ca and the Middle East, and has since worked with this accelerator to devel-op its business plans and create a net-work of partnerships to support mar-keting of their products.

    But Bioclon knows that its products are not for mass consumption. We cover niche markets in Europe. Now we sell a few antivenoms to zoos, so they buy from us once and keep the product just in case it is needed, but do not buy more until it expires, com-ments Walter Garca, Medical Assistant for Biotechnology Research at this company.

    Since the total of potential custom-ers is so small, the company has seen the need to narrow its focus to find more customers effectively, and this is where the help of TechBA has been valuable.

    With TechBA we conceived two business plans: one for an specific prod-uct against native snakes of Europe that is under development, and another to identify potential customers in this con-tinent and market our products. Also with TechBA we performed a market study for the countries of North Africa with a special focus on Morocco, ex-plains Garca.

    A unique aspect of the develop-ment of new pharmaceuticals is that it

    A worker in the laboratory the Silanes Bioclon Institute. Photo courtesy of the company.

    takes a long time to get them to mar-ket. Our development processes take a long time to crystallize, sometimes eight to ten years, and the registration and regulatory processes are also very time consuming, says Garcia.

    Because of this, one of the medium term challenges for the company is to meet the regulatory requirrements in the African and European countries where they wish to market their prod-ucts. We have to comply with local regulations, which is usually quite com-plicated, and thats our biggest chal-lenge, Garca concludes.

    Still, the company is optimistic since it counts with a worldwide unique technology, enough international ex-perience and the tools to bring their products to the countries that could need them.

    When a company has a niche product, it must have an equally specialized strategy to expand its markets.

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    Tecnomotum: telematics for heavy duty vehicles

    Tecnomotum is a Veracruz company that is revolutionizing the handling of cargo vehicles in Mexico with lead-ing-edge technology, developed and patented by the company itself, which enables the real-time performance monitoring of this kind of vehicle and makes them more efficient.

    The companys developers see car-go trucks as information centers that record every action the operator per-forms: distance covered, driving habits, fault codes, among others; and its job consists precisely of connecting to the on-board computer to provide haulers with reliable information about how the units operate.

    Some of the advantages of the Tec-nomotum technology are: improved fuel efficiency, reduced idle time of the units, preventive maintenance, highway rescue prevention and the assurance that routes and operating policies are followed.

    Tecnomotum began to work with FUMEC at the end of 2012: We found

    the TechPYME program on the Foun-dations web page and got in touch with Carlos Meneses, to whom we expressed our need to have the Core Tools included in the ISO TS16949 stan-dard, since those tools are essential for the development of our products, says Luis Galn, director of the company.

    FUMEC evaluated the companys capacities to establish a work plan and identify the priorities and processes that were going to demand more re-sources to implement the Core Tools. Soon, the company started to receive specialized consulting services and its employees took courses to become familiar with the new tools and imple-ment them correctly.

    Acquiring these skills was one of the benefits obtained by Tecnomotum through its relationship with FUMEC.

    Tecnomotum staff. Photo courtesy of the company.

    Implementing the Core Tools allowed us to discover areas of opportunity and identify their causes, and in this way we were able to improve the quality of our products. Once we integrated these tools, we obtained approval from an automotive company with which we signed a partnership to distribute our products nationwide, states Galn.

    The new Tecnomotum partnership is Cummins, a global leader in the man-ufacture and distribution of engines. This partnership, formalized in June 2013, aims to have Tecnomotum tools in use in all Cummins service centers in the country, providing cargo vehicles sup-port in the operation of their engines.

    With this agreement, Tecnomotum meets the objective of bringing its tech-nology to a broad base of carriers, open-ing up new opportunities for growth.

    FUMEC helped us to implement the Core Tools and through this, we were able to improve the quality of our products.

  • 25

    Lertek: Democratizing access to mobile solutions

    The town of Santiago, Nuevo Len, near Monterrey, has less than 20 traffic police, but could become the most ef-ficient municipality in the country when it comes to creating and collecting fines. This is because soon its agents will be using low cost tablets and printers that allow them to generate a ticket to be paid by motorists at the nearest OXXO store.

    The technology to be used in Santi-ago was created by Lertek, a Monterrey based company that develops mobile applications for acquiring data in the field and whose mission is to bring mo-bile solutions to any organization that requires it, regardless of its size.

    This democratizing mission has re-sulted in a customer base as diverse as Petrleos Mexicanos, Whirlpool, Feder-al Electricity Commission and a variety of SMEs that have seen that this compa-nys products create solutions for mak-ing their work easier and more efficient.

    A major supermarket chain in Mexi-co, for example, uses Lertek technology for monitoring its stores. Employees in the field can check promotions or in-ventories, answer suppliers questions and surveys, and make records with photographs, video and audio in real time. This is of great advantage for this chain of stores.

    Lertek is transforming how data is created in the field, and their solutions are useful in many areas such as oil in-spection, charging and monitoring of

    personnel providing delivery services. However, when the company created its first mobile solution, it didnt imagine the impact it would have.

    We started developing custom software, recalls Gustavo Cervantes, director of the company, and in 2001 we started renting software and we re-quested a system to create information in the field in order to automate what was being done on paper. It was then that we recommended this be done from a mobile device, and from there we started to design the system we have now.

    In 2012, Lertek began working hands on with the FUMEC mobile pro-gram, which has resulted in a number of resources and key contacts that allow it to expand business opportunities. Be-fore this we were very closed in, but as soon as we began with FUMEC we saw that it is not so difficult to work with

    Lertek works with several devices to fulfill its clients' needs. Photo courtesy of the company.

    large companies and compete with leading companies. The support and advice they have given us has helped us to target markets that used to appear beyond reach, stated Cervantes.

    The new relationships and contacts have paid off, because in the last two years the company has tripled its sales every year, and it expects 2014 to be even better because it is opening op-erations in Costa Rica and looks to do the same in Colombia.

    As soon as we began working with FUMEC we saw that it is not difficult to work with large companies and compete with leading companies.

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    Agro Operadora de Silos y Bodegas: ecological options for grains and processed foods maintenance

    grains. The patent is now pending and Ramrez hopes to have it soon.

    One year later, the company joined the TechBA program in Vancouver, which helped to complete the valida-tion of ozone as a pesticide and refine its business model. The next step was to create a special, one-of-a-kind truck, to generate ozone in situ, since the chemical is not bottled, but produced on demand.

    Today, Agro Operadora provides its services to companies like Pepsico, Bachoco, Bimbo, Grupo Maseca and large storage companies like Almace-nadora Mercader and Almacenadora Regional Mexicana, among others.

    Ozone eliminates pests without the use of chemicals which are harmful to health, and also eliminates microorgan-isms (fungi, virus and bacteria) that can

    Sometimes, clients needs can spark in-novation, which is what happened to Martn Ramrez Falcn, owner of Agro Operadora de Silos y Bodegas, a com-pany dedicated to stored grains main-tenance. One day, Ramrez was asked to fumigate a bean shipment for export without using traditional pesticides, and to find out whether ozone could be used. This led to a search which turned his business completely around.

    We began to investigate and in one year we developed ozone as a fumigant. We did laboratory research and when we saw that it worked, we submitted a project to CONACYT and started to develop it, he remembers. Ramrez, an engineer and professor at the Universidad de Jurez del Estado de Durango, was able to develop the technology in association with the Uni-versidad Autnoma de Sinaloa.

    In 2010, the entrepreneur came into contact with FUMEC with the idea of obtaining a patent, and could then vi-sualize the potential of his business. The FUMEC advisors suggested document-ing his research and writing a manual about the use of ozone with stored

    Martn Sols and the truck he created to generate ozone. Photo courtesy of the entrepreneur.

    affect grains and the finished product. In addition, it cuts costs because it re-quires no chemical inputs, is an environ-ment-friendly product and meets inter-national standards that seek to eradicate the use of harmful chemicals in food.

    This has caused the company to have a high demand that it cannot cov-er because it lacks the resources for a new truck. However, the company has received approval from INADEM for a project to take its technology to Cana-da with the help of TechBA Vancouver, which includes the development of a second truck for that market.

    In the last two years, the company has grown by almost 40%, and expects to grow even more; its goal is to cover the domestic market and continue to explore the Canadian market, which will undoubtedly bring new opportunities.

    Agro Operadora developed an ecological system to eliminate pests in stored grains.

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    Semvid: Reinventing traditional amaranth sweets

    What has helped me most is the sincerity with which I have been spoken to at workshops and consultancies. It also helped that they have accompanied us in performing benchmarking because we had never done it before, and that helped us to change the image and the idea of our products.

    Less than a year after starting the in-cubation process, Semvid feels stronger than ever. We used to go out and see if anyone would buy from us, and now we decide who to sell to. This is because we have a more concrete vision, says vila, who is convinced that her products will be well received by consumers in the middle and upper classes.

    Part of the strength that the com-pany has gained has to do with its bet-ter internal organization, since before, according to vila, many things went unnoticed because of it being a family business. But they tell you you need to

    Amaranth bars, known as alegrias, are heavily consumed in Mexico because they are rich and nutritious, but above all cheap. Informal vendors offer them in the streets, subways and wherever there are a lot of people because there is always someone who will buy them.

    However, the company Semvid, from Mexico City, has found a high val-ue niche market by developing new forms of this traditional snack aimed at the gourmet market.

    We want to create a new way of consuming amaranth, give it another image, give people new options to con-sume it says Lidia vila, General Direc-tor of Semvid, adding that her company has created innovative products such as amaranth truffles and chocolates filled with amaranth and offered in natural, mint and caramel flavors.

    Semvid is a family business made up of ten people who, like many other pro-ducers, used to sell amaranth informally to anyone who would buy it. But the company began to take on a new direc-tion in 2013 when vila enrolled herself in the Food and Agribusiness Incubator at FUMEC during National Entrepre-neurship Week.

    The company began to receive help and training to enhance the value of its product and, when comparing its products with those of competitors, it realized that it needed to not only im-prove the product, but also improve its marketing.

    Semvids new products. Photo courtesy of the entrepreneur.

    set rules and policies, so we did, and although it is taking a bit of work, we do have better organization and we are more professional.

    Semvids medium term goal is to position the Chikahuak brand, which in Nahuatl means strong, firm and healthy, like amaranth. Now we are ready to take care of any customer, says this entrepreneur, who is not afraid of new markets because we have new products and we know that they are of high quality.

    We used to go out and see if anyone would buy from us and now we decide who to sell to.

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    Apcola Kanan Cooperative: Yucatan honey ready for the international market

    own thing and we were a bit stuck in the purely productive mentality recalls Wilver Llanes, President of the coop-erative. But things began to change in 2011 when FUMEC, in partnership with FUNDEMEX and the Kellogg Founda-tion, organized a work plan to support the organizing efforts of producers, pro-viding them with technical training and finding new ways of marketing.

    I think it has been a drastic change, because we were very much into the production mentality, and we could not see that through organization we would be able to sell our product at a better price and give it added value, said Llanes, who explained that there has been a total change in the vision of the workmates, and now we believe it is possible to sell our product at a bet-ter price, which would be reflected in improvements for everyone.

    Today, the cooperative is in contact

    The Apcola Kanan cooperative is mak-ing a radical change in how honey mar-keting is done in Yucatan, as beekeepers in this state often sell their product to collection centers linked to large ex-porters, who buy them at the very low prices, leaving them little room to im-prove production and grow.

    Today this cooperative has begun marketing the honey of its 90 partners in the national and international market, at a fair price that allows for economic improvement for the families and com-munities of beekeepers.

    This cooperative started operations in August 2013, after a process of more than two years to join the efforts of var-ious beekeeper partners and compa-nies working in nine rural villages in Yu-catan: Baca, Cansahcab, Dzidzantun, San Francisco Tinum, Santa Elena, Sinanche, Teabo, Uman, and Yokdzonot Hu.

    Initially, things did not look very good because we did not have a cul-ture of teamwork, everyone did their

    Apcola Kanan partners.

    with Walmart in the United States to sell it packaged honey in 340-gram jars. We do not know yet how much they will ask from us, but we have 8000 jars, with bar codes and trademarks, ready to make the first delivery, said Llanes. The cooperative has the support of INADEM to bring its products to that country, so it has designed special labels for that market and is developing other materials to facilitate export.

    Another project that is in the works is to send an initial shipment of 22 tons of honey in bulk to Europe, which Kanan expects to sell in Germany.

    FUMEC has made a multi-year ef-fort to realize this project, but we still have a lot to do. The work never ends, but rather begins a new period and I think that this is the most difficult pe-riod, because everything is new to us and we will continue to need support, concludes Llanes.

    Through organization we have been able to sell our product at a better price and give it added value.

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    State and Regional Innovation Agendas

    gional Development, in order to focus our resources on supporting projects in areas that contribute in an important way to bolster regional development, says Elas Micha, CONACYT Deputy Director of Regional Development.

    It is expected that these Agendas will be documents that are agreed to that allow for the triggering of accel-eration of innovation abilities in states and regions, in order to generate a knowledgeable economy that will help Mexico achieve strong, sustained and sustainable economic growth.

    To prepare these Agendas the Re-search and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation method used by the European Union is followed, which is known by the acronym RIS3. The RIS3 generates integrated territorial eco-nomic transformation agendas aimed at enhancing the skills and practical knowl-edge that the regions already have, inno-

    During 2013, FUMEC worked with the Mexican Council for Science and Tech-nology (CONACYT), taking on the re-sponsibility to create a program, funded by CONACYT, to develop State and Regional Innovation Agendas in all states of the Mexican Republic. In this program, FUMEC is responsible for directly sup-porting nine states and facilitating the support of the other 23 states by three important organizations (Idom Consult-ing, Europraxis and CamBio Tec).

    The State and Regional Innovation Agendas are intervention processes that seek to aid states to focus their resourc-es strategically to trigger high impact in-novation processes, as well as to identify areas of expertise where it is necessary to make investments. All of this is based on the capabilities and the natural vo-cation of each state, in order that each entity can compete in a global context.

    The project seeks to contribute to state and regional economic develop-ment to maximize the innovative poten-tial of Mexico, through a shared vision between government, academia, indus-try and society. For this reason, it is in-tended that the Agendas allow for the articulation and definition of sectoral priorities and smart specialization.

    The State Innovation Agendas are roadmaps that will allow each state to identify and define priority areas and sectors. They will also allow for alignment of the programs being managed by the CONACYT Associate Director of Re- A meeting for organizing the Agenda in Puebla.

    vation being the main factor for trans-formation.

    The purpose of these agendas is to achieve smart specialization in the re-gions for the effective use of supports and increased synergies, achieving the effective implementation of investments in research and innovation. The develop-ment of this project began in the third quarter of 2013 and it is expected to yield results throughout 2014.

    The Innovation Agendas seek to aid states to focus their resources strategically to trigger high impact innovation processes.

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    We continue to work with Colombia in the Internationalization of Technology Companies

    In 2012, FUMEC began to cooperate with the ParqueSoft and Incubar orga-nizations to promote a project to posi-tion the region of Manizales, Colombia, as a knowledge society and to build an environment conducive to social and economic development through tech-nological innovation.

    As part of this project, FUMEC de-veloped and implemented an accel-eration model in strategic niches, and worked to transfer work outlines and tools from its TechPYME and TechBA programs to companies in Manizales. This was done to help identify their ca-pabilities and potential and refine their value proposition, with the aim of going international.

    At the end of this process, ten com-panies with the capabilities to bring their products and services to interna-tional markets were identified. These companies traveled to Silicon Valley and to Mexico City to learn about the business ecosystems in these areas and to evaluate the possibility of beginning operations in them.

    In August 2013, FUMEC returned to Colombia to initiate a similar pro-cess, this time in Barranquilla, together with the Chamber of Commerce in that city. Because of this, the Founda-tion organized a process to identify the potential of companies in the region and to work with them in their inter-nationalization projects.

    The aim was to identify 20 compa-nies that have the potential to go to in-ternational markets. With this in mind, 50 companies from various sectors were interviewed. The result was the selection of 20 health and information technology companies with the poten-tial to internationalize. The Foundation worked with these companies in the application of business tools such as roadmaps and strategic monitoring.

    A training organized by FUMEC in Colombia.

    In regards to sharing the model for caring for technology companies, FU-MEC has trained two business consul-tants in Barranquilla, with the idea that they can continue to apply various business support tools to companies in the city.

    It is expected that this project will be completed in mid-2014 and that se-lected companies will receive direct ad-vice from a consultant in Silicon Valley to increase the value of their product.

    Also, a trip to Mexico and Silicon Valley will be organized so that the en-trepreneurs in Manizales can learn how to do business in these cities, and so that they may begin to analyze their ability to generate strategic alliances and perhaps even carry out sales if they are mature enough at the time.

    Colombian companies traveled to Silicon Valley and to Mexico City to learn about the business ecosystems in these areas.

  • New Binational Initiatives: MUSEIC and FOBESII

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    High-Level Economic Dialogue: A framework for new Mexico-US agreements on Education, Research and Innovation

    The impressive commercial relationship that has been created between Mexico, the United States and Canada by the North American Free Trade Agree-ment (NAFTA) is evolving towards a more competitive and dynamic eco-nomic relationship.

    For this reason, Presidents Barack Obama and Enrique Pea Nieto an-nounced in 2013 the High Level Eco-nomic Dialogue, which serves as a framework for two new collaboration schemes to promote education, re-search and innovation as pillars of com-petitiveness. These new mechanisms are: MUSEIC: Mexico-US Entrepreneur-ship and Innovation Council, and FOBESII: Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research.

    Due to its binational approach and the extensive experience that has been developed over the last 20 years in the central themes of these two pro-grams, FUMEC has actively participated in these efforts, generating bination-al initiatives involving universities and programs in the two countries. Some members of our Board of Governors have leadership roles in these programs and are directly involved in a number of specific initiatives.

    FUMEC Participation in MUSEIC

    MUSEIC seeks to develop an ecosys-tem of entrepreneurship and inno-vation using programs for binational cooperation, through joint initiatives to promote the creation and growth of micro, small and medium innovative companies, harnessing the potential of universities and research centers to become relevant actors in these pro-cesses.

    This Council is made up of entre-preneur ecosystem participants from both countries, and includes represen-tatives from government, academic and business establishments, NGOs, ven-ture capital funds and others. In Mexico, MUSEIC is headed by the National In-stitute of Entrepreneurship (INADEM) and in the United States by the De-partment of State.

    FUMEC has actively participated in the MUSEIC and FOBESII initiatives, generating binational proposals that involve partners from the two countries.

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    Subcommittee on Technology Commercialization

    FUMEC chairs jointly with the Nation-al Council for Science and Technolo-gy (CONACYT) the Subcommittee on Technology Commercialization at MUSEIC. Through Thomas Bowles, a member of the Board of Governors of FUMEC, the Foundation chairs for the United States and CONACYT for Mexico. This Subcommittee has identi-fied a number of actions to promote high impact entrepreneurship and in-novation initiatives between the two countries. In this Subcommittee, FU-MEC has worked on the two initiatives described below.

    Intelligent Manufacturing Initiative (IMI)

    The border between the United States and Mexico has become one of the regions with the highest density of manufacturing in the world. Manufac-turing is a priority activity for economic development in the region and there are many opportunities to create new innovative companies that facilitate the incorporation of technological advanc-es, such as opportunities for linking universities and research centers on both sides of the border with compa-nies seeking advances in manufacturing, particularly in Intelligent Manufacturing Systems.

    The Intelligent Manufacturing Ini-tiative (IMI) will help identify business needs and technology trends to help companies incorporate advances in intelligent manufacturing, increase ef-ficiency, reduce downtime and facili-tate quality assurance. Thomas Bowles, a member of the FUMEC Board of

    Governors, leads this initiative. Mary Walshok, also a member of this Board of Governors, participates as a repre-sentative of the University of California.

    FUMEC, in cooperation with Eco-nomic and Industrial Development of Tijuana (Desarrollo Econmico e In-dustrial de Tijuana, A.C. or DEITAC), and with the support of various orga-nizations at the border, is presenting this initiative to CONACYT as well as to the United States Department of Commerce.

    The IMI will coordinate efforts among research and development or-ganizations with manufacturing com-panies and government agencies in the United States and Mexico. It has a work plan that proposes the organization of a binational symposium, as well as a se-ries of industry-academia meetings and visits to border companies in Tijuana and Mexicali to be held in 2014.

    Experts and specialists in intelligent manufacturing from both sides of the border have been contacted in order to form a Binational Advisory Commit-

    The IMI will help identify business needs to help companies incorporate advances in intelligent manufacturing.

    Opening meeting of the MUSEIC on September 2013.

  • 34

    tee that will propose discussion topics, define the symposium program and visits and follow up on the action plans generated during the meeting. After the event, the Committee will monitor the results and projects arising from the symposium.

    iCorps Initiative in Mexico

    Another initiative that FUMEC is en-couraging within the Subcommittee on Technology Commercialization consists of using the Innovation Corps (iCorps) model in Mexico, created by the Na-tional Science Foundation (NSF) in the United States. This is aimed at helping university researchers to commercialize the fruits of their research through the creation of high-technology businesses.

    The program is based on Customer Discovery methodology, which is used to confirm that the value proposition meets a specific need in the market and of end-users.

    This initiative uses teamwork through support specialist networks to help researchers become successful en-trepreneurs, since the technology tran-sition from the laboratory to new com-panies requires skills and knowledge in addition to those that research requires.

    With the implementation of the iCorps model in Mexico, the coun-try would have a high impact tool to facilitate collaboration among its re-searchers in order to create business-es and contribute to Mexicos GDP through innovation.

    FUMEC advances the implementa-tion of this initiative in Mexico with the support of CONACYT and the NSF. CONACYT and the universities and in-stitutions involved are possible sources of funding for this initiative.

    FUMEC and its participation in FOBESII

    The Bilateral Forum on Higher Educa-tion, Research and Innovation (FOBE-SII) seeks to promote binational co-operation in higher education and research, especially regarding important areas for innovation in businesses in the two countries. Juan Silanes, Vice Chair of FUMECs Board participates in the Mexican Consulting Group of FOBESII. It feels that talent in science and engi-neering, as well as in entrepreneurial talent, are keys to regional competitive-ness.The vision of FOBESII is to create a 21st Century workforce that acceler-ates progress in the region. Its mission is to promote programs for student mo-bility, academic exchange, research and innovation in areas of common interest and to contribute to the competitive-ness and economic development of the region.

    To accomplish this, FOBESII propos-es the strengthening of ties and coop-eration between governments, higher education institutions, civil society and the private sector in Mexico and the United States.

    Unique Border Potential

    FUMEC participates in the Unique Border Potential work group, which has proposed the implementation of a binational workshop in El Paso, Texas. This workshop aims to analyze the best ways to capitalize on the potential of the border between Mexico and the US to expand bilateral cooperation re-garding higher education.

    It is expected that the workshop, to be held in early 2014, will call together representatives from the private sector,

    The iCorps initiative is aimed at helping university researchers to commercialize the fruits of their research through the creation of high-technology businesses.

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    civil society, academia and the govern-ments of Mexico and the United States.

    Cooperation with Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers I/UCRC from the NSF

    FOBESII is an adequate and timely framework for giving impetus to the proposal of FUMEC and CONACYT to assemble binational initiatives that would allow Mexico to leverage the experience of Industry/University Co-operative Research Centers (I/UCRC) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the United States.

    These Cooperatives lean toward allowing education centers to train specialists according to the profiles that emerge from the innovation strategies of the participating companies, and with support from company research groups. The students work on com-pany research projects allows them to incorporate the talent and knowledge arising from academia.

    The objective of this FOBESII initia-tive is to facilitate participation in op-erational I/UCRC within Mexican com-panies and universities. This will allow them to acquire more insight and sup-port for the design of their technology strategies and will help Mexican uni-versities improve their training of the specialists required by companies. The idea is also that Mexico uses this ex-perience to organize its own programs with these types of cooperatives.

    FUMEC with the leadership of Cris-tina Loyo, member of FUMECs Board, and Director the National Laboratory of Advanced Computing (LANIA), has been collaborating with companies and

    research institutions with the support of CONACYT, in the identification and exploration of Mexican groups (institu-tions, companies, researchers and stu-dents) that could become part of the I/UCRC in specialized areas of advanced subjects and information technology.

    In regard to information technolo-gy, the participation of Mexico in the I/UCRC Logistics and Distribution (CEL-Di) and Intelligent Maintenance (IMS) is currently being facilitated. In advanced subjects, the participation of the Uni-versity of Baja California and the CETYS University in the I/UCRC for Non Fer-rous Alloys for Aerospace Structures (CANFSA) is being supported.

    Other initiatives

    Under the FOBESII framework, FU-MEC began a process of collaboration with the American Chamber and with companies involved in the Innovation Task Force to facilitate collaboration between Mexican and United States

    universities. This was done in order to improve the training of engineers and scientists required by North Ameri-can companies that are operating in Mexico, especially for their engineering, research and development, and special-ized software operations.

    From this a collaborative initiative with Ford Motor Company arose to improve the training of engineers in advanced automotive design with the support of the University of Detroit. Activities are being organized with CONACYT and CIDESIa Research and Graduate Center with facilities in Cuautitlan, next to the Ford facilitiesto create collaboration with the Uni-versity of Detroit to meet the needs of Ford.

    A meeting in Mexico City to advance in the establishment of the of the FOBESII.

  • Education for Innovation

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    INNOVEC: Advanced Science Education to develop skills for the 21st Century

    One of the challenges facing Mexico is to shrink the training gap between it and more developed countries. This means better education for the young-er generation, encouraging them to ac-quire skills that enable them to provide solutions and help develop the country.

    The economy in which we live is increasingly dependent on the effective application of science and technology in production processes and in prob-lem solving, which lends urgency to the education of children and youths so that they may be creative and innova-tive actors in a knowledgeable society.

    FUMEC created INNOVEC over ten years ago to facilitate Mexicos taking advantage of the best experi-ences from the United States in this field, and has since worked close-ly with this organization to promote the implementation of Hands-On and Inquiry Based Science Education Systems (IBSE)developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Cen-terin basic education centers in Mexico and to promote strategies for improving science education.

    IBSE stimulate the development of key skills for knowledge economy such as critical thinking, teamwork, effective communication, problem solving, ex-perimentation and research.

    INNOVEC works with nation-al and international institutions to train teachers and develop teaching materials. It has also adapted educa-tional content and models that work successfully in other countries to the Mexican context.

    For this organization, the exchange of experience is a key element and therefore, supported by FUMEC, it maintains contact with organizations such as the Inter Academy Panel (IAP) and the worldwide network of sci-ence academies. The Chairman of the Global Activities Committees from IAPs Science Education, Dato Lee-Yee Cheong, has emphasized that the suc-cessful integration of social programs like INNOVEC depends on its proper relationships with businesses and edu-cation authorities.

    With the support of the Ministry of Education, State Education Secre-tariats, private sector organizations and civil society, INNOVEC has successfully promoted science education and the development of scientific attitudes. To date, INNOVEC annually helps more than 420,000 students and has trained more than 10,000 teachers in 12 states within Mexico.

    The economy in which we live is increasingly dependent on the effective application of science and technology in production processes.

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    VII International Conference on Science Education

    several others, who discussed key is-sues such as models and assessment strategies for the development of skills with advanced systems for science ed-ucation, the role of public policy in the proper evaluation of education and specific processes of evaluating educa-tion programs based on inquiries.

    According to Pilar Verdejo, expert in evaluation systems from the Qual-ity Assurance in Education and Work (ACET) organization, this event al-lowed many teachers to understand what is being done internationally in the area of educational evaluation. It was a valuable opportunity for teachers and leaders of educational institutions from other states, since having multiple viewpoints enriches the country.

    Verdejo says that forums like this al-low us to evaluate the work and quality of what is made in Mexico, as well as to learn more about specific programs in this area. The presence of organiza-tions such as the Smithsonian Center

    In November 2013, INNOVEC orga-nized the VII International Conference on Science Education with the theme Assessing Science Education: Trends and Challenges. The event brought together national and international ex-perts who shared their experiences in various programs and educational areas, with the goal of providing ideas and proposals aimed at improving as-sessment systems.

    The event was attended by over 500 professionals and students as well as teachers, educational-technical ad-visers and education authorities from Veracruz, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Len, the State of Mexico, Mexico City, Hidalgo, Queretaro, Yucatn, Zacatecas, Tam-aulipas and Tlaxcala. The meeting was made possible thanks to the support of the Ministry of Education, the Nation-al Council for Science and Technology and the National Autonomous Univer-sity of Mexico.

    Among the international experts were Eduardo Backhoff, Lee-Yee Cheong, Anne Goube, Petra Skie-be-Correte, Sylvia Schmelkes, Humbert Dyasi, Jon Price, Anders Hedberg and

    for Science Education gives us assur-ance that we are doing the right thing. This is the case with INNOVEC, which is moving in the right direction and has many things to show, and is working on par with other countries to develop monitoring and evaluation tools that prove the impact of their programs.

    For Magdalena Horta, who is also part of ACET, the Conference had the advantage of bringing together the ex-periences of people who have devel-oped the pedagogical inquiry model in science which can be transferred to domestic situations.

    Representatives for agencies such as the National Institute for Education-al Evaluation in Mexico, the New York University, the University of Bristol in the UK, the Intel Research and Evalua-tion Program, the Malaysia IAP Science Education Program and the Primma-ry Connections program in Australia, played also a prominent role in this Conference.

    This Conference brought together national and international expertswho shared their experiences in various programs and educational areas.

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    Training of Trainers Workshop

    improve my training in terms of the in-terpersonal relationships that a trainer should have, explained Cano.

    Throughout the workshop there was an emphasis on the key compo-nents and features of IBSE training as well as the basic skills that every edu-cator should have. Jorge Montao, As-sistant Director for Science and Tech-nology for Secondary Education at SEP, who spoke about science education in the context of Educational Reform, also attended the workshop.

    Some of the issues discussed in the workshop were the following: peda-gogical theories behind Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) programs, the features of the investigative method, the dimensions of science education, the importance of education assess-ment and the link between IBSE and other educational plans and programs.

    The international experiences that IN-NOVEC has had with the support of FUMEC have also been used for Pro-fessor and Educator Training. In August of 2013, the INNOVEC team in Mexi-co City organized a national Training of Trainers Workshop, aiming to strength-en the skills and attitudes of the educa-tors who work with IBSE and ensure a high level of quality in the training that is performed in the country. The work-shop lasted 45 hours and was attended by 40 teachers.

    Instructor Lizbeth Cano, from In-tegrated Educational Services of the State of Mexico, said that in that role the IBSE methodology has been in use for six years, and from the outset we saw that when training educators with an expert in the program their profes-sional development is different, result-ing in well trained professionals.

    For this teacher, the training provid-ed by INNOVEC proved to be of great benefit because, as she says, it gave us the necessary tools to better fill the role of educators, to provide moni-toring and support, and to effectively address the concerns of teachers. We discovered new ways to make the pro-gram more attractive, as both teachers and students feel motivated when we make visits to the classroom.

    Another positive aspect from the workshop was that the participants were able to share their experiences with teachers from around the coun-try. We were able to learn from their experiences and this has served to pro-vide better training for our teachers. In particular, this workshop helped me

    We discovered new ways to make the program more attractive, as both teachersand students feel motivated when we make visits to the classroom.

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    Diploma in Science Education in Tamaulipas

    of science can be rediscovered and ap-plied, she said.

    In her experience, what makes the content very appealing to her students is the fact that children can experiment directly with the objects being ana-lyzed. That allows them to reflect on and construct their own knowledge. Through the investigative approach, not only is scientific knowledge strength-ened, but skills and abilities in other subjects are also improved.

    This diploma has enabled teachers from various levels and types of edu-cation to see the importance of teach-ing science in basic education. They become familiar with IBSE, dig deeper into investigative pedagogy and prove that these systems facilitate the learning process.

    Diploma program attendees are de-veloping skills to design projects using the investigative approach, the same methods that will enable them to apply the knowledge acquired in their daily work, for example, in designing adjust-ments to IBSE units for their use in the field of special education.

    Cedillo says the INNOVEC grad-uate program was designed with very specific goals; the instructors taught us very important things, such as assess-ment issues. It would be great if teach-ers who are in front of groups had the opportunity to attend one of these di-ploma programs and address the con-text directly the way we are able to, she concludes.

    Another activity effectively performed by INNOVEC is the Diploma in Sci-ence Education through Inquiry and Experiential Activities. In October 2013, INNOVEC started this Diploma pro-gram in Tamaulipas, with the aim of strengthening the training of the op-erating teams, technical-pedagogical advisors and authorities involved in the Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) programs in that state. This training will last six months and 45 people will par-ticipate in it from the education sector in the state.

    For professor Perla Cedillo, who has worked for three years as a tech-nical-pedagogical advisor for the IBSE program, the graduate program has been an experience that has helped improve her teaching. The investigative method facilitates concept learning in a more natural manner, and the ideas

    Diploma program attendees are developing skills to design projects using the investigative approach.

  • 41

    CECYTEQ: Laying the groundwork for engineers required by Queretaros economy

    is in contrast to the 36% we had when the program did not exist, says Carlos Luhrs, Director of CECYTEQ.

    But beyond the numbers, Luhrs prefers to emphasize the students experience on a personal level. The change that occurs in young people is perhaps the most amazing part for me. What happens is that we discover their talent and ability, and that gives them important motivation. So their self-es-teem grows, their aspirations soar and they begin to make better decisions, he says.

    One aspect that has been helping the PBI to mature is its relationship with higher education institutions and other organizations that receive their students when they finish high school and even at the end of college. Thus the CECYTEQ has tightened its ties with the Polytechnic University of Quere-taro, the Aeronautical University, Tech-

    Queretaro is an enclave of industrial excellence. This area has attracted for-eign investment in several strategic sec-tors in Mexico, such as automotive and aeronautics, and in the medium term it expects to open up opportunities in engineering and telecommunications.

    This economic boom has been fol-lowed by a high demand for engineer-ing and technical talent, but Queretaro has a serious shortage of engineers. According to Governor Jos Calzada, 3000 engineers graduate annually in the state, but 6000 are required.

    Hence the importance of the Engi-neering Basics Program in Medium to Higher Education (hereafter PBI) which is operated by the College of Science and Technology Studies from the State of Queretaro (CECYTEQ), with the support of FUMEC, and which contrib-utes significantly to solving this problem.

    Five years ago the program began to train a new generation of candidates for engineering schools, using the ex-perience of the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program which is applied suc-cessfully in the Science Academy of South Texas.

    In 2013, the CECYTEQ celebrated the graduation of its third generation of students at PBI, consisting of 135 young people, of whom 102 continued study-ing technical and engineering careers. Twenty-three decided to study in other areas. We are talking about 90% of stu-dents who continue to study, of which 75% chose careers in engineering. This

    We discover young peoples talent and ability so their self-esteem grows, their aspirations soar and they begin to make better decisions.

  • 42

    nology University in San Juan, and even with the Aviation Industry in the state, in order to generate a collaborative en-vironment for its graduates to function professionally and expand their oppor-tunities.

    The collaboration with these other institutions has begun to bear fruit, be-cause we have created a value chain in which continuing education is given and students see a very favorable area to define their vocation and choose their career. In the words of the Rector of the Polytechnic University of Quereta-ro, graduates of CECYTEQs PBI leave with very clear direction in their careers in engineering and with the best perfor-mance in mathematics, says Luhrs.

    And although the Director of CE-CYTEQ is satisfied with the results so

    far, he is convinced that the PBI can improve. The program should grow in size and depth. With the support of FUMEC, we are in touch with what is happening in the United States, and we continue to delve deeper into what we do.

    One of PBIs tangible accomplish-ments is the recognition it receives from students and parents. These indi-viduals see it as an elite program, aimed at training top students. In the schools where it began, for every available space we already have three student applica-tions. This means that the program has been spreading and youths are begin-ning to approach us, says Luhrs.

    PBI has already achieved national recognition and the groundwork for its application in other states is being prepared. In December of 2013, during a meeting of the Advisory Council for Science and Engineering, Luhrs pre-sented the program to representatives of the Colleges of Science and Technol-ogy Studies (CECYTES) from Baja Cal-ifornia Sur, Coahuila, Durango, the State of Mexico, Guanajuato, Nuevo Len, Puebla and Yucatn. These all showed great interest in implementing the pro-gram in those states.

    We are convinced that this should be a national model, because it gives excellent results. There is a very im-portant impact, not only in numbers, but in the transformation of young people, adds Luhrs..

    In the schools where the program began, for every available space we already have three student applications.

  • Other Activities

  • 44

    Binational Collaboration in Health Care

    With 350 million legal crossings a year, the border between Mexico and the United States is the most frequently crossed border in the world. This dy-namism poses enormous challenges for health systems responsible for prevent-ing the spread of infectious diseases in these countries.

    The Binational Collaboration for Health Care program at FUMEC facili-tates the channeling of funds from the US to Mexico to coordinate binational efforts aimed at preventing or effec-tively fighting any infectious disease outbreaks.

    The objective of this collaboration is to improve Mexican epidemiology sur-veillance systems, with resources from the Departments of State and Health and Human Services (DHHS) in the United States, and supported by the Center for Disease Control and Pre-vention (CDC), that allow the promo-tion of this type of health initiatives.

    We act as a trustee that channels funds and coordinates actions in favor of the health of the population near the border. We also have the responsi-bility of coordinating the technical and administrative efforts of the institutions involved. We also connect the academ-ic and institutional networks that we work with, says Fernanda Guerrero, Program Coordinator for the Foun-dations Binational Collaboration in Health Care.

    The Border Infectious Disease Sur-veillance (BIDS) and the Surveillance and