Incorporating more domestic players into the industry’s “ecosystem” is one factor that would contribute to innovation in the Mexican electronics sector.
In an interview with the maquiladora industry publication, Border Now, a sister publication of Mexico Now magazine, Dr. Sergio Carrera Riva Palacio, executive director of the Center of Research and Innovation in Information and Communication Technologies emphatically stated that the continued growth and competitiveness of the Mexican electronics sector will be dependent upon its ability to innovate.
An open culture and collaboration are critical to success
Dr. Carrera asserted that the ability of the Mexican electronics sector to innovate and to develop new and competitive technologies is dependent upon four factors that include:
- The creation of an open culture, that is the making of an environment that is capable of recruiting and retaining independent and innovative thinkers that are encouraged to take the initiative to exercise their creativity within the context of a progressive organization.
- The incorporation of companies into collaborative “ecosystems” that encourage contact and interaction with suppliers, clients and competitors within the Mexican electronics sector.
- A regular collaboration between private sector firms and the academic world where basic research is being done. Establishing these kind of connections is essential for making sure that the research and development activities that drive technological innovation and global competitiveness are taking place.
- The development of indigenous small and medium Mexican electronics sector business that can contribute to the development of a strengthened domestic link to global markets.
Although Dr. Carrera considers the 6.3% increase in Mexican electronics sector products that has been registered over the last six years to be somewhat of a disappointment, Victor Gutierrez, president of CANIETI, which is Mexico’s Cámara Nacional de la Industria Electrónica, de Telecomunicaciones y Tecnologías de la Información (CANIETI), or its National Electronics,Telecommunications and IT Chamber of Commerce, points to other numbers that paint a more positive picture. He provides the area of Information Technology as an example of a market segment in which great strides have been made in a relatively short time. While in 2002 IT exports from Mexico were valued at under US $200 million dollars, external shipments of the same class of products now total more than US $6 billion.
Both Dr. Carrera and the president of CANIETI share the opinion, however, that the key to Mexican electronics sector growth is its ability to use the resources at its disposal to continue to innovate.