Czech nanotechnologies in Mexico

Author: Jiří Kůs

20.5.2024

Mexico is the third largest economy in the Americas. The Mexican market is not only a gateway to other Latin American countries but also to the USA. Czech nanotechnologists participated in a technology mission in Mexico in April 2024 to look for opportunities to establish cooperation in advanced materials and technologies.

The technological mission took place as one of the projects to support economic diplomacy in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Mexico and the foreign office of CzechTrade in Mexico.  It was joined by seven Czech institutions and companies, among them CEITEC, Středočeské inováční centrum, BIOCEV, VŠB – Technical University of Ostrava, Czech Nanotechnology Industries Association, SVCS, Monet+ and on site representatives of MMCITÉ already established in Mexico.

The goal of the mission was not only to deepen existing cooperation, but also to find new opportunities. Discussions with partners in Mexico also touched on the possibility of exchanging students and researchers. The technological mission, which followed on from previous projects – the technological mission in 2019 and the incoming mission of representatives of the state of Jalisco in 2022, was led by the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Edvard Kožušník. His main focus was on such fields as nanotechnology, biotechnology, information and communication technology and advanced materials.

In the first two days of the mission, the Czech delegation visited the capital Mexico City, where they inspected the workplaces of the prestigious University Tec de Monterrey and the National Polytechnic Institute, with which discussed the possibilities of cooperation. The Czech delegation also discussed topics such as the support of cooperation in the field of science and research or the exchange of students and researchers with the Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation of Mexico City, Jesús Ofelia Angulo Guerrero.

In Mexico City, Deputy Kožušník also held discussions with Deputy Minister of Economy Alejandro Encinas Nájera. Jiří Kůs, the chairman of the Czech Nanotechnology Industries Association, also participated in the meeting. The main topics of the conversation were the development of Czech-Mexico economic relations, the support of Czech companies' projects and the completion of the modernization of the so-called Global Agreement between the EU and Mexico, which should further facilitate economic relations.

Subsequently, the mission moved to Guadalajara, the capital of the state of Jalisco. The fourth Innovation Day took place here, during which the Czech participants not only presented themselves, but also discussed the possibilities of developing further cooperation with their Mexican counterparts.

The Czech delegation also held discussions with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology of the State of Jalisco, Alfonso Pompa Padilla, and visited the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute - CINVESTAV Guadalajara, the Jesuit University of Gudalajara - ITESO, Transdisciplinary Institute of Research and Services of the University of Guadalajara - ITRANS, Intel Guadalajara Branch, Center for Research and Assistance in Technology and Design - CIATEJ or Tec de Monterrey campus in Guadalajara. Deputy Kožušník further supported the projects of Czech companies during negotiations with representatives of the Ministry of Transport of the state of Jalisco. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has been developing relations in Jalisco for a long time, the first official contact was made already in 2015. Since then, economic contacts have developed very well and a number of Czech companies have already settled in this state. The urban furniture manufacturer MMCITÉ started its production here. Škoda Electric established cooperation with the Mexican partner Dina. Companies such as ZETOR, Vocalls ai and many others are also present.

Mexico is the most important partner of the Czech Republic in Latin America. The Czech Republic's trade turnover with this country reaches 53% of the total turnover with the Latin American region (which represents USD 2.3 billion) and 56% of Czech exports to Latin America. Mexico is also the second most important trading partner of the Czech Republic on the American continent, and the value of Czech exports to the country exceeded one billion USD last year, which is twice as much as in 2016. Trade between the two countries has a constantly growing trend and is characterized by the fact that industrial products dominate trade flows in both directions. The Czech and Mexican economies are complementary in many ways, especially in key sectors, including automotive, energy, mining, defense and aerospace, and engineering. The Czech Republic and Mexico share a number of values and priorities, in addition to the support of innovation, this includes, for example, a liberal approach to trade and awareness of the need to diversify trade, given that both countries are economically very strongly linked to their neighbors (83% of Mexican exports now go to the USA, the dependence of the Czech economy on Germany and other EU markets is very well known).

Cooperation is gradually moving towards high-tech fields and research and development and also takes place in the field of science and universities. Among others, for example, cooperation between CIIRK and CINESTV of the Mexican National Polytechnic Institute, VŠB-TUO with the Mexican university Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas or the Jesuit University in Guadalajara, the Czech CEITEC (advanced materials) also has rich contacts with Mexican partners. This cooperation focuses on the exchange of students and researchers, e.g. Professor Sebastian Diaz de la Torre (National Polytechnic Institute) received an honoris causa degree in the Czech Republic, and a patent has already been created from the cooperation of CEITEC and IPN. Thanks to the Central Bohemian Innovation Center, the digital education method for secondary school teachers, developed by prof. Jorge Sanabria (University of Guadalajara Tec de Monterrey). The technological mission brought a whole range of topics for the further development of cooperation. One of them could be the use of Czech nanotechnologies in the cosmetics industry, in which Mexico excels.

Source: https://www.mpo.gov.cz/cz/zahranicni-obchod/mezinarodni-obchod-dle-teritorii/severni-a-jizni-amerika-a-karibik/moderni-technologie-a-pokrocile-obory-novy-smer-cesko-mexicke-spoluprace–280766/

Photos and videos from the mission: archive of the Czech Nanotechnology Industry Association

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