Jalisco’s burgeoning relationship with Canada received another shot in the arm last month following a visit to two provinces by an education and research mission headed by Jaime Reyes Robles, state secretary for Innovation, Science and Technology.
One of the main purposes of the trip was to explore possibilities for future collaboration between tech firms, government agencies and higher educational institutions in Canada and Jalisco.
In Ontario, Reyes Robles and his team visited the universities of McMaster and Ryerson, as well the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. According to SICYT sources, the team identified several potential areas for collaboration in health research, specifically diabetes, obesity and cancer, as well as in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The Jalisco mission also toured and learned about the work being carried out at the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, which bills itself as “a social finance hub and project incubator that acts as a collaboration space to help mobilize private capital for the public good.”
Members of the mission included representatives from a broad spectrum of Jalisco institutions, such as the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara (UAG), the Universidad de Guadalajara (UdG) and the Hospital Civil.
A preliminary collaboration initiative was agreed with WaterTap, a non-profit organization in Ontario that helps water technology entrepreneurs, utilities and investors make the connections and find the resources they need to keep the water sector prospering.
In Alberta, a visit was made to the installations of Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures, a government funded research and development corporation that helps tech industries find solutions, develop products and move technologies to market.
In 2009, Alberta and Jalisco signed a partnership agreement through this agency to collaborate in research and technology development. So far, 17 projects from micro- to medium-sized businesses in Jalisco have benefited from this relationship to the tune of 43 million pesos.
During the visit, the two entities reaffirmed their backing for the program for another year, designating 13 million pesos in support for initiatives in the areas of the internet of things, artificial intelligence and public policy for the regulation of climate change.
At the University of Alberta, Reyes met with professors and researchers to identify 15 areas of potential collaboration, including renewable energy, biotechnology, fire prevention and soil restoration.
Finally, an agreement was reached with Alberta Innovates on a pilot program to research converting mescal and agave waste into a source of energy.
Only recently constituted, Alberta Innovates consolidates the existing government agencies of Bio Solutions, Energy and Environment Solutions, Health Solutions and Technology Futures into one corporation to fund and drive innovations.