Trends in advanced manufacturing innovation policy in Mexico. The automotive consortium CITTA.

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Brasil (2018)


GERPISA’s 26th international colloquium
June 11th-14th, 2018 at FEA/University of Sao Paolo, Brasil

Lourdes Alvarez FCA, UNAM
Lourdes Marquína UACM

Trends in advanced manufacturing innovation policy in Mexico. The automotive consortium CITTA.

Mexico gradually shifted to an export driven economy after signing the NAFTA agreement in 1994. Policy makers focused on the attraction of foreign direct investment and signed preferential trade agreements with 28 countries: especially appealing for the multinational companies were those signed up with the European Union and Japan. The automotive, electronics and software industries grew, thus encouraging associated services. The development of three automotive clusters and the growing production that picked 3.9 millions cars in 2017 contributed to generate higher value activities as engineering and design. Currently, there are 13 private engineering and design centers associated with manufacturers and suppliers and 12 research and development public centers organized to provide services to the automotive industry. Despite the experience acquired in manufacturing, participation of local companies and industry-university or industry-research center relationships has been scarce and the local productive structure is fragile.
In recent years, especially after the great crisis, different public-private initiatives were created to develop infrastructure and human capital in order to face the challenges created by a) global productive-restructuring of the industry, b) new environmental and safety legislation: c) new business models d) innovations in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and e) energy efficiency requirements, among others. As a consequence of the renegotiation of the NAFTA agreement, the boom in automotive production may continue or not. In spite of this, government and private sector entities are promoting advanced manufacturing initiatives that attempt to capture synergies between the country’s science and technology infrastructure and harness it to the services needed by the automotive industry. Features of the industrial organization in Mexico and specifically the automotive sector have established a framework for technological and scientific projects and human capital development initiatives.
This study aimed to assess the evidence regarding the efforts to support the development of advanced manufacturing in Mexico focusing in a public consortium lunched by the Science and Technology Council. A review of secondary sources is made to document the previous efforts and in-depth interviews are conducted with five key experts to analyze the consortium structure and processes. The paper is organized in three parts: the first describes the principles guiding industrial policy and background that support the development of advanced manufacture, the second describes public policy instruments and in the third we present a case study on organizational processes and their results. Case studies of knowledge convergence and consortiums across Mexico are incipient and given the restructuring of the RD centers, it is important to monitor its development and identify innovation processes.

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