Aware of the need to promote economic development in Mexico and to take advantage of business opportunities offered by Internet, the TEC of Monterrey launches the Strategic Technology Observatory, a key instrument in its new strategy based on identification of regional business opportunities.

the OVTT spoke with Dr.Amado Villarreal, head of the project:

Q: Dr. Villareal, how the need to implement this project arrises?

A: The Strategic Technology Observatory was born in 2007 as an initiative of the Research Chair “Identifying Strategic Opportunities for Development” in Monterrey TEC, with a key objective: to link the results of extensive research conducted by professors of Technology of Monterrey with the community, so that through the Observatory the user has access to the most relevant information to identify business opportunities and the context in which they occur.
Within these works include the identification of Strategic Development Opportunities for each of the 32 states and the 7 industrial corridors and give publicity to the study of social and technological megatrends. The formation of this entire database and studies led to the development of a web portal, the current Strategic Technology Observatory, which together with its combination with external sources has become a powerful identifier of business opportunities.

Q: What kind of individual and institutional support you have?

A: The drivers of this project have been the Tecnológico de Monterrey through Dr.Rafael Rangel Sostmann, Rector of ITESM System, and the group FEMSA (Fomento Economico Mexicano), through its Chairman, Mr. José Antonio Fernández Carbajal.
Currently, the area has a Regional Development Authority compound its support for a direction and coordination, where 10 professionals working in different specialties in the areas of economics, business, systems and strategic foresight.

Q: What are your main objectives?.

A: The Strategic Technology Observatory is a free portal that allows users to access the more relevant nformation so to identify business opportunities and the context in which they occur.
The Centre promotes business innovation and instills a spirit of inquiry so that each user can do their own search according to their interests.

Our objectives are:

  • Help users identify potential business opportunities.
  • Provide a structured source of strategic and technological information for the different sectors and companies.
  • Assist in the understanding of social and technological megatrends that are displayed to the future and business opportunities they generate.
  • Supporting information for different programs that integrate entrepreneurship within the ITESM.

Q: Which kind of users can enjoy this exciting project?

A: We arrive in the first instance to our students and teachers, who are interested in innovative entrepreneurship.
Also we have entrepreneurs from micro, small and medium enterprises, which in principle have no areas or resources in business intelligence and market, and through the information provided in the Centre can make better decisions.
We also arrive to public officials and governments in principle aimed at promoting the economic development of their regions, to design a better public policy to encourage investment and thus economic development. Finally, researchers interested in regional development and foresight.
Although some research findings are presented by states and regions of Mexico, much of the information provided by the Centre is linked to broader areas of knowledge. For example, social and technological megatrends have a global reach, as well as “external sources” suggested.

Q: What tools and services do the user users find on the website?

A: The Strategic Technology Observatory functions as a source base of relevant information:

  • Identify business opportunities on a personal level.
  • Identify business opportunities at state, regional and national levels.
  • Reflecting on public policies for development.
  • Access information to support entrepreneurship programs.
  • Access to information support for academic programs at both the professional and graduate level.
  • Having an expert database system.

Q: I believe that these initiatives will help improve university-business relations, the promotion of cooperation and entrepreneurship, is that right?

A: In the present context, considering the importance of development based on knowledge, innovation has a key role in business success. In this sense, the relationship between universities, companies and society can be supported from creación business opportunities with high added value, the Centre thus constitutes an important tool to support initiatives based on sound information.

Q: What kind of driving activities to promote the role of ICT for regional development you have?

A: Several of our regional studies have identified the importance in different regions of Mexico’s of the ICT sector. Currently through workshops with business partners.

Q: To end this interesting conversation, in your opinion, what are the future challenges of the Observatory?

A: For us the priority is to create a tool that reaches, not only Mexico but also abroad.
Currently the Strategic Technology Observatory is a tool designed for a national audience, showing information only in Spanish, an important challenge is to respond to globalization, and for that we need to project at international level. It is necessary to adjust our information contents that complies with the characteristics and needs of international audiences.
It is also necessary to consolidate our position as an important tool to identify business opportunities and public policies for regional economic development from scientific and academic research.

More information: Strategic Technology Observatory

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