We present TECHNOPOLI, the Technological Development Unit of the National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico. A technological pole dedicated to attracting “driver” companies with experience in technology management and generation of innovation and technology projects in network. The technology watch is the motor of its activity.

We spoke with Óscar Jorge Súchil Villegas, Secretary of Extension and Social Integration of the IPN.

P:How did the need to set up TECHNOPOLI came out?

R: The Unit of Technology Development, TECHNOPOLI was created as part of the strategies designed in 2008 by the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) to strengthen scientific and technological contributions that ensured the institutional offer of research applied products, technological development and innovation with the requests of the productive and social sector.

P:That is to say, it is a model of technology transfer that supports the technological collaboration between University and companies.

R: Yes, TECHNOPOLI is a technological pole focused to driver companies to generate technology in network. We work for promoting the creation and the growth of technological businesses by means of Spin-offs companies generation; providing infrastructures and services to lodge intensive companies in knowledge, generators of new products of avant-garde positioned in the market.

Source: TECHNOPOLI

P:Which kind of institutions integrate TECHNOPOLI?

R: TECHNOPOLI is the sum of the effort of many institutions: the National Polytechnic Institute, the Office of Economy of the Federal Government and the Secretary of Extension and Social Integration of the IPN.

P:Nowadays, which is the main mission of TECHNOPOLI?

R: Our institutional work is centred in different complementary areas, such as:

  • Articulate some successful links between the academic, productive and business sectors, supporting the integration of interdisciplinary teams to carry on innovation and technological development projects for Mexico. In addition, to promote the generation of synergies among them and our capacity to attract driver companies with experience in technology management.

  • The training processes to the productive sector, creating new synergies between development and request of new technologies, promoting the creation and growth of technology businesses for the National Polytechnic Institute.

  • Articulate the institutional technology offer in terms of specialised infrastructure to support technology development that attend the market and give feasibility to the development of technological projects; thereby facilitating the linking of technology developed in the Institute with the country’s economic activity so the results profit to the society.

P:What type of users is directed TECHNOPOLI?:

R: The focus of attention of TECHNOPOLI are the driver companies, those that are leaders in the market and that require quick innovation with the purpose to reaffirm its leadership with new products.

These companies, with national and international prestige, foster the emergence of technology based companies or Spin-off, contributing to the generation of new employments, activation of the country’s economy through technology transfer.

P:In which sectors are you specialised on?

R: The IPN has nine research networks that are the framework for the strategic study areas of the Institute. For TECHNOPOLI the main subjects are: biotechnology, computation, economic development, energy, environment, nanotechnology, health, telecommunications, robotic and mecatronics.

Additionally, in the field of ICT we are specialised in strategic sectors such as:Animation 3D, Production of Digital Video, Schemed CNC and Impression of Prototypes 3D.

P:To carry out this work as an intermediary, do you devote an important effort to technology watch?

R: The technology watch is a main axis of the TECHNOPOLI activity. First, there is the Business Intelligence System, a skilled system in technology watch to help the articulation between technology developments generated in the National Polytechnic Institute and the requests from the Productive Sector. For example, it allows us to identify market niches, to offer skilled services of intelligence, to detect investment opportunities, etc.

Second, we have incorporated a model of Technology Observatory TECHNOPOLI (OTTP-IPN). It’s a technology platform that allows the transformation of strategic information into knowledge that adds value for applied research with a social approach, also allows the identification of strategic development fields in order to anticipate the correct decision-making for the private industry. Some products are:

Oracle. An academic space that offers the opportunity to approach skilled and strategic information , the application focuses to the solution of needs for technology innovation , where the users formulate specific questions are able to create competitive advantages that will lead to success.

The user can make use of the diverse technological tools and specialised computational systems and databases. Nowadays, three nodes conform the knowledge network, that is a skilled software in technological innovation: IHS Goldfire, a scienciometry system of patents: Matheo Patent and a system of business information, in which we are evaluating diverse options still. Inside Oracle one has access to several tools such as SciVerse Spotlight and SciVerse Scopus, among others and also it is connected to the OVTT technology watch System.

  1. Technology Services of competitive technological information. It is the activity concerning the Competitive Technology Intelligence that we perform in the OTTP-IPN. Determination of the state of the art, strategic technology information, copyright documentation, collaboration with entities and with national and international experts in order to exchange best practices in Competitive Technological Intelligence, innovation and technology development.
  1. Technology Watch Newsletter. It is our main dissemination electronic tool.

P:They are many advantages for a professional interested in innovation for using Technology Watch, however still there are an early stage for companies, researchers and professional. From your experience, which are the main profits that these innovative companies achieve when they begin to implement technological watch practices?

R: They are many, we can summarize some advantages or profits for the organisation:

  • Anticipate changes: it is a basic task of Technology Watch, identify new technologies, machinery, processes, markets and competitors by implementing a constant search
  • Reduce risks: it Involves detection of threats: patents, products, regulations, alliances and new investments.
  • Detect threats: it prepares to the change of the environment: policies, environmental, social, economic, normative.
  • Progress: Detect gaps between products and needs of the customer and market, between our capacities and the competitors’ ones.
  • Innovation: Locate new ideas and solutions through the R&D programs and a strategy based in investment and commercialisation opportunities.
  • Cooperate: Identify new partners, customers and experts to facilitate incorporation of technology advances regarding products and processes.

P:In this sense, which kind of work do you consider it is necessary to do?

R: From TECHNOPOLI we consider fundamental to continue working in ideas such as to raise awareness of benefits and opportunities to companies of using technology watch.

P:To finish with, in your opinion, which are the future challenges of TECHNOPOLI?

R: I would stand out the following ideas:

  • To have regulations and generate technological businesses in the IPN.
  • To generate a successful dissemination of our model, its products and services for the interest of the business sector
  • To systematise value information and knowledge in order to cover the needs of the companies that wish to develop technological innovation with the IPN researches.
  • To guarantee the complete process of creation of technology based Companies.
  • To start with Technology Prospective projects.

More information: TECHNOPOLI

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