How Innovative Is Mexico?

On October 23, 2018, with the sponsorship of Rassini, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in partnership with the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI), hosted a conference in Mexico City on innovation. CSIS invited experts and senior government officials from Mexico and the United States to discuss the state of innovation in Mexico, how to increase it, and what the new Mexican government should do to promote it. The presentations and discussions yielded six major insights:

  1. Despite low rankings on current global metrics, Mexico has the human capital to become a more innovative country, especially in its export-led sectors.
  2. A strong system of intellectual property rights and clear regulatory frameworks are fundamental to growing an innovation economy in Mexico.
  3. Educational reform, especially in higher education, is critical to developing a new culture of innovation.
  4. The linkages in Mexico between research universities and the private sector are weak and are holding back innovation and affecting competitiveness.
  5. The lack of financing in Mexico, especially risk capital, is a serious obstacle to forming and building innovative start-up companies.
  6. Mexico’s growth potential is not uniform, by region or by sector. Certain industries, regions, and demographic groups have the capacity to compete at a global level, while others are being completely left behind.

Richard G. Miles is a senior associate of the Americas Program at CSIS.

The conference would not have been possible without the generous support of Rassini S.A.B.

Richard Miles