TRIPLE HELIX MODEL

Mexico 2018 | ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Aristóteles Sandoval Díaz, Governor of Jalisco, on its research- and technology-based development plan, innovative governance model, and investing in education.

Aristóteles Sandoval Díaz
BIOGRAPHY
Aristóteles Sandoval Díaz has governed the western State of Jalisco since 2013. Formerly, he served as a local lawmaker in the state legislature and then as the Mayor of Guadalajara from 2010-2012. He holds a law degree from University of Guadalajara and a master’s degree in public management from ITESO University.

What is Jalisco's long-term bet in terms of economic specialization?

It is based on innovation, science, and technology, not as a concept but as a system. The current administration's first action was to create the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology. We carried out a study regarding the changes in technology in industry, such as manufacturing, over the past 50 years. Through this, we were able to reinforce technological ideas and conditions powered by innovation and science. Our development plan is based on this philosophy.

How has private and public spending regarding research and technology evolved in recent years?

Since the start of ouradministration, we have increased the budget for research and technology from 0.37% to 1%. However, private investment has hovered around USD10 billion across the last five years and the sector requires additional private investment for development and encouragement of start-ups.

Why did Jalisco opt for a “triple helix" governance model to foster its knowledge-based economy?

We signed a triple helix model agreement that includes the government as the coordinator, the private sector as the main investor, and universities—including public, private, and vocational education institutions—as knowledge and research builders. The benefits go to society, which acts as a fourth helix. Jalisco has always had great potential, and we saw the opportunity to articulate efforts in the government's agenda based on innovation, science, and technology. At present, there is a council formed by all the private and public university presidents working on projects and plans with the government.

Concerning Jalisco's successful agri-food sector, what is the relation between innovation, exports, and national food supply?

Success was possible due to the support for agricultural research as well as technological investment and development. Investing in technology for rural areas allows farmers to propel future generations to become entrepreneurs. Jalisco is home to Latin America's most important research center for agroindustry. By giving farmers access to investment, research, and better seeds, they are able to analyze the time of year and the type of soil for all the potential products. Due to these steps, there was a reduction in pests and animal diseases. On the back of these innovations, a development and growth model was created; farmers who only grew corn were growing berries and earning 600% more income. We provide help with production, export, and commercialization of their products. Through these value-adding steps, we export to 193 countries.

Many states and cities opt for Industry 4.0. What is Jalisco doing differently here?

Jalisco's gamechanger is investment in education. We created a Council 4.0 with an allocated budget, in charge of checking out the projects that need to be legislated and managing educational programs that suit market needs. From registering the least number of patents in Mexico, Jalisco is now on top of the list. If Mexico continues to adopt Industry 4.0, it will be a world leader within 10 years. The difference can already be observed; there are 6,000 companies in Jalisco now as compared to 300 at the start of our administration. By further implementing Industry 4.0, we can substantially reduce poverty, violence, and insecurity.

What policies has Jalisco put in place to cut down on its greenhouse gas emissions?

We have achieved this through stringent policies. Rather than following other Latin American cities by investing in infrastructure for vehicles, we have invested in public and alternative transport systems. We are about to inaugurate the third line of our subway system and extend line one. Moreover, by increasing the number of rail cars per train to three, an extra 350,000 people will be able to use the system daily, reducing the number of car journeys by 1 million. In addition, by expanding the bike-sharing system and zones with speed limits, we can reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 17,000 tons. Our broader measures include intercity transportation systems, implementation of bio digesters, restoring water bodies, and stricter regulations for companies working in Jalisco.