Apart from the drama of the Presidential Elections in the United States, of which at least one result could mark a Tipping Point in the city of Tijuana, this November, the city will be hosting a series of unrelated events that seem to be showing a new trend. Or are they really unrelated?
November 2, 3 & 4 Tijuana will host the 5th International Conference of Mexicos Technology Transfer Offices Network (http://www.congreso.redott.mx/). This conference brings together leaders of over 200 technology transfer organizations from Mexico and Latin America from both the Public and Private sector, as well as Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists and heads of Government institutions that foster innovation, science research and technology.
There will be internationally recognized Keynote Speakers talking about the impact of technology commercialization on regional economies, workshops on intellectual property, royalty negotiations, and others. In addition there will be a Business 2 Business pavilion showcasing current technologies available for investors and entrepreneurs. Whos-Who of technology transfer in Mexico will be there. Why?
November 6, 7 & 8, Tijuana Innovadora focuses on Creative Industries highlighting the citys strengths in sectors such as film, multimedia, software, digital content, and entertainment. Keynote speakers during this 3 days include:
Richard L. Davies, Global Head of Corporate Alliances para Cirque du Soleil; Sergio Aragonés the legendary cartoonist for MAD Magazine and many other comics; Rika Muranaka one of the worlds leading music composers for the Video Game industry, she is the composer for famous video games including Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Castlevania; Alfonso Arau, the first Mexican Film Director to win over Hollywood with films such as Like Water for Chocolate and Walk In The Clouds.
The full Tijuana Innovadora festival, now in its 4th edition, actually starts on November 3 and ends on the 10th. In all the event will have November 16, 17 & 18, Tijuana will host for the first time the INDEX National Convention at the Baja Center.
INDEX is the new name for the National Maquiladora Industry Association, comprised of over 1,200 export manufacturing multinational corporations, a workforce of more than 2.3 Million and exports worth over 200 billion dollars. The vent brings together the leaders of this sector from 20 major industrial hubs, the highest ranking government officials in Trade, Customs, Labor, and Taxes. Keynote speakers include Rosario Marin, Former Treasurer of the United States and Jun Umemura, GroupVicePresidente Toyota North America. The main focus of the event is on the evolution of this industry to higher value added processes and better supply chain integration in North America.
November 23rd, the 3rd Innovation Forum of 2016 focused on Technology Incubators and Accelerators. A regional series of forums bringing together the leading organizations of the Innovation Ecosystem in Baja California and San Diego, including entrepreneurs, research institutions and government agencies. The Keynote speaker will be Dr. Carlos Lopez Monsalvo, President of the Technical Panel of Mexicos National Innovation Award.
Could this be the beginning of a new ERA of a Value Added economy for a city that has for a long time leveraged its comparative lower costs to California as the basis of its economy, from tourism and health care to labor intensive manufacturing? Although these events were not planned in coordination, they ALL seem to leverage the creativity and knowledge of people and I dont think that it is a coincidence that it is happening in Tijuana.
I believe a new generation of more highly educated professionals and high self-esteemed entrepreneurs is awakening and that we are witnessing a TIPPING POINT to a higher Value Added economy.
p.s.: Even as a Prelude to the November Events, this weekend Tijuana is hosting the Culinary Art Fest with international Chefs competing, conducting workshops and offering a taste of their masterpieces, at the Tijuana Cultural Center, another Creative Industry evolving in Tijuana.
The author, Flavio Olivieri, is a Board Member of IGNITUS Tech-Innovation Association.