Tecnológico de Monterrey and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the two highest-ranked universities in Mexico, have signed a collaboration agreement to boost the country’s scientific and technological ecosystem.
David Garza, rector and executive president of Tec de Monterrey, and Enrique Graue, rector of UNAM, presided over the launch ceremony for the UNAM-TEC Consortium for Research, Technology Transfer, and Entrepreneurship. Each institution will contribute with a seed fund of 10 million pesos to promote initial projects. Private enterprises will also participate in the Consortium. The ceremony took place on August 18 in the Tec’s Mexico City Campus Library. Directors from both universities participated alongside representatives from FEMSA and CEMEX, who will be the first beneficiaries of the agreement.
Renewing their commitment to science, innovation, and technology
The Consortium’s objective is to strengthen collaboration by bringing together different experiences and capacities to develop projects, initiatives, programs, or high-value research that boost educational, social, and economic development in Mexico. It was also agreed to strengthen the links between both institutions to create new and better work schemes.
The agreement encourages research teams and students from the two universities to work together and create synergies to develop technological projects. As a result, students will develop skills that they can use in professional settings. The links they will create with companies through these projects could also lead to future job opportunities. This agreement means that the universities will also be able to create synergies with companies for developing technologies that find innovative solutions to the needs of different industries.
Tec and UNAM collaborate on Mexico’s development
David Garza, rector and president of Tec, emphasized the service to society provided by both higher education institutions due to their lengthy collaboration. “The launch of this Consortium for Research, Technology Transfer, and Entrepreneurship is, without a doubt, a step forward in putting our creativity and talent at the service of society,” Garza said. “It’s our duty to join forces in all areas and to bring in other stakeholders from research, education, economy, and government, to begin a positive evolution towards the knowledge economy in Mexico,” he added.
Enrique Graue, rector of UNAM, recognized the efforts made by both universities in innovating and working together with private enterprises to improve social and economic development in Mexico. “Today, an unprecedented milestone brings us together: the meeting and fusion of interests with Mexican companies. We’re aware that we need to innovate and increase the value of products produced in Mexico,” said the rector of UNAM.
Opening doors to innovation
At the signing of the collaboration agreement, FEMSA and CEMEX also signed memoranda of understanding to join the Consortium. These will be the first private enterprises to pose challenges to the Tec and UNAM research teams. “This agreement is a fundamental part of bringing academia and private enterprise together to address the important challenges that we’re working on,” said Ricardo Naya, President of CEMEX. “It’s a unique synergy between CEMEX, UNAM, and the Tec, bringing together the best research and development talent from the three institutions.”
“In collaborating with UNAM and Tecnológico de Monterrey, we’re opening the door to a flow of challenges, needs, new knowledge, and opportunities that will allow us to live in a truly innovative community,” said Víctor Treviño, Director of Energy and Sustainability at FEMSA.
Juan Pablo Murra, rector of undergraduate and graduate studies at the Tec, emphasized that the agreement has facilitated collaboration between the universities for several years in health, additive manufacturing, and entrepreneurship. “From the scientific collaboration of our researchers on more than 500 joint publications to the creation of the RIE 360 Educational Innovation Network, where universities promote learning through educational innovation.”
The launch of the Consortium also meant the renewal of the Collaboration Framework Agreement, initially signed by both institutions in 2016 and which was valid for five years. The event also included Jorge Vázquez Ramos, Coordinator of Outreach and Technology Transfer at UNAM, and Hugo Garza Medina, vice president of Strategic Projects at Tec de Monterrey.
Tec-UNAM collaboration projects
In May 2016, Salvador Alva, then president of Tecnológico de Monterrey, and Enrique Graue, rector of UNAM, committed to developing science, innovation, and technology for a positive impact on Mexico. Here are some of the collaborative projects:
– Educational Innovation Network (RIE 360): This network, which 12 Mexican public and private universities participate in, aims to improve education and make it more accessible.
– Decision-making center for the hydrocarbon sector: An analytical platform that uses data science to generate scenarios that allow better decision-making to take place.
– The National Additive Manufacturing, 3D Digitization, and Computed Tomography Laboratory (MADIT): Studies the properties and relationships between materials, processes, and geometry and focuses on the health industry.
– The Together for Health initiative: Both institutions participated in the initiative and jointly supported the health sector during the pandemic.
Both institutions are the two highest-ranked universities in Mexico: UNAM ranks 105th and the Tec 161st in the QS World University Rankings 2022; the Times Higher Education Latin American Rankings names Tec de Monterrey as Latin America’s fourth-best university.