The project “Convergence of Energy and Climate Change Policy in Mexico” (CONECC) seeks to build bridges between the energy and climate sectors in order to facilitate the achievement of global and national climate goals. The scope of these commitments requires a strong impetus to technological change, which is why CONECC, in coordination with the Querétaro Sustainable Development Secretariat (SEDESU) and the company LiCore, began the process of forming the Querétaro Hub of Technological Innovation in February 2020.
The Hub is a linking platform that seeks to promote the development and implementation of innovations that can accelerate the energy transition and green competitiveness of Querétaro’s productive sector. Given its pioneering characteristic in the region, the experience is expected to serve as a model for various public-private collaboration efforts for climate technology development in other states.
Likewise, the Hub seeks to strengthen collaboration in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship in Querétaro, which includes start-ups, SMEs, large and corporate companies, public institutions, and academia. In March 2020, a Working Group was set up to form the Hub, made up of representatives from the state’s innovation and entrepreneurship sectors. The Working Group will discuss governance and financial sustainability mechanisms, as well as identify projects to start the Hub’s operations.
During the Working Group’s first meeting at the facilities of the “Nuqleo” entrepreneurship area in Querétaro, the process of legal incorporation of the Hub and the prioritization of strategic services and lines of action were analyzed; some of them include:
- Acceleration and promotion of disruptive technologies and business models.
- Advice, training, and certification for startups and SMEs.
- Access to innovation laboratories (sandbox formats) or similar. A sandbox guides the development of new technologies or business models in a testing environment that takes into account the regulation and/or applicable legislation, mainly promoting innovation in the field of digitalization of the electricity sector.
The CONECC project will provide technical support in the process of forming the Hub. The aim is to have the technical opinion of an expert team to create linkage platforms and technological innovation and establish a coordination office for the Hub based in Querétaro. A communication strategy will also be elaborated for the socialization and dissemination of the Hub on local and national levels.
The Working Group plans to work on the selection of specific projects that, through a strategic action plan, allow successful integration of start-ups and SMEs in the innovation environment. The selected projects are expected to receive (1) consultancies to align their proposals to the main issues facing the state energy sector and, (2) support in development and implementation processes, through methodologies such as design thinking or sandboxes. Mentoring, access to specialized testing laboratories, commercial feasibility analysis, links to financing, and interrelation with national and international companies and experiences are included, among others.
The creation of a technological innovation hub in Querétaro is essential for sustainable economic recovery. This collaboration model fosters innovative technologies and business models in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Coordinated action between the state innovation area and entrepreneurship is strengthening economic competitiveness and accelerating the implementation of low-carbon technologies. More information coming soon.
All images are from workshops carried out prior to the COVID-19 health emergency. Currently, meetings and work sessions are held in virtual format.