Monday, June 23, 2014
The U.S.-Mexico Binational Working Group Meets in Arizona
Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs
On June 9-10, 2014, more than 90 representatives of U.S.
and Mexican government, private sector, higher education, community and civil society met to discuss joint research and innovation
between our countries. The working group, the sixth in a series of binational meetings on the Bilateral Forum on Higher
Education, Innovation, and Research, discussed ways to strengthen and expand existing research and innovation partnerships
as part of the ongoing efforts to raise economic competitiveness and prosperity in the region.
M. Alcocer, Undersecretary for North America and Dr. Nathaniel Schaefle, Lead Innovation Advisor in the Office of the Science
and Technology Advisor to the Secretary of State, opened the working group meeting. In his opening remarks, Dr. Alcocer
highlighted the importance of linking innovation and research with the strategic economic sectors of both countries
in order to trigger competitiveness and make North America the most dynamic and prosperous region in the world.
Schaefle linked efforts in joint research and innovation to broader policy goals, noting that “The accelerating pace
of technological change and its substantial impact on economic development has convinced most countries that they must engage
in science, technology, and innovation in order to be competitive economically, and create jobs for their citizens. The unprecedented
accessibility to science and technology gives us all opportunities to address the world’s toughest problems in new and
Discussions focused on identifying topics and modalities of association, and existing
best practices in joint research and innovation between Mexico and the United States, including in the areas of technology
transfer, astrophysics, health, infrastructure and logistics, materials and advanced manufacturing, and the environment. Special
attention was paid to the successful bilateral research and innovation collaboration between countries, particularly the Industry/University
Cooperative Research Centers Program by the National Science Foundation and the joint research programs between the Mexican
National Council for Science and Technology and some U.S. universities.
Hosted by the University of Arizona,
the meeting included U.S. representatives from the Department of State, the National Science Foundation, universities, community
colleges and higher education associations, the National Academy of Sciences, and the private sector. Mexican participants
represented the Secretariats of Foreign Relations, Education, Economy, Health, Energy, the National Council for Science and
Technology, the Mexican Academies of Sciences and Engineering, Mexican higher education institutions, and the private
sector. Binational representatives of the U.S.-Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange, and the U.S.-Mexico
Foundation for Science also attended.
This working group meeting followed a smaller binational seminar at the
University of Arizona - Miraval Institute in Tucson, Arizona on “Creating an Innovation Region.” The seminar was
hosted by Dr. Joaquin Ruiz, from the University of Arizona, and facilitated by Dr. John Kao, author of Innovation Nation and
advisor to major corporations and government administrators around the world.
President Obama and President Peña
Nieto announced the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research in May 2013. U.S. Secretary
of State John Kerry joined Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs José Antonio Meade and Mexican Minister of Education
Emilio Chuayffet in officially launching the Bilateral Forum on May 21, 2014. Through the Bilateral Forum, governments,
the higher education community, the private sector, and civil society of Mexico and the United States work together to strengthen
educational and research cooperation and encourage broader access to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
fields. They also aim to expand student, scholar, and teacher exchanges, increase joint research in areas of mutual
interest, and share best practices in higher education and innovation.
Additional information is available at:
Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research:
Astrophysics: San Pedro Martir telescope project in Baja California:
Health: La Red initiative (project between SSA and NIH)
Materials: CANFSA Initiative (CETYS, Colorado School of Mines,
Environment: Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaboration
Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program:
release, Jun. 16, 2014, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), Mexico, DF; translation by SRE