Yucatan will become a pole for Artificial Intelligence in Mexico

Merida's high-quality engineering talent pool and SEZ gives companies significant potential to grow and develop a tech company in this corner of Mexico. (Photo: elzocalo.com.mx)

Yucatan seeks to become the pole for the development of artificial intelligence at national and regional level in the next five years. This is the goal proposed by Víctor Gutiérrez Martínez, general director of Grupo Plenum and former National President of CANIETI.

Taking advantage of the Special Economic Zone (EEZ) in the state, the group of investors headed by Grupo Plenum, created a project in which academia, capital funds, private companies and government converge with the objective of encouraging the development of information technologies , but especially, address and enhance artificial intelligence.

“The Yucatan EEZ is an area dedicated to innovation and information technologies, this makes it different from the areas announced in Lázaro Cárdenas, Salina Cruz, Chiapas or Campeche. (…) Our growth plan is accelerated and expects to be the largest cluster of its kind in Latin America. In the next 5 years we are going to take advantage of the great demand that the sector of artificial intelligence has around the world,” Gutiérrez said in an interview with Expansión.

The development plan to take advantage of this artificial intelligence market, which will add 15.7 billion US dollars to the global gross domestic product in 2030, is supported by the operation of a university focused on technological careers and artificial intelligence, which is 100% bilingual, in addition to the presence of the Redwood private equity fund that encourages the creation of startups.

At the same time, the Yucatecan technology entrepreneurs will collaborate with public research centers such as Conacyt, Ipicyt, Texas AM, among others.

Gutiérrez said the plan is to invest 100 million US dollars annually in the next five years.

“We have support from the Ministry of Economy but most of the investment comes from the private sector. There is an obligation for the full development of the Special Economic Zone, of at least $ 100 million USD a year. In the next five years we will invest more than 500 million dollars, this investment will be made by our companies but also by third parties that are investing in training, VC, Real Estate, etc.” he said.

It is expected that a more detailed announcement about the project will be made in October by the Ministry of Economy; however, the call for artificial intelligence specialists is open and there are, until now, 500 students enrolled in the pre-selection phase.

Gutiérrez estimated that for the coming months and years more collaboration is expected from the government to resolve, as soon as possible, the lack of specialized talent development in these disciplines.

Víctor Gutiérrez Martínez, general director of Grupo Plenum and former National President of CANIETI

 

How serious is the deficit of specialized talent?

“It’s not a matter of quantity, but of quality and specialization. It is evident that the combination of efforts between public and educational policies related to technology are not completely connected. From now on, for any economic analyst, the topics of AI and data science are very relevant but the number of specialists in this field does not correspond to the demand, nor to the economic relevance” Gutiérrez explained.

For now, Mexico ranks 22nd out of 35 countries at the level of readiness to address Artificial Intelligence, according to the OECD, so the international organization has recommended that the improvement in talent training and the development of public policies focused on technology be a priority for next years.

TYT Newsroom with information from zocalo.com.mx





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