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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Spring 2007

LAS 381 • Higher Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation: Value chain of scientific knowledge

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
40574 T
5:00 PM-8:00 PM
SRH 1.313

Course Description

Gustavo Adolfo Chapela-Castañares Mexico is facing the challenge to transform its economy into a new one based on human capital and R&D to produce high value added products and services increase the economic growth and income per capita. At the same time the country is facing the challenge to reduce poverty (30-40 million) and provide education of quality to 33 million children and young population that will constitute the work force in the next 10-15 years. The natural resources and low cost manufacturing activities are not longer competitive advantages for the economic and social development of México. With more than 30 free trade agreements with different countries, the country is dealing with fierce competition from different competitors around the world and losing competitiveness. During the last four decades Mexico has built a small but competitive scientific and technological system with more than 100 universities and public research centers. The total number of researchers is around 33,000 and 12,000 of them are in the National Researchers System. The National spending in R&D is 0.4 % of the GDP corresponding 65 % to the public sector and 35 % to the private sector. In the last years, the Congress, the Government (Federal and States) and the private sector have shown a growing interest to support and utilize science and technology as an important tool to solve problems of public interest and to increase the competitiveness of the enterprises, as a consequence of the new Law of Science and Technology launched in 2002 and the new instruments derived from it. In spite of that, the number of researchers, patents and the budget for S&T in Mexico are behind of countries like Brazil, (1%GDP), Spain (1.2% GDP), Korea (2.7 %GDP) and USA (2.6%).

The course will examine the following components: 1. Investment in R&D and its impact in economic growth and competitiveness. Knowledge, technological change and innovation have demonstrated to be one of the most important contributors to economic growth and competitiveness in developed countries. Analysis and overview of the different economic models that Mexico has implemented in the last five decades will be discussed and also the perspectives for the oncoming years. 2. Description of the Mexico³s Public Scientific and Technological System. Research Universities; Public Research Centers; the National Researchers System; the Graduate and Scholarship Programs; National Classification of Postgraduate programs. Science and Technology indicators and benchmarking with other countries. 3. Legal Framework for Science and Technology. The 2002 Law of Science and Technology ; The new law for CONACYT (National Council for Science and Technology) ;The IRS Law and the Tax Incentive Program for R&D expenses in private companies ; Description of other regulatory norms for S&T. 4. The National Program for Science and Technology 2001-2006. Objectives, Strategies and Priorities; Programs, Instruments and Mechanisms to support graduate studies and R&D projects (Basic, Applied and Technological Development); The Research Funds; The Regional approach for the development of S&T in the 32 states of the country; The role and importance of International Cooperation, Strategy and Programs; The programs for the diffusion and teaching of S&T for children and general society, 5. The Role and Importance of the Private Sector in S&T. 6. Introduction, analysis and development of the concept of the value chain of scientific knowledge. The Tax incentive program and its impact in the R&D investment in the Mexican companies ; Programs and Financial Instruments (credit, seed and venture capital and grants) to support incubators, start ups and new ventures based on scientific and technological developments made in Mexico ; Public- Private Consortia for innovation. Best practices for management of innovation and product development in the companies. The course will conclude with proposals of public policy about strategy, political actions, legal and regulatory improvement, reinforcement of the present programs and new ones and actions to improve S&T investment in Mexico in view of the next presidential election in Mexico for 2006. A reading knowledge of Spanish is desirable but no required for this course. Classes will comprise primarily seminar presentations and discussions led by graduate students, built around course readings, and class notes circulated on blackboard. In addition several supplementary speakers from Mexico³s academy, private and government sectors have provisionally agreed to visit campus during the semester. Student assessment will be based upon a research work selected by the students among the 6 topics mentioned above in one term paper (50%), participation in class discussions (25%) and a final two hour essay exam (25 %). Course Outline. 1. The first 4 weeks will be provided all the information trough seminar presentations readings and discussions about the 6 topics described above. 2. From there, the students will select the theme for the research work and its progress will be reviewed every two weeks through student presentations.


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