BIOHELIS: a unique science and technology park in Mexico2009-11-27
Humberto Villarreal and Laurence Mercier
Upon celebrating its 34th Anniversary, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste (CIBNOR) started creating a park for technology innovation called BIOHELIS jointly with the State Government of Baja California Sur and the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACyT). The purpose of this park is to transform scientific knowledge into innovating products that improve business competitiveness, generate employment, and contribute to food assurance in the country. Knowledge transfer will be performed in the fields of aquaculture, fisheries, agriculture, and land regulation by promoting eco-efficiency as well as sustainability.
Eco-efficiency is a term that was developed in the beginning of the 90s, which means to create more value with less impact. BIOHELIS is the first science and technology park in Mexico dedicated to eco-efficient and sustainable exploitation of natural land and water resources. In BIOHELIS, biotechnological projects, as well as bioremediation, bioengineering or bio-information projects will be performed. BIOHELIS represents a unique opportunity for businesses that want to develop innovative and technological projects in the fields already mentioned.
BIOHELIS, located on the property of CIBNOR, has the experience of this internationally acknowledged institution with more than 100 researchers, certified laboratories, as well as logistic and administrative support. BIOHELIS will first extend on a surface of 10 hectares and will begin operations in 2010. It is located only 20 km from the city of La Paz which is well known for its peacefulness and for the beauty of its natural resources. La Paz, capital of the State of Baja California Sur, is a dynamic city in full development with a wide array of marine, land, and air communications. La Paz also offers a large scientific capability of 6 well-known academic institutions. Because of its location and vocation, La Paz offers a wide potential for aquaculture and fisheries development. Besides, its warm weather is ideal for agriculture development in extreme dry conditions.
BIOHELIS has four specialized areas called InnoVa, EscaLa, ComerCia, and NegoCia, where enterprises will be incubated and stepped up. Each area has the following specialty:
1) InnoVa: This is an area dedicated to research and technology development. InnoVa is made up of 5 modules of different sizes in order to provide enterprises with the required flexibility and an expansion area for future development. The units will be equipped with services such as sea and fresh water supply, electricity, and communications. These modules are ideal for companies that want to develop or improve technology jointly with BIOHELIS .
2) EscaLa: This is an area composed of tanks for aquaculture, greenhouses for agriculture, and an area for future developments, which are ideal for companies that are looking for scaling up and adapting technologies at pre-commercial level .
3) ComerCia: This is an area which in the future will allow hosting strong companies that want to apply a technology developed jointly with BIOHELIS at a commercial level. ComerCia will have modules and lots in which buildings or structures can be built for production .
4) NegoCia: This is a business center that will provide multiple services, such as: project management and administration, business advising, marketing studies, business plans, project proposal preparation to obtain financial resources, technical training and development, and special services and studies, such as environmental impact assessment, laboratory analysis, and intellectual ownership services (e.g. patents). It will also have furnished halls for meetings, videoconference services, a computer lab, laboratories for training and special practices, and offices and secretarial support for businesses.
BIOHELIS will offer the following wide array of services that will allow enterprises to develop their efficient, safe, and state of the art activities:
• Good quality sea and fresh water supply will be available in each area of technological development and innovation;
• The waste discharged by each enterprise will be collected by BIOHELIS, and according to waste nature, it will receive different treatments. Because this is a Park that will promote eco-efficiency and sustainability, the companies must not perform polluting activities unless they have corrective and remediation measures for incompatible activities with these two concepts;• Security: The park area will be limited by cyclone wire fencing to avoid entrance of animals and non-authorized persons. It will also have an electronic security system where each enterprise will have exclusive access to the area it occupies;
• Offices: the following supplies will be provided: WiFi (Fierce Broadband Wireless Internet), telephone, videoconference system, national and international messenger service, photocopying and fax;
• Accounting and administration: available services for businesses with innovation projects within the park.
Science and technology parks developed from industrial parks. The most representative example is probably the Industrial Park of Stanford University in California, U.S.A., which was founded in 1951 and evolved nowadays to Technology Park of Silicon Valley.
|Written by Dr. Humberto Villarreal Colmenares|
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 May 2010 10:53|