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STARGATE incubator welcomes Mexican entrepreneurs


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Monday welcomed a delegation of about 40 entrepreneurs from the Mexican Petroleum Institute, the National Autonomous University of Mexico and small businesses for the first day of a three week workshop on business incubators / accelerators for Mexico. Energy Council (COMENER), dedicated to stimulating innovation in the energy sector.

The objective is to develop 19 projects, each involving different aspects of innovation in the energy sector, in marketable and real applications. One of the projects, for example, includes the robotic inspection of subsea pipelines.

Working with staff at the UTRGV STARGATE Technology Launch Platform (STPL), entrepreneurs will learn how to start businesses in the United States and potentially bring new ideas, technologies or products to that country, said government director Ramiro Gonzalez from the town of Brownsville. and community affairs.

This is something that has actually been in the planning stages for a long time, he said. In fact, it crossed administrations in Mexico and they always did, which is quite an achievement.

Juan Acra, president of COMENER, has obtained the support of the country's energy minister and president of the public-private partnership, which he described as vital for opening up Mexican energy innovation to the world.

This is very important to us, as we promote Mexican technology for the energy sector, said Acra.

He said the project was launched in response to Bill Gates' initiative to accelerate clean energy technology, bringing it from the lab to the market.

Mexico and the United States are a must to work together, said Acra. We have the largest energy market in the world, the United States, Mexico and Canada. We have to work together. … You have the best practices, you have the technology and you have the product.

While the STARGATE incubator / accelerator was created with new space entrepreneurs in mind, partnership in the energy sector is a good choice, according to Teviet Creighton, director of the UTRGV Center for advanced radio astronomy (CARA), of which STARGATE is part, responsible for developing and commercializing the technology generated by CARA.

This is not a new space, but … part of our vision here at CARA is to find synergies between the different technology sectors, and there are many connections between the energy sector and the space sector, he said.

They face similar challenges. They are both high tech. They both involve a lot of technological development, so a lot that was done both with Mexico and here in Texas connects with the energy sector, with oil and gas and other energy companies , to see what the common challenges are and what types of solutions we can have for them.

Creighton said the COMENER partnership is the first large contract signed by STPL.

Hoping that this was only the first of many contracts of this type, many projects of this type that were to incubate and accelerate in the valley, he said. . Our first big project happens to be this cross-border initiative with COMENER, but we are also planning to develop and incubate businesses from the valley as well, or to work with people wishing to start high-tech businesses here in the valley .

It’s really cool. All of this is part of the overall vision for the new space city of Brownsville, building this technological corridor here between Mexico through Brownsville to Houston. Having this technology corridor will promote space technology, the commercial space industry and other high-tech industries in the region.

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