Between 2012 and 2014, Mexican R&D expenditures have steadily increased, reaching 0.54% of GDP in 2014. A key factor in Mexico’s increase in R&D has been the PECiTI (Special Program of Science and Technology Innovation), the public policy for the goals, strategies and methods to accelerate science, technology and innovation in the country. Approved by the federal government in 2002, PECiTI aims to increase expenditure in research and innovation (R&I), encourage regionalization, bolster human and infrastructure capacity, and commercialize research findings. The Program’s objective is to strengthen R&D investments to 1% of GDP by 2018, creating an environment for research, competition and innovation to help sustain the country’s economic growth. Long term, PECiTI aims for R&D expenditure to reach 2.3% of GDP over the next 25 years.

The majority of growth in R&I is propelled by federal funding. In 2008, fiscal incentives to R&I for private companies were removed by the government, causing a decrease in R&I investments by the private sector. Mexico began considering reinstating such fiscal incentives in May 2016.

In contrast to R&D of other countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Mexican basic research is increasing, while technology development is decreasing. Commercializing research results, and developing and establishing technology startups continue to pose challenges. Within the last 10 years, there has been a decentralization of policies, which has encouraged growth in R&I within state governments, although the federal government remains the largest investor in R&D. Foreign R&D investments decreased from 2012 to 2014; however, the country remains in the top 10 for foreign direct investment, mostly in regards to its manufacturing industry.

Source: European Commission

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