At its Research and Development Conference, the Tec showcased the projects transforming Mexico.
By Andrea López and Dulce Pontaza
Five Mexican research projects that promise to help solve some of the most important challenges the country is currently facing, such as hunger, the water shortage, or lack of opportunities in the field of education, were presented during the 48th Research and Development Conference, which takes place from January 23 to 26 at the Monterrey campus of Tec de Monterrey. Let’s get to know them:
Doctors Hugo Mújica and Aurora Valdez, researchers from the Monterrey campus of Tec de Monterrey and Level I and II members of the National Research System (Sistema Nacional de Investigadores, SNI) respectively, developed a system allowing them to obtain biodegradable films from the skins of different fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and mangoes. These are able to substitute the packaging made of synthetic polymers used by industry to package certain products that generate large amounts of trash. In this way, their research aims to support control waste and its impact on the environment.
This team of researchers, made up of the doctors Judith Zavala, Jorge Valdez, and Víctor Manuel Treviño from the Tec’s School of Medicine, are working on creating a biopharmaceutical to treat pterygium, a condition that provokes the abnormal growth of the tissue in the conjunctiva, i.e. the thin transparent layer that covers the external surface of the eye. For the moment, this condition is only treatable with surgery, however, Mexican experts have already made progress developing an alternative using the Live-forever plant.
In Mexico, 20.4 million tons of food is wasted every year. This is a situation that 30 collaborators from the public sector, the private sector and NGOs hope to mitigate and reduce. This project, under the leadership of Dr. Silverio García Lara from Tecnológico de Monterrey, is an initiative to increase productivity sustainably, using innovative strategies like smart containers, post-harvest technologies and climate information services. Some of these technologies are already part of agricultural innovation programs in the country today.
This project, under the leadership of Dr. Manuel Macías from Tecnológico de Monterrey, hopes to implement distance learning through the creation of three types of remote laboratories, which give their users the chance to access physical resources in the laboratory from any location. One of the laboratories is especially for engineering students; the second consists of an open-access remote platform for large-scale use; while the third is just for researchers.
The Water Center for Latin America and the Caribbean is an initiative of Tecnológico de Monterrey in partnership with the Femsa Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank, which began in 2008 with the aim of strengthening research applied to topics like water processes and management, analysis, quality and treatment, and environmental geoprocesses. This project hopes to improve water sustainability and so improve society’s quality of life through research, innovation, the sharing of ideas and training. The center is currently working on environmental nanotechnology topics.
Editor’s Note: This note was published in January 2018.