Mexico City has announced plans for what it hopes will be a world-class centre for biomedical and nano-medical research. To be called Campus Biometropolis, the city hopes the new centre will attract investment and become an "engine for the transformation" of Mexico's economy.
For the pharma industry, the news is significant as Mexico is the world's second biggest 'emerging market' currently worth $4.9 billion and growing at around 4%.
Consultants Ernst & Young say by 2012, the market will be worth $13.6 billion, a 40% increase since 2007.
Mexico City’s mayor says it hopes to attract pharmaceutical and biomedical companies and organisations from around the world.
The new centre for medical research and development will be integrated with the National Autonomous University of Mexico, which is ranked the top Spanish-speaking University in the world. Building work will begin next year on the research complex, which has been designed by the internationally-acclaimed architectural firm, Foster + Partners.
The Mexico City authorities say the centre's close proximity to corporate laboratories, start-ups and public research institutions means it will provide fertile ground for R&D, and offer an environment to accelerate product development and commercialisation.
"Mexico City's Campus Biometropolis is the cornerstone of a broader vision to transform Mexico City into a knowledge capital," said Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard. "This is a critical investment in the future of Mexico City, taking us a step further toward becoming a global hub of scientific and technological excellence."
Mayor Ebrard continued: "As one of the most vibrant cities in the world, Mexico City is the ideal location for pharmaceutical and biomedical companies and organisations looking for new development opportunities and access to new markets."
Mexico has first-class human resources and considerable infrastructure to position itself as the leading knowledge centre for Latin America. It will attract medical tourism, deliver multiple medical services for the US economy and become a platform for world-class clinical research.
Campus Biometropolis will be sustainably designed and built, and will be composed of hospitals, laboratories and medical universities, as well as residential and retail areas. In addition, the complex will include a natural reserve and will become a model for green buildings and water conservation.
The medical hub is at the core of Mayor Ebrard's General Development Plan, which is aimed at turning Mexico City into Latin America's premier knowledge economy. The five-year plan, launched in 2007, aims to create more equity for Mexico City's inhabitants by building a sustainable and inclusive city, promoting equality through better health, education and technology and improving the competitiveness of the Mexican capital.