From an offline messaging app to food additives made from duckweed, discover exciting innovations from Mexico
Reflecting our global Springwise readership, we explore the innovation landscape and freshest thinking from a new country each week. This week, we’ve headed to Central America…
Mexico Innovation Facts
Global Innovation Index ranking: 55th
Climate targets: by 2030, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22 percent and black carbon emissions by 51 percent over a business-as-usual scenario.
Air pollution – Air pollution kills almost 33,000 people per year in Mexico according to the World Bank. And poor air quality is exacerbated by the country’s high rate of urbanisation. Seventy-eight per cent of Mexico’s population live in the country’s highly motorised cities. Forecasts suggest there could be 6.5 million vehicles in Mexico City alone by 2030.
Water scarcity – Parts of Mexico are highly susceptible to water shortages and climate change is believed to be worsening the threat of drought. In 2021 a fifth of the country experienced extreme drought conditions compared to an average of just 5 per cent for each year between 2012 and 2020.
Avocado production – The world has seen a boom in demand for avocados in recent years. And five out of ten avocados produced globally come from Mexico’s Michoacán region. Avocado cultivation is extremely water-intensive and is responsible for 30-40 per cent of recent deforestation in Michoacán.
Source: Startup Universal
Three exciting innovations from Mexico
The internet has become so ingrained in our daily lives that most of us can’t envision life without it. However, there are still many parts of the world where internet access is unavailable or unreliable. Mexican startup Bridgefy is on a mission to connect users even without internet access. It does this by leveraging other nearby smartphones’ Bluetooth and Wi-Fi antennas to create a mesh network that connects devices within a 330-foot range. Read more.
According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization, agriculture is the biggest source of water pollution. This is largely due to the excess nutrients from fertilisers that run off from fields into rivers, lakes, oceans, and groundwater sources. One solution is to use less fertiliser or to grow food that does not require fertiliser. The latter is the direction being taken by microTERRA, a startup that grows the aquatic plant lemna, or duckweed, for use as an ingredient in plant-based foods. Read more.
The development of vegan leather that looks and feels like the most luxurious animal leather, is a major goal for designers. Startup Polybion specialises in organic, vegan leather made in a closed-loop production process. The company uses local sources of industrial fruit waste as the basis for its material and has already identified additional waste streams should demand grow. Read more.
Words: Matthew Hempstead
10th June 2022