Dr. Julia Taguena Parga gave a nice presentation on the approaches used in Mexico to drive innovation and promoting scientists to conduct research to address national issues. Given the strong desire of the Mexican government to create a sustainable economy based on indigenous research, it made sense that there is heavy focus on research related to solar cells, fuel cells, H2 fuels, CO2 capture, biodiesel synthesis, etc.
Despite much progress, Dr. Parga acknowledged that progress would be more easily sustained if private industries invest more than the government to help solve the national problems using indigenous talent. One interesting strategy to promote more private sector investment was a program called PEI. Under this program, companies would match or exceed the amount of money invested by the government on certain grants and scientists would apply to get these grants. Secondly, companies would sponsor more internships for graduate students. The same strategies can perhaps be implemented in many developing countries to address their national issues with science.