ITESO has a close relationship with businesses in the region through two types of extension activities:
Business extension, which fosters ongoing strategic alliances among independent businesses for the purpose of reaching common objectives in the development of competitive capacity.
Academic extension, which sets up internships in the productive sector as learning experiences for university students.
ITESO also has an enterprise incubation program that provides expert consulting for new business start-ups.
The Institutional Program for Managing Innovation and Technology (PROGINNT, in its initials in Spanish), in conjunction with industry and different support organizations such as the Avance Program of the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT, in its initials in Spanish), the Fund for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (PYME) of the Ministry of the Economy and the State Council for Science and Technology (COECYTJAL), helps regional organizations to increase their competitiveness through proper technological management. A three-phase model is used: technological diagnosis, strategic and technological planning, and administration of technological innovation projects.
This program not only coordinates the Certificate Program in Innovation and Technology Management, which seeks to foment change in the local business culture, but also offers the services of a technology-based enterprise incubator for generating high-tech business initiatives. The model provides key consulting services for the new businesses, and focuses on such sectors as food processing, pharmaceuticals, software development and electronic design, all identified as priority areas for the Jalisco economy.
It also offers the services of its Center for Business Consulting, to help businesses implement mechanisms for managing technology, and a Center for Competitive Intelligence, which does technology and market research, including trend studies; forecasts; strategic, market and patent studies; corporate and sectorial profiles; and other services.
The Young Entrepreneurs program (JOVEM), incubator for traditional businesses, offers support services for students, alumni and society in general, in three main areas:
Professional support for starting up a business
Professional help for established businesses
- Consulting in specific areas
- Training courses and workshops
Financial support for new businesses through
- Capital investment on the part of ITESO
- Helping established businesses to secure loans from credit institutions
- Connecting businesses with institutions such as the Ministry for Economic Promotion (SEPROE) and the Foreign Trade Promotion Institute of the State of Jalisco (JALTRADE), among others.
Aside from helping students start their professional careers and fi nding candidates to cover positions in different companies, ITESO’s Job Bank coordinates students’ professional internships, both in Guadalajara and abroad.
Social Service Projects
Among the most significant sources of experience and learning for students are the social service projects, which consolidate ITESO’s commitment to social transformation by forming leaders that are sensitive to the region’s and country’s needs.
Some of the over 200 social projects in which the University participates are:
- "Southern Region", sustainable development in southern Jalisco
- "Sierra Wixárika", protection of the Huichol Indians’ territory and environment, improvement of productive systems, education and health
- "Alternative Rural Financing System", which offers poor families from rural areas of Jalisco organizational, administrative and financial tools for raising their standard of living
ITESO proposes feasible alternatives for problems affecting our surroundings, from an environmental and sustainable development perspective. Environmental programs within the University -such as "ITESO, Sustainable Community"- and at its facilities in the Primavera Forest, complement rural sustainable development projects in impoverished regions of Jalisco, Chiapas and Veracruz. Since the year 2000, ITESO has taken part in a number of reforestation projects, as well as campaigns for preventing and combating forest fires, and received the Environmental Conservation Merit award in 2002. This recognition is given by the University of Guadalajara and the Citizens for the Environment.