Dr. Francisco Javier Mendieta Jiménez is the Director General of the Agencia Espacial Mexicana (AEM).

What does it mean for Mexico, and the city of Guadalajara, to host IAC 2016?

Mexico is in a new era regarding space, and the Mexican Space Agency (AEM) will look to contribute to the solution of the great social challenges in matters of competitiveness, education, equity, health, digital inclusion and environmental sustainability. Such challenges will be best met with the application of science and advanced technology, strengthened through the use and exploration of space. AEM is working towards the implementation of efficient mechanisms for the development, appropriation and adaptation of space technologies for the development of solutions for the benefit of the population and the positioning of Mexico in the global space economy. For all nations, but particularly for the Latin American countries, access to space is a door to progress, new technologies and inspirational science for a region where the young population is a vast majority. But to make the space accessible, it needs to be done in an affordable way, where international collaboration must be the hearth of the inclusion of this region in the space age. Latin American countries are currently making great efforts in developing their space programs, always searching for collaboration both with advanced countries as well as with developing countries; important results are being observed both in the use of space for tackling their societal challenges as well as in building their space industries. This is why Mexico proposed to host the IAC2016 under the motto: “Making space accessible and affordable to all countries”. The AEM believes that bringing the IAC in 2016 to this region of the world will contribute positively and give an additional boost to the efforts of involved emerging nations into a new era of international collaboration to solve common problems using space science and technology. Guadalajara will be provided the opportunity to show why it is called the “Silicon Valley of Mexico” and to show why it is also wellknown as the cultural heart of Mexico.

How will the AEM aim to make IAC 2016 the best ever?

Guadalajara and Mexico both have great experience hosting world-class events. Just to mention two of them: The plenipotentiary meeting from ITU and the Pan-American Olympic Games are examples of Mexican hospitality combined with outstanding service, facilities and cultural offerings. The venue also provides a great value-for-money ratio compared to others. We have already begun to work toward the IAC 2016 and the main goal of the planning is how to offer the best quality of service, facilities, hotels, food and experiences. We are sure that we will be able to provide an unforgettable week to every one of the IAC Delegates.

What did you learn from IAC 2013 Beijing about how to hold a successful Congress?

We learned that people and teamwork is the key to success. You need to assemble a group of motivated, hard working and dedicated people such as the team we saw in Beijing, that share the main goal in terms of offering the best response to every request. Planning and creativity is also a key to be ready for any situation, and being ready to solve any last-minute glitches in order to have a smooth running congress. The experience of past IACs will help us to do this.