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Guadalajara’s new media center to become ‘digital Hollywood’

February 4, 2012

Speaking in Guadalajara on Monday, President Felipe Calderon officially confirmed the city will host the federal government’s Ciudad Creativa Digital project.

As previously reported, Guadalajara has landed an ambitious new digital media project that will create 20,000 jobs and aims to generate ten billion dollars of investment over the next five years.

During a presentation at the Expo Guadalajara, the president said the Ciudad Creativa Digital complex will be the most important media technology cluster in Latin America. ProMexico, the federal government agency behind the project, is lobbying to attract around 20 large international companies in the multimedia industry.

“Right now at least 12 high-caliber companies worldwide are interested in the Creative Digital City project,” affirmed Calderon, although he declined to give any names. Among the companies being touted to join the project are the likes of Pixar, DreamWorks, Disney, Electronic Arts and movie studios like Universal, Sony and MGM.

Aside from generating employment, the project will also bring much-needed urban renewal to a run-down area of the historic city center. It will be built in Parque Morelos, where the city council once planned to build the Athletes Village for last year’s Pan American Games.

Calderon said this project will serve the area better because it is not just a housing project, but “a whole platform that will generate thousands of jobs and add tremendous value to Guadalajara.”

With studios for film and television post-production, the complex will also have facilities for digital content creation and development of video games, cartoons and mobile applications.

Jalisco Governor Emilio Gonzalez said the project aims to create a “digital Hollywood” in Guadalajara, by “supporting developers and graduates, financing products … building technology infrastructure, creating an urban environment conducive to creativity, linking local developers to large projects.”

The project is being overseen by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which chose Guadalajara as the site most conducive to development. The metropolitan area is home to 20 universities and over 600 companies that will provide engineers for the project.

Furthermore, according to a study by international consultancy agency KPMG, which analyzed the conditions of 112 cities, Mexico offers the lowest costs for electronics and multimedia.

In order to attract international business partners, the organizers will embark upon a promotional tour to the United States, United Kingdom, France, Korea and Singapore in late February.

A date has yet to be set for construction, but ProMexico coordinator Jesus Ricardo Alvarez Felix said the overall project will take about 15 years to consolidate.

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