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From the May Issue


Will the EV Transition Pull Mexico’s Automotive Industry Out of Industrial ‘Long COVID’?

Project data show parts and components have felt fine all along.

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Sydney, Australia-based Global Infrastructure Hub has released its Infrastructure Monitor 2022 report, which examines private investment in projects, infrastructure investment performance, availability of private capital for infrastructure and the role of multilateral development banks. Among its findings: Private investment in infrastructure projects grew by 8.3% in high-income countries in 2021, but it fell for a third year in middle- and low-income countries, by 8.8%. “Dry powder – that is, available but uninvested private capital – has quadrupled since 2010, to US$298 billion,” said GI Hub CEO Marie Lam-Frendo. “It is unacceptable that we aren’t investing in badly needed infrastructure when we have the capital, and we know investments in infrastructure exhibit strong performance compared with investments in other asset classes.”




Tech Companies New & Old Land in Chicago

In the Loop, start your morning at one of a dozen airy boutique cafés and watch the kayakers on the Riverwalk from behind the window. Turn 90 degrees and choose which billion-dollar startup you want to explore that day.

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This 150,000-sq.-ft. expansion to circuit breaker and electrical panel board production is expected to be operational in early 2023 in the capital city of Tlaxcala, the smallest of Mexico’s 31 states. The name Tlaxcala is believed to have originated from the Náhuatl word meaning “Place of corn bread,” says Indigenous Mexico. Schneider Electric’s investment is part of more than $146 million in ongoing investments in North America that now include projects at plants in Lexington, Kentucky; Lincoln, Nebraska; El Paso, Texas; and Monterrey, Mexico, where the company will employ around 325 workers to build and ship customized switchgear products used to transmit power most often in commercial buildings.

Source: Conway Projects Report


Founded in Geneva in 1895, Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, last week inaugurated its new headquarters campus there, where it will be home to 1,450 employees. “This investment of nearly CHF 200 million is the most important one Firmenich has ever made on a single site,” said Patrick Firmenich, chairman of the Firmenich Group. “This site significantly raises the bar of excellence within our industry, and we are proud to be setting a new global benchmark in Geneva, the heart of the global fragrance and taste industry. This site integrates leading-edge technologies, nurtures innovation and seeks to push the boundaries of scientific research.” The new campus, located across the two communities of Satigny and La Plaine, includes “three technologically advanced production plants with adjacent lab capabilities for Perfumery, Taste & Beyond and Ingredients creation; a logistics hub and automated warehouse; an R&D biotech pilot plant; and a pavilion for work and social gatherings where people can also enjoy meals.”

Source: Conway Projects Report



Photo by Moreno Maggi courtesy of CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati

Within a former gasholder structure on the Gazometro Ostiense site at Rome’s Maker Faire, CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, Italo Rota and energy company Eni illustrate magnetic confinement fusion power with a conceptual model of a Tokamak reactor. The location is considered a symbol of Rome’s modern industrial heritage, is three kilometers from the Colosseum. “With the project, we wanted to start an open-design process to imagine how fusion power plants will be integrated in sub-urban areas,” said Carlo Ratti, founder of CRA and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab, “prompting makers and architects alike to join a discussion on our future energy landscape.”