German industrial conglomerate Siemens has built a digital lab in the city of Queretaro, saying it is just one in a long line of investments planned to prepare Mexico for the next phase of industrial revolution.

Built at a cost of US$23 million (460 million pesos), the lab will train Mexican engineers in new technologies – such as automation, cloud computing, and internet of things (IoT) – so they can help companies build digital factories. New technologies are crucial for streamlining industrial operations and boosting productivity, says the German firm.

Iván Pelayo, Vice President and in charge of the company’s digital factory services in Mexico and Central America, has told Spanish news site El Economista that the continued proliferation of digital technology will likely make Mexico one of the four most powerful industrial economies of the world.

The lab will forge close ties with technology colleges around the country, offering a stage for students to put their ideas to test.

Armed with large computer terminals and more than 200 pieces of licensed software, the lab will create a skilled workforce that the industry is eagerly looking for. There is also a demo wall that showcases the architecture of automation and the power of industrial computers.

Considering reports in the local press, Siemens will invest more money next year in expanding the lab in order to accommodate more computers and trainees.

Siemens has been present in Mexico for more than 100 years, and currently runs 9 plants, 2 logistics centers, and a research division in the country.

It has contributed greatly to modernizing Mexico’s energy infrastructure through smart grid and IoT-enabling technologies to ensure safe, reliable, electricity for the country’s growing economy.