Salmon farming centre in southern Chile. (Photo: Corfo)
Aquaculture Technology pools to receive more than USD 39mln
Thursday, January 10, 2013, 01:20 (GMT + 9)
Three technological pools of great importance to Chilean aquaculture, based on Los Lagos Region, have together received financial assistance totalling CLP 18,600 million (USD 39.2 million). Of this, the Chilean Economic Development Agency (Corfo) provides CLP 10,100 million (USD 21.2 million) and the private sector, CLP 8,500 million (USD 17.9 million).
The three consortia are BAL Biofuels, Aquainnovo and Blue Genomics.
The first company works in the field of biofuels, and the other two in aquaculture research.
According to the regional director of Corfo Los Lagos, Rodrigo Carrasco, such type of pools is very relevant because "they represent benefits for the region as being a centre of research, development and growth, combining public and private investment."
Meanwhile, the deputy director of InnovaChile Business Innovation, Pamela Urrea, stressed that this year they have an increase of over 16 per cent in their budget, "focused on driving innovation in companies," Aqua reported.
She recalled that 2013 marks the Year of Innovation, whose main objectives are "to achieve a culture of innovation that reaches different areas of society," For this, the Sub directorate for Business Innovation" is launching a tool called Technology Associations for Competitiveness, which favours the development of innovation capabilities in business and encourages partnerships," she added.
The BAL Biofuels project began in January 2011 and will last five years. It has a budget of USD 11 million, of which "42 per cent of the funding has already been used," said the Administration and Finance pool manager, Daniel Chamorro.
This initiative has a farm in Metri sector, algae growing areas in Chiloe Island, laboratories in Centro I-Mar at University of Lagos, and in the parent company in Berkeley, California (USA).
They are also finishing an algae fermentation experimental plant in Puerto Montt, plus the offices in Santiago (Metropolitana Region) and Puerto Varas.
Another pool is Aquainnovo’s, which emerged in 2007 and where some of the participating institutions are the University of Chile and Empresas AquaChile.
Aquainnovo CEO, Rodger Miranda, explained that "the initial idea was to develop a biotechnology project, mainly focused on the development of genetics in aquaculture species, starting with salmon."
"We also have a diagnostic laboratory that today provides services to several major regions of Los Lagos and Magellan," he told Aqua.
The other project is Blue Genomics, which has genetic companies in Chile and Norway, and vaccine companies from Germany as partners.
In this regard, the general manager of AquaGen and Blue Genomics, Patrick Dempster, said "The focus of the project is to work out genomics", applying new technologies.
"The main goal of these improvements is about sustainability, as we will devote ourselves primarily to those issues that affect and are impacting the sustainability of the salmon industry in Chile," the executive explained.
By Analia Murias