This research project was led by Dr. Paula Aguilera and supported by the Technology Transfer Unit of the Universidad de La Frontera. They achieved to set-up a company and the licensing of an innovative agricultural technology.
The benefits of this first inoculant biological product based on Chilean fungi (mycorrhizae), which has been developed in Temuco, Chile, by a research team of the Universidad de La Frontera, are an increase in the volume of water absorption and that it acts as an agricultural plant invigorator, amongst others.
This initiative was led by Dr. Paula Aguilera, the Technology Transfer Manager at the Scientific and Technological Bioresource Nucleus (BIOREN-UFRO), together with Dr. Fernando Borie and Dr. Pablo Cornejo of the UFRO Department for Chemical Science and Natural Resources.
Because of its technical features, this biological product comes with high expectations and multiple fields of use, it benefits different plant types (for agricultural and ornamental interests), and even contributes in the ecological restoration of degraded and contaminated soils.
Thanks to the incorporation into the Technology based Business Scale-up Program that has been created by the Technology Transfer Unit (UTT) of the UFRO together with Incubatec-UFRO, the researchers were able to associate to form MYCONATIVA, a company that is now responsible for the biological product and that is key in the commercial management process of the product.
The official launch of the company Myconativa has just been carried out at Andrés Bello Campus of the Universidad de La Frontera, where the product features and its big potential on the bio-input market in Chile have been emphasized.
Dr. Paula Aguilera, who is leading Myconativa, commented: “Myconativa emerged from the university, from science and agriculture. The dynamics and evolution it had is due to the need and concerns of the society regarding the current contingencies, such as climate change, the introduction of biological products in agriculture, water deficits, and the displacement of cultivation areas. We want to be part of the solutions as a company, and that is how the project has developed its own life.”
The regional director of the Chilean Production Development Corporation (CORFO), Ricardo Rojas, stated: “This company, which emerged from science and innovation, could turn into an essential factor for our regional agriculture. We have been supporting this project since the beginning, and now, it has turned into a company, within the framework of a virtuous alliance we built between the UFRO and CORFO. This is a scale-up project and that is fundamental for the wide range of possibilities this product has.”
The company Myconativa started as a research project, within the application to a tender for University Research Evaluation (VIU) that was supported by the UFRO Technology Transfer Unit (UTT).
The Technology based Business Scale-up Program created by the UTT allowed them to license the technology and to convert it into the company Myconativa.
“The support by the Office for Innovation and Technology Transfer, each one of the professionals who know exactly what they are doing, the motivation to create innovative technologies that can be applied to our agriculture and, of course, the business incubator Incubatec-UFRO – our university has great human capital that allows to support ideas, to identify financial instruments, intellectual property, and technical and financial support,” Dr. Paula Aguilera explained.
Myconativa is a company for R&D. It is promoted by the university and, based on research, it develops biological products for their use in agriculture and provides services of training, consultancy and analysis. It has a bank or collection of mycorrhizae-forming fungi and prepares technology transfer activities with the municipalities of Temuco and Padre Las Casas in Chile.
Written by: UFRO Communications Office