Paula Aguilera, Doctor in Natural Resources from the Universidad de La Frontera, presents her company MycoNativa, a research company which today positions itself as the only project of the Araukanía Region that obtained the Corfo (Production Development Corporation) Capital Semilla grant in the second call of 2017.
The company MycoNativa developed the first inoculant bioproduct in Temuco, elaborated on the base of native Chilean fungus (micorrizas). The benefits are significant, since these fungi improve plant growth and protect them from different conditions, such as drought, diseases and soil contamination. They also help the nutrients to move from soil to plant and increase the volume of absorbed water. This system benefits different types of plants – of agricultural interest and ornamental – and even contribute to ecological restoration of degraded and contaminated soils.
The founder of this project expressed her interest in giving shape to MycoNativa. “In our family agriculture is an important pillar and from this point of view, we have always been interested in promoting the use of technologies that favor the environment and agricultural productivity, especially all those that can deliver quality to the final product, an added value and a better functionality in the end. Having done the specialization training in countries that commonly use this technology, and research together with companies of our Region, we were anxious to build this company,” she explained.
MycoNativa works in three main areas: technology, research and commercial management; together with a network of researchers and specialists. This bioproduct, which is in its first phase, is focused on the implementation of a low-scale experimental station, the validation technique at the plant nursery level and the beginning of commercial management.
The entrepreneur started her initiative with an application to the call for University Research Evaluation (VIU), supported by the Technology Transfer Unit (UTT) of the UFRO, where she had been incorporated in the Scaling Program for Technology-based Companies, an initiative created by professionals of the UTT and by the incubator, working since the last three years.
Paula Aguilera emphasized the work she has been doing for her project and said that “IncubatecUfro has accompanied me from the orientation in my research work to the application of this technology, in the preparation of topics related to the business area, the facilitation of work spaces in the University and the search of funding for this project.”
One of the next challenges is to take the production forward to the volume of a set of bioproducts based on these beneficial fungi and also to strengthen the area of training and services.