As part of the Creo en Chile event, which brought entrepreneurs and innovators together for two days, a panel on Young Agribusiness Innovation was held, made up by the Center for Research and Innovation (CRI), Fundación para la Innovación Agraria (FIA), UC Davis Chile, and the cases of 3 entrepreneurs in this sector. The objective was to generate discussion between entrepreneurs, research centers and companies on the innovation challenges related to the agribusiness sector, through their different strategies and perspectives.
Innovation plays an important role in developing countries economies, and for this reason, promoting innovation has become an essential factor in addressing the processes and challenges that help to foster, support and strengthen the agriculture, agribusiness and forestry industries.
In response to this situation, Viña Concha y Toro developed its research center to contribute the Chilean wine industry and increase its competitiveness through technology, applied research and the transfer of knowledge.
“We’re facing a scenario of increasing global competition, and as such, the relevance of research, innovation and new technologies is that it enables us to improve the productivity of the industry. This is the main challenge for the Center; identifying key research to support and increase our competitiveness. Due to the magnitude and relevance that the Winery has acquired, we needed to strengthen and accelerate innovation to remain at the forefront in the coming decades,” said Gerard Casaubon, director of the CRI.
The executive director of FIA, María José Etchegaray, also highlighted the important role that young people play in encouraging an innovation culture on all levels. “Today, the challenge is not just related to climate change, but also to that fact that in recent years new trends have emerged that in the agribusiness sector we have had to address, such as population aging, demographic shifts and awareness among new generations of the importance of a healthy diet, as well as our impact on the environment,” she said.
Meanwhile, UC Davis Chile representative and associate director, Pablo Zamora, specified the distinctive research model applied by this innovation center. “Our work is essentially collaborative, with research teams in California and Chilean institutions, including the universities of Talca, Tarapacá and Andrés Bello. Furthermore, in order for science to have a direct impact on industry, our approach is driven by the requirements of the private sector. Finally, we directly involve end users in scientific developments. In the case of private sector collaboration, we work together with Concha y Toro and VSPT Wine Group.”
Following the participation of the CRI, FIA and UC Davis Chile, the cases of three young people who have innovated in the agribusiness sector, creating new products or process innovations, were presented. Finally, a panel discussion was held to conclude the event.