Pilar Parada assumes as General Manager of Fraunhofer Chile Research

Pilar is a biochemist from the University of Chile, Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and has a Diploma in Innovation Strategy from MIT. In addition, she has been Director of Fraunhofer Chile's Biotechnology Center for the past two years.

© Fraunhofer Chile Research
General Manager and Executive Director Pilar Parada

To lead the consolidation stage of the Fraunhofer centers in Chile, the Board of Directors decided to designate Pilar Parada as General Manager, in line with the German company's strategy of having a scientist in charge of the institutes operations.

"We have had two consecutive years of positive financial results, which is the product of the solid work of our business areas. Now our goal is to work even more closely with the industry, consolidating the operations of our Solar Energy Technologies Center and Systems Biotechnology Center," she explained.

She added that in this new stage, Fraunhofer is interested in further strengthening the relationship between Chile and Germany, promoting the exchange of scientists, the development of joint projects and the training of researchers so that, in addition to developing science of excellence, they have the capacity to understand the world of business.

This year the Fraunhofer company celebrates 70 years in Germany and just as in 2016 they focused on industry 4.0 and automation, now they are starting again the process of imagining the future, to analyze where the technologies are going and what the new trends will be.

"That same process we want to carry out in Chile. We are inviting our researchers to go one step further than we are doing today: we want to identify the opportunities offered by technology for our country and contribute with innovations that can be breakthrough," she said.

In this sense, she stated that Fraunhofer wants to support the development of new technologies in Chile. "As in Germany, we put our experience at the disposal of decision-makers to advise the public policies implemented in the country from a scientific standpoint. We are sure that this is the way to build a developed Chile," she said.

Ongoing Projects

The Systems Biotechnology Center, Fraunhofer CSB, has been operating in Chile for 8 years and is in a full consolidation phase of its activities. In this sense, Envirotech, the first spin off developed by the Center, which seeks to offer an alternative for the treatment of salmon industry waste, will start operating this month.

In addition, a technology developed to remove wine residues and contribute to their clarification is in the licensing process. A circular economy project is also currently being developed, which seeks to take advantage of residues from the agricultural industry to extract molecules that add value to salmon feed, thereby strengthening the immune system and reducing the use of antibiotics.

The Center for Solar Energy Technologies, Fraunhofer CSET, has been operating in Chile for 4 years and is participating in important scientific projects that are being carried out. One of them is Atamos TEC, a consortium that seeks to improve the performance of photovoltaic modules that operate in desert climatic conditions. It is also supporting the development of the Cerro Dominador project, which contemplates a thermosolar plant that stores solar energy through salts to produce electricity and have 24 uninterrupted hours of supply.

They are also designing equipment that will allow the solar panels to be cleaned and thereby improve efficiency in capturing solar energy. Another of the projects currently being developed is AgroPV, a technology that allows the installation of solar panels on agricultural crops, favoring a more efficient use of land.

"These are some of the interesting projects we have underway. We hope to work more closely with the industry every day, in order to continue contributing to the competitiveness of large, medium and small companies", concluded Pilar.