The U. de La Serena and the Coquimbo Region have a specialized laboratory that responds to the requirements of analysis, technical assistance, development and innovation in the field of food.
A food quality analysis and control laboratory, implemented with state-of-the-art equipment and technology, and professionals trained in the management of the analytical technique, are some of the main results of the project executed by the University of La Serena, through its Department of Food Engineering, focused on offering an innovative service in the area of food analysis in the Coquimbo Region.
The development of this initiative -funded with resources from the Innovation Fund for Competitiveness (FIC-R 2012) of the Regional Government of Coquimbo and the institution itself-, has allowed the linkage with companies, producers, control bodies and productive associations and that these diminish significantly their technological gap and have today technical and human support to give value to their work.
"We have a very well implemented laboratory for the north of Chile, with trained human resources to be able to respond to the demand of the sector (...). We were able to respond to the analytical requirements of the region, producers, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of the three valleys, Elqui, Limarí and Choapa, and significantly increased the analysis offer, which allowed serving over seventy monthly applicants for eighteen months, "he explained. the director of the School of Food Engineering of the ULS, ing. Francisco Yagnam, coordinator of the project and who integrates the team of academics in charge of the initiative with Katia Rodríguez (responsible), Elena Lara and María Elsa Uribe, and professionals assigned as technical analysts.
In this regard, the Rector (s) of the U. of La Serena, Dr. Jorge Catalán, said that the project has strengthened business innovation, developing trained human capital and optimizing the infrastructure of laboratory equipment for the benefit of the regional producer sector , noting further that the work carried out by the team of academics and researchers from the Department of Food Engineering, "is a clear example of the contribution of the only state university in the Coquimbo Region to regional productive development."
Another result, highlighted by Yagnam, is the provision of services to other regions of the country. "Near the 40% of the samples that arrived, were from Santiago applicants, which has meant that the work of the laboratory has transcended beyond the region," said the academic, adding that it is expected to certify and accredit the laboratory to national and international level.
To these achievements are added the laboratory linkage with the National Institute of Normalization (INN) and the Chilean Agency for Food Safety (ACHIPIA), which is considered in its existence by the Sub-Committee on Trade and Production of the Committee for the Integration of Black Water Tunnel, and that the Agricultural Society of the North will incorporate it as a support to its strategy of development and innovation of its associates. It has also been recognized by the ministerial regional secretariats of Health, Economy and Tourism, and by public, private organizations, municipalities, agricultural enterprises, food industries and other institutions.
The closing ceremony of the FIC-R project "Modernization of the equipment of Analysis Laboratory and technical assistance for the development and innovation of the food industry of the Coquimbo Region" was carried out in ULS units and was attended by the vice-rector of Economic and Administrative Affairs, Dr. Marcela Aguirre, the director of Research. Dr. Eduardo Notte, the deans of the Faculties of Engineering and Sciences, Drs. Alberto Cortés and Gustavo Labbé, executives and academics of the institution, representatives of the Innovation Fund for Competitiveness and of various public and private organizations, municipalities and companies, among other guests.