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Newton Fund backing Chile youth entrepreneurship and innovation training

25 October 2016

Santiago, October 19th 2016.  During two intense weeks, more than forty applicants to the Young Innovators Programme were trained in subjects such as innovation, finance, business, marketing and intellectual property.

The team in charge of the workshop included, Professors Philip Wragg and Russell Smith from Business Boffins Ltd, and Terry Pollard and Eva Baltar from Isis Enterprise, a global technology transfer and innovation management consultancy company, which was created with the support of Oxford University.

Agriculture is one of the most important sectors in Chile and the largest employer. The industry faces several challenges, such as lack of innovation, climate change and population migration.
“Young Innovators” is a Newton Picarte innovation capacity development programme that aims to help young entrepreneurs to develop products and services. The programme is a joint effort from Foundation for Agrarian and Innovate UK, through the Newton Fund, which is managed by the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). 

The “Young Innovators” programme seeks to support innovative initiatives that contribute on one hand to the development, adaptation and validation of new technologies, and on the other hand, to the generation of new products and services associated with the implementation of a business that generates impact in the agriculture, food and forestry industries in Chile.

This year the programme is looking for entrepreneurs who have projects focused on areas, such as climate change adaptation, environmental sustainability, biotechnology, marketing in agrifood and food safety.

The first round of young innovators, from last year, was a great success with projects such as: Ki-Nua an instant and healthy nutritional supplement made of Chilean quinoa; a vegan mayonnaise made of peas; or an economic and portable kit to detect toxins in vineyards. These are some of the winners who are already taking their first steps in business. 

After the training, the participants will present their proposals again, using their newly acquired knowledge and business tools. The twenty best ranked proposals will receive funding to develop their projects and then they will get the opportunity to go to the UK to visit technological centres, innovation companies and participate in business rounds.