CHILEAN TECHNOLOGY HITS THE CLEANING PRODUCTS MARKET
In just a few more than three years, Dacetix disinfectant went from the laboratory to the market, thanks to an alliance with Excell Chile company, managed by Know Hub Chile, a corporation which collaborates with universities and research centres in order to transfer their scientific results to the market. Dacetix can be used to disinfect food as well as surfaces, safe for human consumption and rinsing is not needed.Know Hub Chile, a corporation aiming at turning University and research centre science into goods and services, managed the ‘Scaling and Marketing Contract’ between the technology-based entrepreneurship BMiTek and the cleaning supplies company Excell Chile. In 2019, BMiTek,a startup which developed Dacetix technology, became one of the finalists for Know Hub Ignition first generation, programme supporting the development and acceleration of technology based entrepreneurship, identifying and training high potential teams, supporting the construction of a value proposal, validating and scaling their product or service. ‘Even though on this occasion, managing this contract between Dacetix and Excell Chile took us just a couple of months, intense work is displayed behind this, demanding a highly specialized multidisciplinary team in various aspects of the business value chain, committed and well connected’, Javier Ramírez points out, Know Hub Chile Executive Director, institution supported by Corfo Yearly, 10% of the world population gets sick by eating contaminated food, caused mainly by Salmonella and Listeria. With that problem in mind, young microbiologist Luis Aguilar (31) developed Dacetix technology, an industrial and domestic disinfectant for food and surfaces that solved a number of challenges, based essentially on just one premise: Dacetix is a mixture of ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in the USA. Achieving this formula brought about only benefits. For instance, it’s a no-toxic product, so this can be used directly on food and it is even safe for human consumption. Besides, no rinsing is required, which will save time in the productive processes. Finally, it is eco-friendly, a relevant point in a traditionally chemical industry, as in the cleaning industry. All these features attracted Excell Chile’s attention, the company which decided to scale and commercialize Dacetix. ‘We´re pleased with this Know Hub Chile and BMiTek partnership, which will allow us to offer the market new innovative, efficient, effective, and innocuous for the environment, ultimately, products for present times and the future’, Chemist Marcial Fernández, Excell Chile Product Manager, explains. ‘This contract, which is going to enable developed technology enter the market in our country, is the result of a series of visionary public policies focused on technology transfer. In this case, the full process from the laboratory to the market took a little longer than three years, which shows that a research focused on the applied and the support by specific public instruments, are exceptional catalysts’, Fernando Hentzschel, Technological Capacities Manager at Corfo, points out. The specific idea about Dacetix arises by the end of 2016, when Aguilar gets a Fondef (Funds for promoting development) of valorization of University research, from the National Research Agency (ANID, ex Conicyt) that applies with his Master’s thesis results on microbiology at University of Concepción, Dacetix technology co-owner. Thanks to this fund, Aguilar succeeds in improving Dacetix blend to be able to work over a wider variety of pathogens. Subsequently, there would come the Seed Capital of Flexible Allowance (SSAF) from Corfo and alongside, the participation in Know Hub Ignition. ‘Most of the research is carried out in universities, therefore, the range is not so wide. The technology-based entrepreneurship is a showcase, an opportunity for people having scientific capacities other than teaching and paper publishing’, BM iTek CEO Aguilar, notes. It is a startup which counts among the members of the team with molecular biology doctor, Nathaly Ruiz-Tagle, in charge of the Scientific Area; Marjorie Obreque in Operations and Lucas Rebolledo, in the Commercial Area.